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Activating Agency with the Psychology of Change

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​At the outset of an improvement project, it might seem straightforward to apply an evidence-based intervention to a problem to get results. However, people's resistance to change  be it adopting a new process or behavior  is part of the change process. Status quo is a powerful force to overcome.​​​​

If you have a high degree of belief in a quality improvement solution and struggle to get results, or if you encounter team members who are resistant or apathetic toward adopting new processes or behaviors, join the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's (IHI's) Activating Agency with the Psychology of Change online course​ to get the adaptive leadership skills and tools you need to address the human side of change.​

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​​​What You Will Learn

After completing this 9-week virtual course, you will be able to:

  • ​Identify and address adaptive barriers to change
  • Explore improvement through W. Edward Deming's lens of psychology in the System of Profound Knowledge
  • A​​​pply methods from the IHI Psychology of Change Framework with your improvement team​​​​​
  • Activate people's agency to commit to improvement
  • Co-design with the people affected by improvement in ways that are meaningful and workable to them 
  • Co-produce change by inquiring, listening, seeing and committing to others in authentic relationships 
  • Distribute power so people can contribute their unique assets to bring about change  
  • Tap into sources of intrinsic motivation to galvanize individual and collective commitment 
  • Adapt as you and your improvement team learn and iterate to be effective  

Methods include:

Focusing on the human side of change is essential to successfully improving health and health care in the short term —​ and scaling and sustaining that change over time.

  • Identifying sources of resistance to advance improvement work
  • Co-designing improvement aims with the people who are leading change alongside you.
  • Practicing open and honest questions and deep listening as part of an intentional relational strategy
  • Developing snowflake structures for distributing leadership and identifying practices for execution
  • Using storytelling methods to prioritize and commit to improvement on the basis of shared values.


Who Should Attend

This online course is open to improvers who struggle with motivating individuals or teams to change or improve. To get the best results, we encourage organizations to participate as an interdisciplinary team.

  • ​Senior Leaders​
  • Chief Quality Officers
  • Point-of-care staff
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Managers
  • Team Leaders​
  • P​atients, Family Members, and Carers​​​​