STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT NAVIGATOR | Dissemination, Implementation, Communication, and Engagement
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Liberating Structures' Discovery and Action Dialogues

Discovery and Action Dialogues (DADs) are lightly facilitated, brief conversations with a group, unit or community to discover new solutions to a shared challenge by identifying “positive deviant behaviors and practices.” Positive deviant behaviors and practices are behaviors, practices, and solutions currently in use by high-performers that may be adapted or replicated by others with similar resources or circumstances.

far fa-dollar-sign fa-sm Budget (e.g. personnel, space, equipment) Low Medium High far fa-user-clock Time per interaction I expect to engage stakeholders for... An hour or less Half a day A full day far fa-calendar-check Number of interactions I expect to interact with stakeholders... 1-2 times Appx. 5 times 10+ times Engagement Purposes far fa-scrubber Identify and explore new perspectives or understanding far fa-scrubber Identify which topics are most important to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Develop research questions relevant to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Select outcomes and measures that matter to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Refine and help implement effective recruitment strategies far fa-scrubber Investigate best ways to successfully implement a study, based on stakeholder insights far fa-scrubber Disseminate findings to relevant audiences far fa-scrubber Design strategies for translating research into practice far fa-clock Time Frame

20-70 minutes

fal fa-tasks-alt Workload LIGHT MEDIUM HEAVY
Appropriate Applications More useful for: far fa-scrubber Allowing participants and equal opportunity to contribute far fa-scrubber Generating new ideas/innovating far fa-scrubber Sharing differing perspectives and ideas far fa-scrubber Developing an action plan far fa-scrubber Solving complex problems locally far fa-scrubber Generating sustained change far fa-scrubber Building relationships between people in diverse functions and levels that otherwise don't work together to solve problems far fa-scrubber Quick engagement Less useful for: far fa-scrubber Expecting findings generalizable to the larger population far fa-scrubber May not be useful for engaging stakeholders with differing agendas Key Characteristics Resources Needed fas fa-money-bill-waveMoney far fa-scrubber Consider providing food and/or monetary incentives, especially for non-staff participants fas fa-paperclipMaterials and Resources far fa-scrubber Paper or flipchart to record far fa-scrubber Space with seating fas fa-usersPersonnel far fa-scrubber 5-15 participants far fa-scrubber Facilitator far fa-scrubber Recorder/Note taker How To Invite people to identify solutions to a shared challenge that are hidden among people in their working group, unit, or community. Anyone interested in solving the problem invited to participated in the DAD. State the purpose of the initiative being discussed and briefly explain the DAD process. Invite brief round-robin introductions. (5 min) Ask 7 progressive questions (below) one by one and in order. Address the questions to the whole group and give everyone the opportunity to respond to each question. Your note taker should be capturing insights and potential action items as they emerge. (15-60 min)
  • 7 Questions:
    1. How do you know when problem X is present?
    2. How do you contribute effectively to solving problem X?
    3. What prevents you from doing this or taking these actions all the time?
    4. Do you know anybody who is able to frequently solve problems X and overcome barriers? What behaviors or practices made their success possible?
    5. Do you have any ideas?
    6. What needs to be done to make it happen? Any volunteers?
    7. Who else needs to be involved?
After going through each of the questions, the note taker will summarize insights, decisions, action items (what, who, when), and who else needs to be included (5 min) Schedule a follow-up regarding the action items. Repeat the process as needed to continue exploring solutions. After the first few DADs, staff who Adapted from
Tips Hold the DADs where the participants work or live to minimize obstacles for participation The facilitator should maintain eye contact and sit with the group (not higher or away from the group). Avoid statements like "that's a good idea" and leave space for participants to make their own assessments. Variations One-on-one conversations: Use the same sequence and type of questions to guide one-on-one conversations. Virtual engagement: With virtual groups, use the chat function to share answers to each question, then select powerful stories/behaviors/actions to be vocalized with the whole group. Examples Discovery and Action Dialogues are one of many “Liberating Structures” that can be used for group discussion and brainstorming. They are most often used in healthcare, business, education, and other environments to inform organizational change, improvement, or innovation. The Liberating Structures website has a variety of “field stories” and examples. As a tool for stakeholder engagement in health research, there are relatively few examples in the literature. Given group facilitation and discussion is a common activity in stakeholder engagement, application of Liberating Structures such as DAD is an opportunity to advance the field. References / Other Resources

The Stakeholder Engagement Navigator is a service of the Data Science to Patient Value Initiative at the
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

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