I’ve been thinking quite a lot about change this last week; how to make it happen, how to get others to join in and how to keep the change alive. In magical serendipitous moments over the previous 7 days I have connected with people who seem to be thinking the very same thing. Steve Marshall @Photodialogue started following me on Twitter and to my delight I discovered Steve’s blog at PhotoDialogue this week is all about those beautiful, mundane, ordinary, day to day conversations that bring about and sustain change.
Then I had one of those very conversations. I joined with a small group of Australian colleagues to talk with some highly motivated change agents in the UK at the NHS (Helen Bevan , Damian Roland and others) about something really quite remarkable- NHS Change Day. A powerful social movement that started with a tweet. NHS Change Day was about harnessing the creativity, innovation and energy of 1.5 million people who work for and with the NHS by mobilising a grass roots movement of people.
“Change Day 2013 was an extraordinary moment in the history of the NHS. It taught us that large-scale improvement is possible and that the best way to do it is through collective commitment, action and by keeping it simple. It was about making big change happen, not just thinking about it, analysing it or suggesting how to do it but by simply doing something better together.”
A social movement about improving the quality of care for patients across the NHS that started with a tweet and grew into a day where 189,000 people made a pledge to do something small but profound on a single day : to make a difference!
Pledges could be made by individuals, involving a personal action taken just by themselves. Other pledges could involve a larger number of people across an organisation taking collective action.
Some people pledged to smile, others to take the time to add extra care in the hurried daily work regime, or to encourage their colleagues that together they could make a difference. Others joined forces and made changes that were larger in scale and more innovative. No matter the size of the pledge when you put 189,000 together you get something quite amazing happening. This amazing and inspiring effort has been shortlisted for a Management Innovation Exchange award .
Together on the phone for one hour last week we talked across the time zones about the possibility that Australia and other countries could join with the UK and turn NHS Change Day into a Global Change Day for health care. What would that look like? Would Australia get behind this global effort? I think YES.
This is just the very beginning of an idea but I’m completely captured by it and freerthinking is taking up the challenge. I will be tweeting and blogging updates on this seed of an idea that I hope will grow into a Global Change Day – if this is something you feel excited about drop me a message or follow me on Twitter @FreerMary so you can join in.
postscript 15 Oct 2013 – Change Day 2014 is really coming along in Australia – check out this Change Day – Overview and get involved. Be the Change