Reality check

Jan Van Hecke made a point of introducing all partners to each other. This meant that everyone knew what the other could bring to the table. Next, it was important to get rid of stereotypes about 'profit' and 'non-profit' industries and to find a common language. 

All partners had to acknowledge that, despite the huge differences between the people and the organizations involved, they could nevertheless get behind one goal (i.e. creating an innovative, future-oriented healthcare industry). This was how the group found its common values and challenges.

Jan was convinced that starting a think tank without concrete, short-term results would not be viable. To attain a set of shared short-term goals (i.e. achievable in 12 months), Jan organized a mass brainstorm and follow-up clustering. For this purpose, he mixed and matched the larger group into internally diverse brainstorm groups of 5 to 6 people (varying in terms of industry, age, expertise, etc.). The output of the brainstorm was then clustered into keywords. These keywords were in turn passed on to a team of 8 to 10 creatives, who generated additional ideas and refined the phrasing.

The result was a change in goal orientation: from purely economic profit to social profit. In addition, this generated a shift towards a broader range of patients, rather than just the elderly. This finetuning and this change of direction following suggestions from partners show the flexibility Jan needed to define a shared challenge. 

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