About spread and adoption – a new mindset


What’s in this guide

These webpages contain what you need to enable the spread and adoption of complex innovations to improve health and care outcomes, efficiency or experience for patients and staff across your health and care system.

This guidance offers seven interconnected principles and a way of leading to apply them in practice, developed from existing knowledge and experience. The tools and support and case studies pages will help you apply these to your work along with the further information pages which provide a depth of detail and knowledge.

Aimed at system leaders, local and national, in all sectors particularly leaders of large-scale change and those with responsibility and interest in increasing the adoption of innovation in practice.

Back to top

How to use this guide

If you have limited time but would like a taster start with seven interconnected principles, systems convening and case studies.

If you have 15 minutes start with the basics of new mindset, seven interconnected principles, complexity principle, leadership principlesystems convening and case studies.

For a longer read start with new mindset, seven interconnected principles and systems convening, then follow your interest.

A glossary has been included which explains the terms used in this guide.

Read the glossary

Back to top

Why a new spread and adoption mindset?

What is the new mindset?

Spread and adoption is not a linear, predictable activity but a dynamic, iterative process that requires good relationships, flexibility and adaptability. This, therefore, needs a mindset that matches this complexity and a move from a planning and programme management mindset alone towards an enabling one, which also embraces emergence.

The new spread and adoption mindset is focused on people and relational aspects of spread and adoption and on creating a ‘pull’ from staff and patients for innovation and improvement.

In creating a ‘pull’ it is important to harness the energy and motivation of a group wider than innovators and enthusiasts, both in developing the innovations and in the spreading of them. Gaining wider insights, needs and input leads to shared ownership and a wish to adopt the innovation.

A habit of learning needs to underpin our work so that we seek, reflect and share our learning as routine.

National and regional funded spread and adoption initiatives mainly utilise a ‘push’ approach focused on the innovation.

This mindset  is useful at all levels within local, regional and national organisations focused on policy, system working, and local place-based care.

What challenges the new mindset?

There are many polarities, such as local priorities and national priorities, planning and working with emergence, old power and new power all of which require particular skills and knowledge. Taking a different approach and demonstrating the advantages achieved, whilst working within the existing culture.

Examples of success

For examples of successful spread and adoption of complex innovations see our case studies page.

Back to top

This guidance is primarily offered to support system leaders. Please send all feedback here.