Healthcare & Retail Transformation Leaders Share Their Story 


Transforming an organization is less about the sector and more about the cultural approach.

At first glance, a major global retailer and a public sector healthcare provider are completely different. Their approaches to transformation are completely different; after all, the way they garner revenue is totally dissimilar. One relies on paying customers, and the other reaps revenue from taxation.

The truth, though, is that both share a number of similarities, and the journey to transform the way their organizations operate could—and does—follow a similar path.

Richard Corbridge and Sarah Moorhead are jointly sharing their transformation stories to help peers and organizations understand that the challenge is shared. They strive to dispel the over-used “we are different” excuse, which creates a barrier to change. 

Moorhead is the Associate Director of Digital at the Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, and Corbridge is the Director of Innovation at UK pharmacy retail chain, Boots, part of the Walgreens Boots Alliance. Medicine connects their organizations, and Corbridge is a former health service Chief Information Officer (CIO). The duo share a long track record of digital technology change in their careers, deciding to work together to help their respective markets understand that when it comes to change, retail faces similar challenges to healthcare. But perhaps more importantly, they aim to show that no matter the sector, change is achievable. 

“The NHS is a complex organization, and our transformation is about hooking all these parts together digitally” 

“The journey that we are going through in the NHS is one of collaboration, and if we don’t do this journey, the NHS won’t survive beyond 2025,” Moorhead said of how her digital objective is about changing the way organizations operate. “Innovation is about the sharing of the new,” agrees Corbridge.

“The NHS is a complex organization, and our transformation is about hooking all these parts together digitally,” Moorhead adds. 

For both sectors, part of that transformation relies in acknowledging that traditional models of healthcare are no longer suitable; this will lead to greater collaboration between retail and healthcare providers. “The lines are blurring between high street and healthcare, and that is due to the demand,” Corbridge says. As these organizations come closer together, both Moorhead and Corbridge are having to modernize internal processes to ensure that collaboration is possible. “Any organization that is 170 years old has one or two silos,” Corbridge quips. 

“The way we all work has already changed; it is not something on the hill approaching us,” Corbridge says of the impact of technology across society. 

How To Change

Moorhead and Corbridge are not digital and innovation leaders that seek to impose their doctrine. In fact, they speak together to demonstrate and encourage collaboration in organizations and to inspire the sharing of ideas. Both have used social media tactics to get members of their respective organizations to step forward with their ideas for how to improve the organizations. Moorhead explains that as well as capturing ideas, it is vital to build and share concepts and products.

“We use the tools of ‘show and tell’ because we have to keep the clinical teams engaged, as it is their product,” she says of how Agile development methods are vital in the high-pressured environment of a major hospital. Corbridge agrees and adds that a development at his organization “has to stimulate the customer and the colleagues,” a similar demand to that of Moorhead’s. 

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