To celebrate our birthday and the start of the ‘terrible twos’ (hopefully not…) we decided to take a look back at the past two years, and reflect on what we’ve achieved, what we’ve learned and what we might do differently were we starting again.
Of course, much like an X Factor contestant, these are entirely our own reflections of our journey so far – we’d love to hear yours! Tweet us @OBH_UK or use #OBHis2 to join in the conversation.

1 – Build a team who you like, but who are not like you

Quite simply, you need people who are going to tell you a rubbish idea is rubbish. Teams of people who look at things the same way may be very harmonious but often aren’t as effective as teams which are comfortable with challenging each other.

Although many of team OBH are clinicians or former clinicians, we also all have very diverse backgrounds. Many of the team have had second or even third careers spanning finance, technology, economics, data, life sciences and more.

In a start-up, you have a one-off opportunity to build a team which has all the skills and attributes you think you might need, and you need to be excited about working with them and learning from each other as you go.


2 – …It’s not just what you do, it’s where you do it

Over a year ago, we made a deliberate decision as a team to physically take ourselves from within the healthcare establishment to firmly outside it, and moved from our previous offices (okay, office… okay…cupboard) within an established healthcare think tank, to Techspace, firmly within the flat-white sipping Silicon roundabout catchment area, and surrounded by collaborators in the tech, healthtech and digital space.

It might seem like a small thing, but this move has led to us being successful in partnering with another Techspace-based firm, Big Data Partnership, to secure £1m of funding for project which will use big data to predict, and thus improve, outcomes in healthcare.

Taking Clay Christensen’s advice, companies cannot “disrupt themselves” – the cultural inertia and vested interest in the status quo will be impossible to overcome. Instead “the disruptive forces must be housed in a separate location and allowed to chart their own course”. And, as we feel that the most radical innovations in healthcare won’t come from healthcare organisations in future, we felt it was essential that we moved outside of healthcare too.

Oh, and plus we needed desks we could actually sit at!