Your Improvement journeys – with Dominique Bird, Head of Capacity and Capability

We asked delegates at our conference to share their personal improvement journeys, what’s next for them and what support they need. I was overwhelmed with the responses we received, and how many of them chimed with areas we had focused on earlier that morning.

Themes of clear connections and dedicated support, advice, mentoring, access to a network of expertise, wider improvement skills training, leadership for improvement and behaviour change, came through, with comments such as:

‘not sure where or whom to go to if I wanted to start an improvement project – I have some of the basics, but feel a bit isolated’

Improvement Wall

‘help in understanding what organisational approaches lead to improvement and what supresses it’

‘assistance with leverage to influence organisational and system-leadership to support improvement’

‘more coaches, leaders with appropriate training and influence for change’

There were also comments on the need for time, space and the complex nature of change needed – ‘some more complex improvement tasks need much more than a training course’. We hope that the introduction of our new Improvement Academy will help address a number of these requests for further support. The Academy will offer more than just training and be the place to help strengthen those connections and support networks. We’re also still working on the solutions and developing our new elements in light of the feedback we get from improvers.

In my last blog I looked at the need to focus on conditions for improvement, connections for improvement and then capability for improvement, and at the conference we launched the Academy cwtsh, which brings these three concepts together:

The Academy’s underlying principles will be to support embedding an ethos of improvement through these three aspects:

Conditions – how do we create the wider system conditions that means when teams are having a go at improving they are given the time, space and trust to test, and perhaps fail, but more importantly learn from their failures and test again to build their learning.

Capability – how do we build the improvement skills within the teams, so that they can start their improvements with confidence – and for those who are already on that journey, how can we develop them further to support and coach others locally, or broaden their improvement skills wider.

Connections – how do we ensure that those with the improvement expertise, or topic expertise, are linked together with those who need support, advice and guidance, and knowledge of what has worked elsewhere, so the principles can spread – not the exact approach.

Improvement needs to be considered in its broadest sense. Don’t forget only 20% of Improvement is about technical skills, 80% of it is about relationships – something we hope that you can further develop with our help.

Share your improvement journey with us on Twitter #TogetherWeCan #ImprovementCymru