The Change Guide

Creating change isn't easy. There has to be a willingness from all participants, a clear plan of action, the necessary resources, and a way to follow up to ensure your efforts have a lasting effect. The Ida Institute's Change Guide offers a step-by-step process to aid individuals and teams to make changes in their practices. In this month's feature, we break down the different elements of Change Guide and look at a successful case study from this year.  Because sometimes the most difficult part of making a change is knowing where to start.

The Appreciative Approach

Success and the Appreciative Approach

Sarah Lewis describes what it means to take an appreciative approach to change and why focusing on the positives and moving the team forward through conversation can help you be successful.

Ideas Worth Hearing

Visualize Hearing

Visualize Hearing

Organize an art exhibition where artists portray hearing loss through art!
Ears on Wheels

Ears on Wheels

Cycling organizations can raise awareness with their members and throughout the community!

From the editor

Effecting a Change to Person-Centered Care

When we have become accustomed to doing things a certain way, integrating something new can be a real challenge. . .

Change has a funny way of creating resistance.  Anyone who has ever tried to initiate new procedures or new programs is familiar with the natural reaction of resistance from would-be participants. In a clinic, resistance can occur even when you are trying to implement positive change with acknowledged benefits for clinician and client, such as the using tools and techniques that support the implementation of person-centered care.

How you try to implement change can have a huge effect on how it is received by your employees and colleagues. Studies as early as 1946 have shown that when changes are dictated to employees rather than involving them in decision making, both morale and productivity fall. More recently, behavior scientist Murray Sidman identified that that workplaces that force change through a fear of negative consequences experience lower morale and productivity. So how can you introduce a new idea or initiative to your workplace in a way that will be well received and embraced by everyone?

The Ida Institute developed the Change Guide to help individuals and entire clinics agree on goals, plan strategies and successfully adopt new methods that promote person-centered care.  The online tool is designed to help clinicians who want to begin working with the Ida tools in their daily client interactions or who wish to introduce the tools to colleagues or staff in a clinical setting.

Jerusha reflects on how easily the Line was integrated into her clinic through the Change Guide and the Appreciative Approach.

Introduced in 2013, the Change Guide represents the collaborative thinking of hearing and healthcare professionals from around the world who participated in Ida Institute’s “Managing Change” seminar.  The three-part seminar series explored the realities facing audiologists, barriers to change, and strategies to move ahead. 

What are the benefits of the Change Guide?

  • Get people on board in only three hours
  • Turn around resistance
  • Gain consensus behind your new initiative
  • Move forward with a simple action plan
  • Successfully adopt new methods in your practice
The Change Guide is based on an appreciative approach to change that has its roots in the Appreciative Inquiry methodology. Rather than focus on barriers to change, you and your team reflect on what works well now and how you can do more of that in the future. In their book Appreciative Inquiry for Change Management – which influenced Ida’s Change Guide – authors Sarah Lewis, Jonathan Passmore, and Stefan Cantore challenge the approach of Scientific Management. Scientific Management assumes there is only one efficient, correct way to do a job, run a business, or manage a team. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach ignores the people at the heart of the challenge. If we want a person-centered approach for our clients, why wouldn’t we also take one for our workplaces? 

Five Simple Steps to Positive Change

Ida’s Change Guide provides an easy-to-implement five-step process that employs a combination of step-by-step change activities, videos, case histories, and reflective exercises. By introducing changes through simple steps, everyone has time to adapt, ask questions, and develop a joint understanding with their colleagues about what is being implemented and why. As a team, you can investigate new and/or improved ways of practicing and adapting to new tools and methods – all while improving communication within your team.

Five Simple Steps to Change

  • Develop a shared understanding of what person-centered care means to your team
  • Identify what helps or hinders and select focus points to create change you want
  • Prioritize and create action steps to reach your goals
  • Reflect on positive changes to keep momentum and motivation going
  • Evaluate long-term progress to ensure you can sustain positive changes

Weaving a Web for Successful Change

The Spiderweb component of the Change Guide is a highly visual and powerful tool to help you track your team’s progress toward more person-centered care.  This easy-to-use survey tool allows team members to share their thoughts as they move through the change process. It encourages collaboration and shared decision making that help to create ownership of the change process and ensure more long-term results.

A quick 5-8 question survey evaluates the focus points your team identified as critical for integrating the Ida tools into your clinical environment. On a scale from 1-5, team members indicate to what extent they think these focus points are present within the clinic today.

You can use the survey throughout the change process as a “check point” so that you and your team can see the progress made over time as everyone becomes more comfortable with integrating the Ida tools into daily practice. The survey submissions are anonymous, so your team members can share their thoughts openly and you can get honest feedback.

While the Spiderweb and other components of the Change Guide work best as team exercises, there is also a process for individuals. You may find, however, that even if you can’t get all of your colleagues on board, using the Change Guide with at least one other person can benefit both of you as you can support each other and compare notes about your experiences.

Change doesn’t happen overnight, but using the Change Guide can help you bring sustainable, positive change to your clinic. “The time you invest using the Change Guide is also time you invest in your colleagues and your practice,” says Ida Institute Managing Director Lise Lotte Bundesen. “New policies aren’t always readily adopted in any workplace. We want to help clinicians at every level introduce new ideas to their work and their colleagues that foster a lasting, person-centered change in hearing healthcare.”

“I find what we have been able to develop together really exciting and I think we cover a very wide ground with what we have agreed. It is important to us that clients can feel that we have their interests at heart. It is wonderful that we will now standardize this approach across all our shops. It is important that our clients experience the special quality of our fittings through our use of Ida’s Line, Box and Circle tools.”
— Birgit Hahm, Owner of Hörakustik Hahm

Case Study: Hörakustik Hahm

Ida Institute Learning Specialist Ena Nielsen recently led a series of workshops on the Change Guide and Ida’s Motivational Tools for the staff at Hörakustik Hahm, a chain of five hearing clinics in Oldenburg, Germany.  Ena reports that the Motivational Tools and the Change Guide process received high marks from all participants as they steadily make progress toward more person-centered care with each session.  She was also pleasantly surprised to hear the Change Guide suggested as a way to implement changes in the clinics unrelated to Ida tools!