Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Spread or Adoption? Which terminology works best for you?

Do you talk about spreading good practice or helping other to adopt good practice?

The difference is one between push and pull. Spread implies a push out, top down and hierarchical approach and adoption suggests we are unable to do the change and that the best we can do is help someone else to do it.

It sounds subtle but the difference is significant. Enabling the pull is difficult to do using a top down approach in the organisation. Yes, it is not only possible but downright useful for the organisational leaders to create a context and structural environment that enables professionals to be aware of and be able to implement existing good ideas. However, the application, the changes, are made by those who are affected by them, not the leaders.

It sounds to me that in the last year or so healthcare around the world has started to use the phrase large scale change to take the place of spread and adoption. I wonder whether this is due to the difficulty of the original two words?

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