Leadership Engagement Bootcamp: Exercise 4: Convene a Diverse Team
Assembling a team for a quality improvement (QI) initiative is a lot like finding players for a game of kickball on the playground – there needs to be a diverse set of skills to fill key positions and ensure success. And building a well-rounded team can go a long way towards earning engagement from senior leaders.
Team members with diverse and unique perspectives, skills and backgrounds can help support the success of a QI initiative. The varied team members can lend voice to the intended effects change would have, whether they’re the ones who are creating and testing the solutions or the ones who would benefit from them.
“An array of voices helps contextualize why change is necessary,” says NICHQ Director of Programs Meghan Johnson, MSc. “Diverse voices provide leverage for getting leadership buy-in. They show that an initiative isn’t change for the sake of change and that it would support a large group of stakeholders and constituents,” says Johnson.
Who should be part of a QI team? These are some key people who should be considered:
- Front-line Staff – The stakeholders whose processes and procedures will change as the result of QI can demonstrate pain points in systems for senior leaders. Having these staff members contribute to an initiative shows that there is desire to evolve current practices.
- Cross-Disciplinary Contributors – Because every QI initiative is unique, experts should be included to steer the overall work and ensure that it maintains its course. Data analysts, healthcare specialists and improvement advisors can work with other stakeholders and empower them to create long-term change.
- Families – Family partnership is crucial to improving any aspect of children’s health systems, whether it’s in one community or the entire country. Hearing directly from families about the challenges they face can guide teams towards identifying areas for improvement and strategies that could benefit every family. Using QI on the family level can help enact real change.
Ultimately, QI is always a collaborative effort, and earning leadership engagement is one as well. Forming your team and bringing in contributors from every level shows senior leaders that the initiative already has support.
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Throughout this year, it has become clearer to many that the hard truth of the racism that shaped our nation requires us all—now, today—to acknowledge and address its impact in our health care systems and in ourselves. That's why we're sharing a collection of NICHQ articles and webinars that your community found most valuable in their equity journeys.