Action Learning Collaboratives combine learning and action to optimize performance and elevate impact.

  • Action learning is a powerful method for empowering people to solve problems and build skills through applied learning.
  • An Action Learning Collaborative combines collaborative learning with focused action to optimize performance and elevate impact.
  • A Collaborative can be sponsored by an association, foundation, public agency, or other organization interested in bring collaborative learning and improvement.
  • A Collaborative can serve individuals or teams from multiple organizations within a community or across one or more professional disciplines.
  • A Collaborative can extend anywhere from three months to 12 months or longer depending on the scope of work and the interests of participants.
  • Key development steps for creating a collaborative include:
    • Select a Focus.  Select a focus for the collaborative based on needs and interests of the sponsor, the prospective participants, and the communities they serve.
    • Engage Participants. Engage individuals or teams from multiple organizations.
    • Define Goals. Help participants define practical goals for learning and action.
    • Design the Program. Design an action learning program that is responsive to the goals of the sponsors and participants.
    • Facilitate Learning. Facilitate learning through a tailored set of group learning sessions, webinars, and online resources that enable participants learn from subject matter experts as well as other Collaborative members.
    • Support Action. Support action with coaching, data, tools, and technical assistance to help participants implement what they are learning through the Collaborative.
    • Optimize Performance.  Track improvements in performance resulting from learning and action.
    • Elevate Impact.  Identify links between performance improvement and positive impact for the participating organizations and the community they serve.
  • Professional associations can use Action Learning Collaboratives is to deliver learning and action supports to members at an efficient cost with demonstrable results.
  • CHS has produced action learning collaboratives for a variety of professional associations representing community health centers, community behavioral health organizations, free and charitable clinics, hospitals and health systems, nursing, and medicine.
  • This recent example illustrates just some of the possibilities:
    • Sponsor. The sponsor was a statewide primary care association with federal grant support.
    • Focus. The focus was to help participants build capacity to achieve and sustain Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition.
    • Participants.  Participants included PCMH development teams from 20+ community health centers.
    • Goals.  Participants defined goals for building capacity and gaining PCMH recognition.
    • Design. CHS worked with the sponsor and the participants to design an action learning program.
    • Learning. Teams participated in onsite group learning sessions, topical webinars, and an online toolkit focused on building specific PCMH capabilities.
    • Action. Teams built and documented their PCMH capabilities during action periods between learning events.  Action period supports included coaching, data, tools, training, and technical assistance.
    • Performance. All participating teams obtained or sustained PCMH recognition from NCQA or the Joint Commission.
    • Impact. Thousands of patients benefit from receiving care in a robust medical home, and organizations benefit from team learning and development.
  • Foundations can use Action Learning Collaboratives to help community organizations build capacity and collaborate for collective impact. .
  • CHS has produced action learning collaboratives for foundations that address child health, chronic care, oral health care, primary care, telehealth, and more.
  • This recent example illustrates just some of the possibilities:
    • Sponsor. A regional health foundation.
    • Focus. Improving safety net health care for uninsured adults with chronic conditions.
    • Participants. Local health care organizations including free clinics, a rural health center, a community behavioral health organization, two health systems, a public health agency, and a pharmacy access organization.
    • Goals.  Participants define their own goals for chronic care improvement based on the Chronic Care Model.
    • Design. CHS works with the sponsor and participants to design, refresh and refine the action learning program.
    • Learning. Participants engage in monthly learning sessions focused on identifying needs, sharing promising practices, and developing collaborative strategies for improvement.
    • Action. Participating organizations implement the Chronic Care Model and other key strategies during action periods between meetings. Action period supports include coaching, data, tools, training, technical assistance, and a shared online resource center.
    • Performance. Participants periodically report on their innovations and quality metrics related to chronic care.
    • Impact.  Thousands of community members benefit from enhanced services provided by participating clinics.
  • Public health agencies can use Action Learning Collaboratives to help local public health departments and their community partners collaborate for health improvement.
  • CHS has produced action learning collaboratives for public health agencies that addressed early childhood screening, cancer screening, hypertension, and diabetes.
  • This recent example illustrates just some of the possibilities:
    • Sponsor. The collaborative was funded by federal grants with state-level management.
    • Focus. The focus was to help local public health professionals engage community partners in collaborative initiatives for community health improvement.
    • Participants. Participants included teams of three to five people from local public health organizations
    • Goals.  Participants defined goals for learning and action based on performance requirements of their federal grant requirements.
    • Design. CHS worked with the state public health agency and participants to design a responsive action learning program.
    • Learning. Participants engaged in a series of onsite group learning sessions supplemented by webinars.
    • Action. Participants developed and implemented action plans based on their grant requirements.  Action period supports include webinars, coaching, data, tools, training, technical assistance, and a shared online resource center.
    • Performance. Participants demonstrated their progress by sharing logic models, evaluation plans, and progress reports at group meetings and during individualized technical assistance calls.
    • Impact. Participating teams were able to develop or strengthen public/private partnerships for community health improvement, and as a result, help more community residents obtain health services and supports.
  • An Action Learning Collaborative is an efficient vehicle for supporting a wide range of cross-sector partnerships.
  • CHS has produced collaboratives on behalf of partnerships between professional associations, foundations, and public health agencies.
  • This recent example illustrates just some of the possibilities:
    • Sponsor. Three statewide associations and a state public health agency, with federal grant funding.
    • Focus. Helping interprofessional teams of health care providers strengthen their competencies for interprofessional collaboration and leadership.
    • Participants. Interprofessional teams of three to five people from organizations in health care, public health, and other community organizations.
    • Goals.  Each team defines its own goals for learning and action within the general focus of the collaborative.
    • Design. CHS works with all of the partners and participants to design a responsive action learning program.
    • Learning. Participants engage in four onsite group learning sessions over a nine month period with expert faculty presentations and facilitated peer learning opportunities.
    • Action. Participating teams work together on a ‘capstone project’ designed to address a real challenge or opportunity affecting their organization or community.  Action period supports include webinars, coaching, data, tools, training, technical assistance, and a shared online resource center.
    • Performance. Participating teams deliver a ‘teach-back’ presentation at the final session to share their accomplishments, insights, and lessons learned.
    • Impact. Participants report positive impact on their personal development and team development, as well as positive impact on the people they serve resulting from their capstone project.

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