Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Spread and large scale change are a battle about perception

So often we focus on the "what" needs to be spread and "who" needs to change their behaviour. My recent experience is that success is more about perception. It is more about understanding the current views of others and then working to enable perceptions that relate more closely to the desired result.

For instance, in patient safety, many healthcare staff have the perception that they are dealing with harm (a sick patient) and that death is a natural consequence, often regardless of their actions. (I knwo that is a generalisation, however, I have a point to make...) In this context where the view is one of inevitability of harm, then it is mightly difficult to implement changes aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality.

Instead, think about an organisation, or clinical team, which has the world view that it is possible to have a hospital with patients where hospital acquired infections don't happen. "Not on my watch" says the Senior Nurse. Here, their curiosity is about how to maintain a good performance, and even how to obtain it. There is a gap between their perception and their reality and they want to fix it.

So I'm wondering whether we would be better off helping with the perception change rather than asking people and teams to carry out projects designed to spread good practice and to implement large scale change. How do we "market" what we need so as to help create new world views?

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Blogging best practice

Over the last few months I have been meeting up with groups and organisations who want to dip their toe into the social media soup yet are concerned they have need a policy and/or are worried about what is /isn't kosher when it comes to blogging and twitter etc.

I acknowledge the need to develop some guidelines that both enable the best of blogging yet manage corporate requirements. This reminds me of the early days of email when some organisations felt email was very risky and clamped down on it with many rules and regulations. As time went on, the wisdom of the crowd took over and a "norm" was established.

The book "Groundswell" - see my book review blog for a review if you're interested http://www.mybookblurb.blogspot.com/ - has a page http://blogs.forrester.com/groundswell/2004/11/blogging_policy.html listing Blogger Code of ethics which I like. There are also some links in there to publically available corporate blogging policies, like Harvard University, Sun Microsystems.

The BBC has a simple page that makes sense to me as being sufficiently practical without being onerous http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/advice/personalweb/blogging.shtml

Working in healthcare and think that blogging isn't relevant? Check out 100 Best Health Care Policy blogs and see what is on offer and the potential impact they are having http://www.rncentral.com/nursing-library/careplans/100_best_health_care_policy_blogs

Or if you need a more research based approach then have a look here http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2008/12/15/research-papers-on-business-blogging/

If email is your only means of electronic communication then maybe now is the time to test something new to add to your skill base.

Blogging best practice policy checklists

Over the last few months I am meeting up with groups and organisations who want to dip their toe into the social media soup yet are concerned they have no policy or ground rules for staff to do this. Why do they want to blog - well, various groups and different answers. However, a continuing theme amongst all of them is in finding a way to reach out to others to share their experiences, news, views and opinions - often about products or services they are working with. They are seeking new ways to enable others to learn about and adopt their prodycts and services.

A good place to start when developing your own strategy is

a) avoid reinventing the wheel

b) use existing checklists and guidleines such as those provided by the blogcouncil http://blogcouncil.org/disclosure/

c) be brave and know the genie is already out of the bottle and know that success is in how much you let go rather than how much you control

Using Twitter in Healthcare

If you need to get a message out quickly and provide receivers with the mechanism to comment and to spread the message onwards, then www.twitter.com may be useful for you. Maybe you want fresh links to medical journal highlights, healthcare policy changes, knowledge management, patient opinion - whatever - there is a raft of formal organisations on Twitter as well as 3 million+ other users. Twitter is a free micro-blogging system that allows its users to send and read other users' updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based messages of up to 140 characters in length.

Another blogger has created an excellent list of 140 things to do with Twitter in healthcare. To see Phil Baumann's list go to http://tinyurl.com/8tzwvz

If you have an example of Twitter in Healthcare then please leave a comment in this blog.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Watching conversations; the impact of social media

Normally we'd hear conversations, but now we can also watch them. How? With the growth in social media use, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, we are able to hold conversations out in the open, for anyone to read or interact. So what used to happen in relative private between a few people is now something that can be available to many others.

There is obviously a good side and a not-so-good side to this. For the paranoid / those who like to control what is said, then this is a very scary notion. Do you know who is saying what about you / your organisation / your product? There are a variety of systems around that search the online conversations and let you know when someone does speak up on your topic (New Stuff for Change Agents for some links to these sites).

On the good side, think just how rapidly information can pass from one person to another. The first photo available from the plane that landed on the Hudson river was posted on Twitter - within minutes of it happening. The online network then spread it about very quickly.

How will you be tapping into social media in 2009 in order to enable the spread of good practice and large scale change?

Monday, 5 January 2009

Social Marketing Campaign Diagnotic Tool Free Download

Download the tool for free from http://tinyurl.com/9gajn3

So you’ve decided to to use a social marketing approach? You may already have
drawn up plans for your campaign. The purpose of this tool is to provide you with a
checklist where you can run through some key aspects and assess your progress.

When to use this tool:
When starting a campaign; it will help you think through all the steps
When plans are already drawn up; you will have the opportunity to reflect and test before you start
When you have already started; you can check your progress against the items in here and assess where you may need to carry out some
additional work on a contingency basis
When you have completed; the headings in this tool provide you with the basis of an evaluation

How to use it:
􀀵 Calculate your scores
􀀵 Make notes
􀀵 Hold discussions
􀀵 Reflect
􀀵 Act on any changes you think may be necessary

The tool covers
1. How the campaign is defined
2. How the problem is defined and understood
3. Choice of comunication strategy
4. Implementation system