When the U.S. Civil War began in 1861, medical care was primitive, often dangerous, and at times even barbaric. It had not advanced significantly in thousands of years.
The war’s intensity and devastating new weaponry caused unprecedented numbers of wounded soldiers. Most of them died while under medical care. A soldier’s chances of survival were actually greater on the battlefield than in the hospital.
When the war ended in 1865, medical care had radically transformed into essentially the same system we use today. Wounded soldiers recovered in the hospital, and most survived the war.
Four years that ushered in the age of modern medical care. Four years of extraordinary innovation by ordinary people that changed the world. Just four years.
This is what people are capable of when empowered to do what humans do best. They continually experimented and improved until soldiers stopped dying in their care. They didn’t need guidance, oversight, or approval. And they couldn’t wait for technology advancements.
That’s what innovation means. Imagine what the people in your organization are capable of.