Introducing: IHQC’s Thursday Thoughts Series (3/19/2020)

Welcome to the first edition of our new Thursday Thoughts series!

IHQC’s new Thursday Thoughts is a brand-new weekly newsletter, reflecting on our QI programs and content, sharing resources that might be of help during these unprecedented times, and perhaps sending along a smile and a quote or two.

If you’d like to share a story of your improvement work, a resource that you find helpful, or just a quick note – please reach out to us at

Time to Adjust Our Sails…

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In our quality improvement programs, the discussions ultimately lead to the topics of managing and facilitating through change – building skills to adapt, effectively communicate, and “adjust the sails.” In our work, in our homes, and across our communities, so much change is upon us right now.

So for today’s Thursday Thoughts, we offer some reminders and 3 of our favorite resources about change theory and change management.

Successful change management includes:

  • Regular and Effective Communication – Regardless of what model and framework for change you prefer (e.g., Kotter, Heath, Chang, etc.) managing change requires regular and effective communication of:
    • The vision for the future;
    • Expectations for everyone involved in the change;
    • The status – what is happening, where are we at;
    • What is staying the same throughout the change?
  • PacingRecognizing what is possible – in the “now” and over a longer period of time – and setting a realistic pace for change.
  • Balancing the Head and the HeartAcknowledging that there are inevitable emotional connections and reactions to changes and finding respectful balance between both.


Kotter’s 8 Steps of Change (downloadable PDF)

Switch – How to Change Things when Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath (video)

Upstream by Dan Heath – A new book by Dan Heath that explores how we can break the cycle of response and reactivity by shifting our mindsets towards upstream interventions to help prevent problems before they happen. For those who find themselves working on root cause analysis work or embarking on initiatives to address patients’ social needs, we think you’ll find the opening chapters particularly interesting as Dan explores the common barriers to upstream thinking: problem blindness, lack of ownership, and tunneling.

We are all problem solvers and change agents in many aspects of our lives right now – personal and professional.  So the most important reminder we offer is: pace yourself, and be kind and gentle – with your families, your colleagues, your patients, and with yourself. We will “adjust our sails” and find our way through.

Bridget Hogan Cole

Bridget Hogan Cole, MPH, is the founder and Executive Director of the Institute for High Quality Care.

Bridget Hogan ColeIntroducing: IHQC’s Thursday Thoughts Series (3/19/2020)