Friday, 29 June 2012

4 Story Telling Toolkits

An important leadership competency is the ability to tell stories - not the pumped up fantasies but rather the real examples of things that have happened. It's these stories that motivate others.

Here are four resources you may find useful in helping you craft your stories.


  1. A Story Telling Toolkit from The Education Arcade.  A fairly standarrd guide, though useful as it covers all the bits and pieces you need to think about when writing up a story.
  2. If you fancy yourself as a reporter, then check out CNN's guidelines on crafting a story. I like the advice they give as it is focused on how it will attract the reader's attention.
  3. My most favourite collection of advice for telling stories is from the Knowledge Sharing Database. It includes a variety of activities you can use n meetings and workshops to gather and analyse stories.
  4. If what you're looking for a bullet point version of some advice, then try this one from the United Nations



Wednesday, 27 June 2012

NEAR:Narrative Evaluation Action Research - Resource Guide

From "down under" we've got a great resource in the form of a toolkit, including all the background information and evidence, on how to gather healthcare stories that are part of an evaluation process.

It includes case studies (from Victoria, Australia) as comprehensive set of resources with guidance for their use.

You can download the document here (it does take a little while)

The list of resources below is from their Contents page:


"Resource A Initial Department of Human Services narrative guidelines 2002–03 ........ 30
Resource B Revised narrative guidelines 2003–2004 and 2004–2006........................ 31
Resource C Project information resource............................................................... 33
Resource D Annotated bibliography of useful readings ............................................ 38
Resource E An agency reflection on ‘first time’ narratives........................................ 44
Resource F Some questions to guide narrative evaluation ....................................... 47
Resource G What makes a good narrative? ........................................................... 49
Resource H A planner or checklist of questions for narrative action evaluation writers . 52
Resource I Extract – A practitioner reflects on the value of narrative action evaluation 54
Resource J Marjorie Oke and the hydrotherapy story (Vale)..................................... 55
Resource K Map of levels, voices and styles .......................................................... 69
Resource L The Northcote Hydrotherapy case study (extract CDIH collection 1st Edition
 Edition 1988) ............................................................................................... 58
Resource M When training your own trainers (DIY) to extend skills in writing narrative     
action evaluation............................................................................................... 64
Resource N Example of plain language description and consent form (ethics)............. 66
Resource O Supporting narrative evaluation in a community health setting................ 68"

Monday, 25 June 2012

Test, Learn, Adapt: Developing Public Policy with Randomised Controlled Trials

A good friend, Bill Russell, told me about a paper produced by the UK Cabinet Office calling for Randomised Controlled Trials for Public Policy. I was sceptical. When he told me Ben Goldacre (author of the excellent book, "Bad Science") was involved I was intrigued, and then wondered whether it was a spoof. But it isn't.

Hallelujah!

This paper is required reading. [update: new link] I commend it to you all and especially those I've been trying to convince for years that spreading improvements or innovations can have an ethical bias - how do you know it's a good and effective thing to spread?

And when you've read it - read it again. This has to be the best paper I've read for some years.

(I hope someone has passed it on to the Department of Health and the NHS Commissioning Board.)

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Research Scan Service from The Health Foundation

I love it when an organisation, as part of their general offering, provides support for busy people. The Health Foundation has an excellent research scan service which picks up what has recently been published, assesses it, and then sorts it all into easy to access topics.

Highly commended.

You can sign up for free access and to receive regular updates.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Do middle managers matter in healthcare improvement?

There are libraries full of research and case studies on how doctors (and increasingly other health professionals) as well as executives, influence the implementation of healthcare improvement and innovation.  Middle managers, the cream in the ├ęclair (often squeezed out) have not been in the headlines. But there is a new paper out which looks at their role and its importance. More research is needed.



Implement Sci. 2012 Apr 3;7(1):28.
Uncovering middle managers' role in healthcare innovation implementation.
Birken SALee SYWeiner BJ.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Focusing on High Impact changes in the NHS may be damaging. Try MIME instead.

Identifying the "top 10" or the "top 5" high impact changes that NHS organisations can implement - then pushing them to do so, has consequences.

1. Unless the identified high impact change is shown to be generalisable (that is it has been tested in different contexts and a similar result has been achieved), then there is a significant probability that the change may not be high impact at all.  When we take one result from one place, then roll up the possible benefits across all organisations we are making a fundamental mathematical, and change process, error.   If we do want to do large scale mathematics then we need to know the baseline at each potential organisation, the match in context to the originating result, and then do a weighted calculation across the system.

2. Not all high impact changes are equal - in the amount of effort and resource (read ££££) they take to implement. A great result may sound good, but if it takes so much resource to implement that the payback time is 10, 15 or even 20 years, then yes it is high impact - but not in the way intended.  The challenge is to find a way to get the impact - but with less cost associated in the process of doing so.


MIME = Maximum Impact, Minimum Effort.


(and of course, LIME, low impact, maximum effort, should always be avoided)

Do your "high impact" exhortations meet the MIME challenge?