Co-Creating a New Era of Change

Posted by: NHS Horizons - Posted on:

Originally published by Leigh Kendall – 8th August 2018

Alumni and friends of The School for Change Agents from all over the world joined together recently to co-create a new era of change. 

We’d invited our alumni and friends to help us co-produce the re-write of our White Paper: The new era of thinking and practice in change and transformation: A call to action for leaders of health and care.  Written in 2014, the original White Paper has been the key source document for the School of Change Agents, and summarises the key themes of School.  

An update is needed to reflect the rapidly evolving thinking about sustainable and important change driven by engaging and inspiring those working in health and social care. 

The purpose of the session is to capture examples of great practice in sustained change which illustrate learning and inspiration from the School’s key principles: we’d like to extend a huge thank you to all those who took the time to attend the session, and to share their ideas. 

If you missed the session, the recording is available here

During the session, we asked participants what their feelings were when they read the first White Paper. Making change happen can too often be a lonely pursuit, so hearing that the original White Paper helped them to feel less alone in their activities striving to make change happen; helped them to understand their own motivations; and helped them to help others was really heartening. 

We also looked at the enablers from the original paper (image below), and discussed what new enablers would be useful to include in the update.

Ideas for the new paper included: 

  • Connection to young people, and appropriate language for this group; 
  • Mindset; 
  • Joy at work; 
  • Hope; 
  • Citizenship. 

The original White Paper has 15 actions (you can see them in the image below): this number of actions can be difficult to remember. A smaller number of actions – say four or five, can be easier to remember – what actions should we choose? 

We had a useful discussion about what actions would be most useful. Suggestions included: 

  • Taking personal responsibility;  
  • Freedom to fail;  
  • Ability to reflect;  
  • Communication; 
  • Being careful about language that we use such as ‘heretic’ or ‘rebel’ which has negative connotations – although on the other hand, this language can also reflect the courage it takes to stand up and be counted. 

Last week’s co-production session is just the beginning of the process. There will be lots more opportunities to get involved. We’d love to know your thoughts on enablers and actions, as well as about how our alumni have used their School learning at work. We’d also like to know: 

  • If you would like to be more involved in designing and writing the new White Paper – if so, how? 
  • How we could design even broader involvement in co-designing the new paper; 
  • Tell us…New Era 2.0 will be successful if… 

You can get in touch with us on Twitter: @Sch4Change #s4ca or email us at

The next cohort of The School for Change Agents will take place in 2019. Sign up to get the latest news and updates. 

I really want to make it as good as it can be. Please keep engaging as we get this draft to a finished article that we can all be really proud of and can take energy and guidance from. Let’s go from strength to strength with this! Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer, NHS Horizons