Sustaining and Embedding Innovations - wiki JISC Sustaining and Embedding Innovations / Who is responsible for influencing and facilitating change
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Who is responsible for influencing and facilitating change

One of the key issues that innovation project teams are faced with is that projects have a start and an end and project budgets do not typically extend beyond the end-date. Furthermore, those who undertake innovation projects do not always have a mind-set relating to embedding innovations – they would often rather move on to the next innovation project. This is particularly true for academics, whose “reward” mechanisms relate much more to innovations than institutionally embedding their innovations.


Project teams therefore need to transfer “ownership” of their innovations elsewhere in their institutions and typically have to work “within the system”. Experience within the sector has shown that the devolved “change agent” or “champion” model can work effectively for promulgating innovations e.g. where teaching fellows or blended/e-learning champions within faculties/schools/departments are assigned responsibilities for facilitating the embedding of innovations.


It is also possible to consider students as change agents – a number of institutions have appointed students as mentors to staff to help staff adopt e-learning techniques e.g. The University of Hertfordshire Business School.



Highlight messages from the JISC Innovation Forum (JIF2010)

David Rose

  • There are 3 innovation stages (a) invention (ideas) (b) early innovation and (c) systemic innovation – each stage needs different kinds of people and exponentially growing funding.
  • Successful innovation is not a feat of intellect but of will.


Wilbert Kraan

  • A Community of Practice is the best place to sustain project outputs.
  • Sustainability does not mean forever; it can mean long enough.


John Burke

  • Sustainability is about business change and requires a long-term Change Manager to be in place until the change is embedded.
  • Sustainability is everyone's responsibility - therefore everyone must be convinced of the need.
  • A focus on end benefits is essential.


Heads of faculties/schools/departments are also key people to influence and facilitate the uptake of innovations – as they are often the budget/resource holders and can ensure that innovations are embedding into faculty/school strategies and business plans. However, project teams need to understand the needs and mind-sets of such heads of faculties/schools. They are not necessarily likely to be so fascinated by technology for its own sake – rather, they will be more interested in, for example, QA/QE, costs/resources and risks – therefore project teams will need to make a suitable case for embedding their innovations. There is also a practical issue to address – some heads of faculties/schools/departments might be very “distanced” from innovations, therefore project teams will need to help them understand the impact of the innovations in the context of what motivates and concerns them.