In this article, we hear a high level summary of pertinent findings from a study by researchers at UC Berkeley, “Leaders’ use of moral justifications increases policy support”.

Improvement, quality and safety must sit at the heart of what we do in health and care. Therefore finding new and more effective ways of improving adherence or compliance to policies and protocols is key. We know that threats and control are not the answer (maybe in the short-term, but not if we want lasting, transformational change). When was the last time you were ‘told’ to implement a new way of working or protocol in a top-down fashion, or indeed, when was the last time you gave the order without much thought for the ‘moral justification’?

When you think about it, it’s not surprising that when rationale for change is couched in morals, it is more likely to tap into our values, beliefs and emotions. Gaining shared purpose is much easier when you values lie at the heart of action. It all comes down to head and heart: engage the heart and the head will follow.