These are a few of the discussion guides and frameworks Signal Key uses in its work with our clients. Most of these tools focus on learning and change management at the level of daily work processes, where strategy becomes reality, or not. These are most useful when used by a staff team, as part of a systematic approach to getting better results. Signal Key’s health care clients, for example, have used these tools to fix care for patients with complex needs, improve dental health for young children, and to scale up new tech-enabled services such as telehealth visits.
Improvement Leadership Reading List
Leadership is a personal journey, over the long haul. Hunter maintains this one-page list of the books and articles that have stuck with him the most as a manager, that he refers to the most in his teaching. There are classics and lesser-known reads here, covering change management, quality improvement, and good habits for management and for self-management.
Quality improvement, which is organized work to get better results in regular team processes, requires a lot of small tests of new ways to do things. The problem? It’s easy for busy people to leave lots of small tests in their wake, without harvesting the lessons and adding them all up to get a new reliable way to work. This simple table is one tool to use to stay organized.
Value Pathway: Pilot to Standard - a doodle
This is a hand-drawn doodle from a lunch meeting between Hunter and a colleague, and shows a pathway for learning and documenting better ways to do things across a learning network. Here, that network is community health centers, “CHCs” in the diagram. (It’s also an example of one of Hunter’s areas of personal development, the use of visual facilitation in his teaching.)
Spread Aim and Plan Worksheet
Hunter teaches “Spread” when he teaches quality improvement, which is taking what works for the innovative small staff team, and scaling those specific new ways of working to either an entire organization, or across a network of organizations. Spread does not happen by magic. This is a way to organize that part of innovation and improvement work.
Sustainability Framework: The Three Anchors
Related to Spread but different is Sustainability, which may be the hardest part of any change effort. How do you keep the better new way going, long-term, particularly at the end of a focused project of learning and action? The Three Anchors help you decide 1) what exact changes you need to hardwire and whose job it is, 2) what you will monitor and measure to know how it’s going, and 3) how you will communicate and manage (without resorting to nagging and worrying).
Sustainability Work Plan
This work plan supports the Three Anchors Framework, leaving you with clear actions to take to keep your smart solutions going. It’s the antidote to the “what if we lose ground?” worrying that leads to general “I just want to remind everybody” nagging around the workplace.
Simple Process Map How-To
There are many, many guides available to support process mapping. But the ones we tried to use over the years were way too detailed. Signal Key coaches needed a simple guide to support the version of process mapping we do to help teams step back and see their work as a system with multiple people working together in a series of action steps. So we made our own. Two pages, three shapes instead of 18, swimlanes included.