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Managing change in your partnership

All health justice partnerships (HJPs) will face change – in personnel, priorities, partners, funding and policy environments. Effective communication goes a long way in riding the ebbs and flows of change. A partnership change strategy is a useful communication tool that can help remove the guesswork for how partners respond to change, and guide them through some of the toughest, most destabilising environments.

Reaching agreement early about what change will look like, what will be needed to support it, and periodically reviewing what has been agreed will help in building equitable, transparent and purpose-driven partnerships that meet the needs of all partners.

Your HJP’s change strategy doesn’t need to be a laboured exercise. Like everything in partnership, it just needs to be fit for its purpose; good enough to aid collaborative decision making and identifying a process that is mutually beneficial; and a value add to effective and efficient communication, accountability and decision making.

This resource provides a template for developing an HJP change strategy in four different scenarios: translating, trying something new, deepening engagement and scaling back or winding up. Each scenario contains a series of statements for you and your partners to respond to when co-creating your change strategy.

HJP change strategy: a template

Download the full resource for a printable template that runs through the following four scenarios to help you and your partners create a change strategy for your HJP.

Download the full resource. (0.26 MB)

Change scenario 1: Translating

Translating the work of an HJP might involve taking its key lessons and applying them to another service or setting; or growing the existing approach by bringing on new partners or teams.

Change scenario 2: Trying something new

It’s not uncommon for one or more partners to want to try a different approach or something new in their HJP. Examples might include the desire to start a new collaborative activity like case conferencing or the development of a new process designed to support how partners work together, like an HJP change strategy.

Change scenario 3: Deepening engagement

Deepening or building a different kind of engagement across your HJP might occur when you face the loss of key personnel, and with them key relationships and corporate knowledge; or when one or more partners feels as though buy-in for the partnership’s work is slipping. (Hint: this often comes down to unclear or uncommunicated expectations and identified mutual benefit.)

Change scenario 4: Scaling back or winding up

Scaling back in your HJP might occur when one or more partners is faced with competing demands that will require a shift in their focus for a period of time and the current way of working cannot be sustained, for example organisational restructures or changes to funding. Winding up will occur if the HJP identifies that the partnership is no longer the best tool to achieve the outcomes sought.

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