Creating improvements can be challenging and is dependent on the people who work in a team or service having a collective desire to make change happen. An early and important step that will help to overcome complacency and generate this desire comes from having open and honest conversations that establish a sense of urgency. This should be done at the very beginning of an improvement effort.
Generating a sense of urgency will help people to understand why change is needed. No system is perfect and there are always opportunities to improve – things that could or should be done better. Developing a compelling case for change using stories and data will help to generate the will and momentum to make changes that lead to improvement.
A sense of urgency can be created by making space for a team to reflect on the current state. This could involve looking at relevant data, listening to experiences of service users and colleagues and reconnecting to the core purpose of the work the team does. Some helpful questions include, whose needs are we meeting? What is the deeper meaning and purpose of our work? What opportunities do we have? What threats do we face?
Using a blend of these approaches can be very effective. There are many creative ways to bring people together to explore and create improvement opportunities and we have included some links to tools and further resources below that you may find helpful.