Yesterday, our team met with representatives from Serve and Connect to talk about how readiness could be applied to scaling and improving their work in police-community relations. Using readiness is already a part of a project they are implementing in the 29203 area code in Columbia, SC that looks to improve youth outcomes.
In particular, we spent a fair amount of time discussing how readiness can change over time; that it is not a static condition. This has particular importance once the initial engagement-glow has worn off. We shared the below slide with them that shows some of our data from our community coalition work. This figure show data from three different timepoints for three coalitions. In some cases, a readiness sub-component has gone up...in others, it has gone down.
What are some of the implications of this? First, readiness should be considered not just at the beginning of an innovation, but during implementation, scale-up, through to sustainability. This is one of our core premises. Readiness is important throughout the innovation life-cycle, not just in the pre-adoption phase.
Second, if we can expect that readiness will change, we can use this knowledge to proactively plan to make sure supportive structures and process are in place. For example, if we know a key leader is planning on leaving, or that staff has a certain amount of turnover, we can implement techniques to distribute skills and knowledge so it doesn't walk out the proverbial door. Methods like this can help to sustain readiness, which in turn sustains quality implementation.