Issue Selling: An Organizational Change Strategy for Sustainable Interprofessional Education Programs

Sunday, Jul 29, 2018, 4:15 pm - 5:45 pm

Cerra and colleagues identified lessons and success factors for interprofessional practice and education (IPE), including appropriate allocation of resources and engaged senior leadership. But the processes of attracting the attention of leadership and securing resources are complex, dynamic, and multipronged. Educational organizations are dynamic, reflecting complementary and competing priorities and/or areas of responsibility.  Establishing sustainable IPE requires active and well-equipped change agents, capable of directing and redirecting leaders’ attention over time.

Issue selling is an organizational change strategy, designed to affect others’ attention and understanding of organizational priorities. Because no issue is inherently important or strategic, the effectiveness with which advocates present its importance and relevance (that is, their issue selling) determines in part, which change initiatives get activated at the organizational level and which ones are sustained.

Attention to contextual knowledge including Packaging, Involvement, and Timing is critical to successful issue selling. Using this as the basis, Slapcoff, Winer and Dobler created a framework for deploying projects of significance in educational organizations, adapting the elements of Communication Strategies, Stakeholder Engagement, and Processes.

Equipping IPE innovators for large and long-term investment requires that we pull from multiple sources of information and engage new partners. In this workshop, experienced IPE leaders will describe the ways they have used the issue selling framework to develop tools, communication strategies, and processes to transform health sciences education across eight disciplines and nine campuses, for more than 1,500 learners. 

Participants will share ideas based on the framework and adapt the strategies for their own institutions.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe leadership and faculty engagement as key challenges in implementation of IPE initiatives in educational organizations.
  • Use issue-selling as a framework to address these challenges, enabling successful deployment and sustainability of IPE initiatives in educational organizations.
  • Acquire knowledge and tools to use issue-selling strategies within their own context, attending to Contextual Knowledge, Communication Strategies, Stakeholder Engagement, and Processes.   

Short bursts of information dissemination, followed by participants working in a think-pair-share format, and in small groups, facilitated by workshop presenters as needed. A worksheet and targeted questions will be used to walk participants through the framework and its various elements and to prompt productive conversation around key concepts.

Interprofessional Continuing Education

This activity has been planned and implemented by the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education. In support of improving patient care, the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team. The intent is to provide accreditation and continuing education credit for this workshop. For questions regarding continuing education, please email