A Symposium, a Social Influencer, and a Virus Walk Into a Bar…

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We often think about change starting with a firework - new information and ideas shared via a viral video, a major publication, or a keynote speaker. Our concept of change is defined by what we all (now) understand of how a virus spreads, from one individual outwards. In this model, a new idea moves outwards through “weak ties,” often seeming to appear overnight and dominating every conversation. But does this necessarily change people’s behavior?

Turns out, the research shows that people are more likely to change through “strong ties,” which function less like a firework and more like a fishing net. “Strong ties” leverage our close connections and networks, influencing change more effectively and with more lasting impact. This made us reflect on how we decide which instructional strategies and formats we use when tackling the education we produce. For example, which content is best addressed via a symposium vs a Grand Rounds session?

How do YOU see this concept in our work in continuing education? We have some ideas. Let’s connect!

Check out this episode of Hidden Brain to learn more.

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