Encouraging new/introvert QI council members to lead a QI project

Mon, 11/16/2015 - 23:32 -- gkroberts


Our QI Council has been meeting for about a year now. Due to high turnover, about half of the council is new. Does anyone have suggestions on how to encourage new/introvert QI council members to lead a QI project? Currently, it seems that the same few individuals are leading projects, and I would like to get the others more involved.

The one thing that has worked is to encourage new team leads to facilitate and tell them that I will be there for support; and that I really want them to gain experience so that they can do it on their own. This has also backfired and ended up with me leading the facilitation, which I didn't mind in the first year but need to change now that the QI culture is growing.

Thank you!


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4Sloan's picture
Submitted by 4Sloan on

This year our entire staff completed the 16 Personalities (Myers/Briggs) assessment and shared the results in a couple of all-staff meetings. It was both interesting and informative to learn from one another about how we are each so uniquely gifted. The 16 types are categorized into four basic types: Analysts, Sentinels, Diplomats, and Explorers. Of course, each of these four basic types is composed of two introvert types and two extravert types. I think leadership can come from any type but each type will lead differently so having expectations about how it "should" be done might cause an extrovert to jump in before the person with an introvert orientation has the opportunity to find their stride. I know this is something I tend to do being on the extreme end of the introvert dimension. Anyway, you might want your council memebers to take the assessment, read the more in depth profiles, and share with one another how this information applies to project leadership.It could be a good discussion. You also might want to read Daniel Goleman's article "Leadership that Gets Results" in the Harvard Business Review from March-April 2000. It talks about leadership styles.

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Submitted by denisepavletic on

We have issues with the quality council members not regularly attending the council monthly meetings. I have done brainstorming sessions with the group to find out what the facilitators are and what the barriers are to attending-I think it boils down to priorities.  Any thoughts?

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Submitted by gkroberts on

Thank you both, @4Sloan and Grace! That is a great idea and resource.

@denisepavletic, don't be discouraged, I have encountered that same problem with our QI Council. At first, I tried to schedule the bimonthly meetings 6-8 weeks out, and individuals had the oppurtunity to attend via videoconference if they were at a different location. I also sent calendar requests, and an email reminder prior to the meeting, which seemed to help for some people. But then I took a different approach and politely asked those team members that consistenly didn't have time for the QI Council meetings to nominate someone else in their department to replace them. I explained the importance of having all departments represented and not overloading that one person with another responsibility that could be delgated to middle management or front-line staff. This helped a lot. Another tip could be to ask your leadership to make an announement on the importance of QI so that it is priority for the agency.

One last approach to recruit new members was to send a mass email asking for representatives for the programs currently not on the council. I emphasized the benefits of gaining leadership experience, resume-building projects, project recognition via storyboards and conferences, and networking opportunities involved to try and recruit those inviduals looking for this type of experience. This also helped get those people involved that truly wanted to. 

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Gurleen Roberts, MPH
Director of Quality Management
Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Marietta, GA

Submitted by tkane on

Great question Gurleen! You could try to recruit a handful of new/introvert QI leaders to complete their first project as a cohort. I've tried this strategy in the past and it's been pretty successful. I'll throw out 5 tips for mistake-proofing this endeavor:

  1. Develop a clear & concise plan for the cohort. This will help ensure that QI leaders involved in the cohort understand the timeline and your expectations.  
  2. Send a meeting invitation to the QI leaders for milestone dates such as: 1) project launch, 2) mid-point check-in meeting, and 3) a project wrap-up session. These meetings may help participants remain accountable to the process. 
  3. Help the QI leaders identify achievable and meaningful improvement projects with clear measures. 
  4. Provide technical assistance & resources as needed, especially when you sense the team is nearing a bottleneck, but empower the QI leaders to seek answers and overcome obstacles on their own. Remember, the goal is to build new QI leaders, not to do the work for them. 
  5. Encourage each QI leader throughout the process. 
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cgizzi's picture
Submitted by cgizzi on

Great conversation!

Gurleen, I like your suggestion to politely ask QI Council members who consistently miss meetings to nominate a replacement who would have more time to participate. I have seen that successfully work, with one caveat. The original QI Council member needs to completely delegate his/her decision-making authority to their replacement. This is typically only an issue when a manager or director is the original QI Council member and then delegates to a subordinate. It's helpful for the manager/director to understand that the QI Council needs to be able to make decisions during the meeting, without checking in for approval. I've seen managers/directors be fully supportive of that delegation, once it's explained to them.


Cindan Gizzi, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Dept. and Public Health Centers for Excellence


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