Get your team excited about their work and the opportunity to make a difference

Jake Orville tends to take a boundless view of innovation. It’s not just enough to do something different than the other guy. Orville wants to change the world. At Cleveland HeartLab, his team developed a diagnostic testing solution that provides a valuable tool for clinicians in their effort to identify and treat cardiovascular disease in patients.

Then he made a deal with Quest Diagnostics to serve as the base for Quest’s first national cardiometabolic center of excellence. The deal creates a larger platform for Orville to continue his team’s work. At scale, CHL’s inflammation testing could eliminate billions of dollars in health care costs.

Orville searches for innovation at every level and at every step of how his company functions.

“For me, I think of innovation as not just the test or the product, but everything else that goes along with it,” Orville says. “That was a big distinction for Cleveland HeartLab and one of the reasons we became part of the Quest family. It wasn’t just about bringing a new set of tests to market that made an impact on an unmet clinical need. It was how we did it.”

Orville said it wasn’t hard to get his team on the same page with his line of thinking.

“It starts with the vision and the passion behind it,” Orville says. “We get the benefit of being in medicine and we get the benefit of changing and saving peoples’ lives. We don’t have to convince them that we make a difference. I wanted to make sure that everyone understood that everything we do impacts a person.”

Not every business is conducting research that has life and death implications. But every business does have a target audience, a group of people that rely on what it does for something important. If employees don’t understand that and don’t see the deeper value of their work, they aren’t going to bring the passion and the commitment to their work that is necessary to build a great business.

Take the time show your employees how what they do matters. Make it a regular part of your company meetings or correspondence so everyone has that truth in mind as they go about their duties in the business.

“Reinforcing your vision, mission and values so people understand what you’re doing is so important,” Orville says. “Those are all things that we did and things I would suggest most companies should do.”

Mark Scott is Senior Associate Editor at Smart Business Network