Medtronic: Leaning Into Change

It took a pandemic to break down barriers to innovation. Is this wave of ingenuity here to stay?
Jul 10, 2020 8:00 AM ET

No individual, industry, or country was ready for coronavirus. Traditional systems continue to buckle under the strains of disruption, forcing years of change in a matter of months. Every day, doctors and nurses don their armor of latex, plexiglass, and cotton. They're backed by supporters big and small: from manufacturing and healthcare companies to parents-turned-mask-makers, and 3D printing entrepreneurs.

Like many large companies, we often measure breakthrough ideas at Medtronic in months or years. But this virus quickly became a catalyst for remarkable change. It showed us we could contribute to human welfare in even greater ways than we thought possible. We joined forces with other technology companies and unlikely partners. We combined resources and expertise. And we weren’t alone in our ingenuity — fashion chains started designing personal protective equipment and companies around the globe began manufacturing ventilators.

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