Bart Muskala says companies that do ‘story doing’ compared with those that do ‘story telling’ are more likely take action, change things and introduce new solutions and services. He cites evidence showing a marked difference in share price growth between the two types.

Four issues resonated with me from this article.

  1. It’s relatively easy and cost effective to test and validate new ideas these days (Plan Do Study Act in change management lingo).
  2. We are often held back from taking action for change while we wait for the interpretation of ‘big data’ to help guide and inform change.
  3. Identifying and creating value for consumers has to be done cross-departmentally (not just by one department).
  4. The best ideas and concepts come from collaborating with others internal and external to the organisation.

Access to and interpretation of big data is probably the issue I encounter most frequently in the NHS.

If we can get those hard-hitting statistics to hand quickly (e.g. errors, omissions and misunderstandings during handover contribute to 70% of serious adverse incidents), we’re on solid ground for getting started with our PDSA cycle and trying out something new. If we can’t get the data quickly enough, then we have a problem – we can’t design a whole new way of doing things on a hunch. Or can we?

That brings me to my next challenge, which is: how do I build a community of people internal and external to the organisation, who want to see the same change as me? That’s where social media and crowdsourcing have a role to play. Building a community of supporters would strengthen my cause. In the ‘relationship era’, this could be my biggest missed opportunity.

Questions for reflection:

What about you? Which of the four issues presents the biggest challenges for you?

Or have you got advice for myself and others, on how to overcome them?

Which of these issues is the most important for us to focus on in health and care, to speed up the effectiveness of healthcare improvement?