At a recent awayday for a team in Sweden who are working to improve the experience of life for the elderly, I had the fortune to listen to and work with Bodil Jonsson. I was thinking out loud and expressing my concern that the use of the word “spread” may allow people using it to disengage with the reality of what is involved. There is an ease by which leaders say “spread”, and then disengage themselves from the detail of what it means. So insteadI tend to use “implementation” as this word, to me, has a more active feel, and directs the users to consider what might be involved.
Bodil suggested the Swedish word “forverkliga” (please imagine the two dots on the o). This means to make real”. This was a light bulb moment for me. Think about guidelines; is the issue to spread them, to implement them – or to make them real. I like forverkliga because reality is made in one’s own context, thus enabling adaption, without further explanation And making real is far more than the objective task of copying another’s good idea. Instead it is the process of taking another’s idea and focusing on the added value to, say, the patient; unless something is made real, there is no value.
In my mind’s eye I say websites full of stories and examples, of guidelines and exhortations – and at once, saw useful information, that was of no value unless “made real”.