Meet the innovator: Tiba Rao

    January 24, 2022


    Post Title

    In this edition, we caught up with Tiba Rao, Director of Innovation and Co-founder, Soar Beyond Ltd; the SMART workforce platform helping health and social care teams to manage and accelerate safe workforce capability development and impact to meet individual, organisational and system needs.

    Pictured above: Tiba Rao

    Tell us about your innovation in a sentence

    The SMART workforce platform helps you to manage, integrate and accelerate the impact of your clinical and non-clinical team members using innovative competency assessment and capability mapping tools.

    What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

    As a provider of clinical services and training to primary care, we needed to set and manage expectations of what new roles could deliver safely and competently from day one in practice and what they were working towards. I scribbled three concentric circles on a piece of paper and asked the team “what if we had a tool that you could drag and drop competencies into and define clearly what is ‘out of scope’, ‘stretch’ and ‘in scope’ and additionally, what if you could watch your circle of competence physically grow as you and your team develops?”.

    The simplicity of the concept, the visual nature and relatable language immediately captured interest –  we started doing this in poster and sticker format at face to face training workshops then evolved this to an interactive tool on our i2i and SMART platforms. SMART can now capture this individually and collectively with bespoke clinical and leadership competencies for any established or novel role at team, organisation, practice, department and even system-level now!

    What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?
    1. “Conceive, Believe and Achieve” – adapted from Napoleon Hill
    2. Start small but think HUGE!
    3. Sell, then build!

    What’s been your toughest obstacle?

    Going through so many demos and pitches with NHS personnel in 2021 from practice-level to  federation to NHSE and AHSN-level – all of whom immediately grasped and valued the SMART Workforce platform  only to say “but I don’t know how to pay for it,  which pot of money would it come from?” – it can be very testing and we often feel like truffle hogs foraging for the truffles at times!

    What’s been your innovator journey highlight?
    • Co-desiging the SMART workforce solution based on real customer needs. For example, we provided visibility and clinical assurance for the whole of the national programme in Northern Ireland (350 GP Pharmacists across 17 federations with 30+ line managers”
    • Of course, being selected to take part of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator Programme in 2022 – knowing that others also believe in the transformative nature of the SMART Platform.

    Best part of your job now?

    Having the freedom to innovate and evolve solutions to meet customer needs and best of all, seeing the real impact and difference our services have on confidence and competence of HCPs. 

    If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

    Overcome resistance to change.

    A typical day for you would include…
    • My days are quite long and I tend to do most of my thinking and creativity in the morning if possible.
    • Quick check-in on our “musts” for the week with the Soar Beyond team.
    • Some social media – Twitter or LinkedIn.
    • Pitches and exploratory meetings with pharma or NHS clients.
    • Internal scoping meetings on project delivery or product development.

    Where can we find you?

    Visit our website or follow us on Twitter @workforce_smart and @SoarBeyondLtd