Spread and Innovation

Spread and adoption

How to get the good stuff to go further.

Readable text version

Enabling Spread and Adoption of Innovation and Improvement – Emerging Thinking

Innovations and improvements don’t spread as widely as we need them to. We need a new mindset and way of approaching spread.

Horizons emerging thinking is focused around seven principles and the model of system convening which are derived from the literature and experience.

We believe these seven principles and the model of system convening will significantly help increase the spread and scale of innovation and improvement.

What is spread?

We see spread as a:

  • ‘dynamic, reciprocal interacting, iterative and evolving activity’
  • ‘developmental, contextualised, adaptive, learning and social process’

So definitely not a not linear and mechanistic activity.

How to increase spread and adoption?

We offer seven interconnected principles, shown in the diagram, which are important aspects to consider for spread

  • The individual
  • Networks
  • Value
  • Innovation Development
  • Complexity
  • Learning
  • Leadership

The model of System Convening involves:

  • Matching approach to spread with complexity of the situation
  • Applying the seven principles in practice
  • Providing enabling activities delivered by a team or a number of people
  • All levels in the system

More details of the seven interconnected principles and model of system convening are available in our EXPO 2019 slide set here

More about spread, adoption and system convening

Read more in our spread blogs:

Case studies

These case studies illustrate how the 7 spread and adoption principles and the model of system convening apply in practice.

  • A winning partnership – System Convening combined with Programme Management improves patient experience: full video here, short video here and blog here
  • A winning combination: programme management with system convening to develop and spread the BASIC STEP tool in North West Ambulance Service (NWAS): video here and blog.
  • Spread, adoption and systems convening: the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) falls framework: video here and blog ‘Complexity and System Convening – a lightbulb moment.


Case Study from AHSN network

Improving Detection and Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation Across England, April 2021 details here

Further reading

Get in touch

This page will be updated as our thinking progresses. Any comments or questions please contact Diane Ketley or via @DianeKetley

You can also follow the hashtag #nhsSpread on Twitter.

Page last reviewed: 15 July 2021