This issue of The Edge appears at a time when the formal evaluation of The School for Health and Care Radicals, undertaken by the research team from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is about to be published. You can download the preliminary materials about the evaluation of the school from The Edge website.
What strikes me is how many parallel themes there are between the outcomes of the evaluation and the pieces that have been selected for this edition of The Edge.
Nearly 7,000 local change activists signed up for The School for Health and Care Radicals in 2014 and 2015. The school is based on principles of social learning; i.e., we learn more about actionable change by connecting with other people with a similar mission than we do from so-called change experts. And the evaluation suggests that the school was very social; 49% of people participated in the network of learners and 52% took part in the online tweet chats during the modules.
The evaluation survey showed that the school experience had a positive effect on every dimension of impact tested, covering both individual and organisation-level metrics. Often, learning programmes will show a positive effect on some impact measures but it is very unusual to show a positive score on EVERY measure. The impact areas fit with many of the themes in this issue of The Edge:
Theme one: building knowledge about change. This is about developing our own skills and wisdom as leaders of change so that we get better outcomes from our change efforts. This is a strong theme amongst the collection of pieces in this issue of The Edge. See A new way of defining the workplace: everyone can be a changemaker. An interview with Adam Lent of Ashoka by Stephanie van de Werve, Supporting clinicians to drive improvements and delivery of new models of care in the NHS by Felix Mukoro, The Quantified Organisation: people-powered digital transformation by Lee Bryant and 5 Design Principles for Life by Phuong Mai.
Theme two: Building a sense of purpose to drive action. This is about supporting people to connect with their higher purpose and values and to be motivated to change and improve things. In this edition of The Edge you can get advice from How Petr Švancara created a movement by Adi Gaskell, How Reddit the business lost touch with Reddit the culture by Adrienne Debigare and David Weinberger, How to motivate your team by Bear Grylls, Seven Things Only Weak Managers Say by Liz Ryan and The epidemic of managing without soul by Henry Mintzberg.
Theme three: ability to challenge the status quo. This is about having the skills and confidence to make a difference. In this edition of The Edge read How speaking up can save lives by Rona Flin and Superheroes and change agents by Simon Terry for inspiration.
Theme four: managing to thrive survive as an agent of change and improvement. It’s tough being a “boat rocker. This is about the ability to keep paddling and not fall out of the boat. There is sound advice in Confounded by the unknown: without a paddle by Julian Stodd and Everyday leadership by Drew Dudley.
Theme five: connecting with others to take collective action for change. As we have said constantly as part of the school, “the number one rule of being a health and care radical is that you can’t do it on your own”; we have to join forces with other people. These pieces in this issue of The Edge will help: The revolution will not be centralized by Greg Satell and How Twitter users can generate better ideas by Salvatore Parise and colleagues.
We will continue to use content from The Edge to improve the curriculum of The School for Health and Care Radicals. We will continue to co-create the content for The Edge with the learning community of the school. Please keep your ideas and experience as part of both flowing. It is the most connected, capable people who will change the world.
This editorial was written by Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer of NHS Improving Quality. Follow her on Twitter at @HelenBevan.