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| 4 minutes read

International Fellow Horizons Team, Days 8 and 9 #jodemeontour

My final two days with the Horizons team have been exceptional.  Our focus was on how to create movement for change by leveraging virtualization. The Horizons team has an ambition to ignite, fuel and prove that virtual connectivity allows us to power radical change.   And they are demonstrating just how impactful it can be.  

Virtual collaboration is the most emergent way to catalyze radical improvement.  It is not about the technology, it is about how it's used and for what purpose.  Virtual collaboration is 90% relational and 10% digital.  This is why it is so powerful in bringing people together to connect, generate, iterate and grow as a community.  

The way we make change is changing and virtual ways allow us to connect with more people than ever before (at Scale/Scaling up), while having a personal connection with everyone (Scaling down/Mass customization).

The team hosted two sessions about virtual connectivity at IHI is Glasgow, one which was interactive and allowed us to showcase work done in this #newpower way and another where the Horizons team created a live simulation.  

To prepare for the sessions, the team was huddling in real time before and after each session.  The goal was to maximize the performance of every person on the team.  Each of us had an integral role and together our impact would be greater than any one persons contribution.  Some of us presented on the stage, some were curating the Zoom platform, others were participating virtually, and some were coordinating the on line interactive component.  Helen said to everyone: We are here to change the world and the ways to make change happen.  It is about relationships and creating shared purpose.  Lets show everyone how this can be achieved, like never before in the field of improvement, because of virtualization.


The IHI delegates were buzzing from these two sessions. They saw how relatively simple it is to start and they learned of the impact.  There were hundreds of light bulb moments for the people who joined and each of us had a line up of people telling us their stories of wanting to connect to people across different geographic areas and how challenging it has been and the opportunity with virtual communities.

The Horizons team showcased examples of mass customized engagement:

Example 1

Imagine this, you have a vision to improve the perceptions of nursing in the NHS.  How would you go about it?   Squirel away in your office and write a proposal? Put a new committee together, develop a terms of reference and organize meeting after meeting to discuss and develop an action plan? Hold a one day in person conference? Write a white paper on how best to improve the perceptions of nursing?  

What if, instead (or in addition, if you must), you connected every nurse in the NHS, through a virtual platform, so they could come together and create the way to change the perception of nursing.   Connect all front line nurses in the NHS in order to build a community who are engaged and working together.  This is what the Horizons team did with the nursing leadership of the NHS.  Their goal was to change the perceptions of nursing so that kids would grow up seeing the value of nursing as a profession. Bev Matthews, nurse clinician and leader, leads this work and more information can be found here.

Example 2

I had an opportunity to showcase the virtual community we have just launched in North America

We know that there are many integration efforts happening across Canada and the United States, yet very few of them are linked with each other.  Our vision was to convene a virtual community so that we can learn from each other so we can realize the potential of integrated care, by working together in shared purpose.

We wanted anyone who is involved in #integratedcare to be part of this virtual community.  This means funders, policy makers, researchers, those in formal leadership roles, clinicians and patients and their families/caregivers/carers. Let's break join the silos across integrated care and come together to grow and learn for faster adoption and improvement. Lets do this virtually.

The key message, the way to catalyze radical change and meaningfully engage people to create movements for change, it to leverage new ways, virtual ways.  There is evidence to support this, 'opportunity costs' quantified, and most importantly, the speed and quality of the change increases.

The Horizons team has just launched #virtualcollaborate to build the skills of others to engage through virtual ways.  Learn more about it here.

Also, don't forget to join the School for Change Agents, also hosted by the Horizons team.  The team isn't kidding, their purpose is to make the world a better place by building the capacity to create radical improements.  In May they will have close to 15,000 people joining their virtual, free, community. Register here.

Almost all forms of meeting and interaction can be moved to a virtual format with no loss of effectiveness, if trust and good relationships are established and sustained. Joe Nandhakumar and Richard Baskerville Trusting Online: Nurturing Trust in Virtual Teams