Focus on the benefit rather than the innovation

Spread and adoption - benefitFocus on the why rather than the what: take a system needs focus [Pull, attractor] rather than an innovation focus [Push]. This means explaining the benefits for patients, staff and carers and the system, to the adopters. See individual principle for more information.

Create a shared narrative that has local meaning and importance to help communicate the benefits of the innovation and articulate a shared purpose.

Create a Pull for the innovation [receptive context] by sharing the benefits and shared purpose, to increase understanding and investment in the innovation, generating motivation and activating agency to build a ‘crowd ‘or community to provide the energy for change and to build and maintain momentum.

Creating a pull for an innovation helps create increase likelihood of sustainability and subsequent scale and spread. The sustainability of an innovation is directly influenced by the spread approach taken, greater and earlier involvement increases the likelihood of sustainability.

An innovation needs to significantly address a local strategic, agreed priority.

Consider how the potential benefit of the innovation may differ across contexts and reframe as may be necessary.

Each context is unique which presents the challenge of predicting how an innovation will work in that context, the benefit it may create and what is needed for the innovation to be adopted, adapted and routinely used in that setting.

Consider how much and the type of evidence of benefit needed by adopters

The benefit gained may be the anticipated impact of the innovation or may be other unexpected benefits delivered during the process of spread. See learning principle of more information.

Recognise and reward the adoption, spread and sustainability of an innovation.

Learning gained on the adaptation needed when used in different settings helps inform what local adaptation will be needed and the likely benefits realised.

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Applying this principle to practice

Consider these questions which will be of varying relevance depending on your context.

  • Why is the innovation worth spreading and adopting?
  • Can you communicate clearly this ‘why’ with others?
  • Who and how will this innovation provide advantage? And who will lose something?
  • How and in what way will this innovation meet a local strategic need?
  • How well understood and agreed are your local needs?
  • What is the local expectation of benefit from this innovation in your context?
  • Do you need to reframe the expected benefits for your context?
  • How will the actual benefit, intended and unintended, be measured?
  • What evidence is needed to gain commitment?
  • How will spread and adoption be recognised?

You may find the following helpful, also see practical tools and methods, further resources and systems convening

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Read the glossary

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