Ways of working together in co-design

There are core capabilities and behaviours that support people to participate successfully in a co-design process. They are applicable to all members of the co-design team, including executive sponsors.

Co-design is about the ways we think, behave and work together, as well as the steps and actions we take throughout the process.

At any point in your project, it can be helpful to think about the way you are approaching the work, your team and stakeholders. When switched on and maintained throughout a project, the CORE behaviours – collaboration, openness, respect and empowerment – demonstrate a strong capability in, and a commitment to, working in partnership to co-design health service improvements.

Developing co-design capabilities

The diagram below highlights the key capabilities needed for effective co-design. Once mastered, these behaviours can be applied in any setting to promote true partnerships with others.

Click on the tiles below to find out more about each capability.

Filter capabilities

Valuing lived experience

Lived experience is a kind of expertise and insight that is critical to ensuring that health service design is going to meet the needs of patients, consumers and families. When including lived experience in our work we commit to:

  • Listening to and enacting what matters to other people – wherever possible.
  • Listening without minimising when these experiences differ to ours
  • Creating meaningful opportunities for people to engage
  • Ensuring participation is safe and considerate of past negative experiences and trauma

One way to create a space of safety and commitment is to include a Recognition of Lived Experience at the start of meetings and forums.

I recognise and appreciate consumers, patients, carers, supporters and loved ones. The voices of people with lived experience are powerful. Their contribution is vital to enabling decision-making for health system change.

Making participation safe

Assess your ways of working in co-design

Some teams find it helpful to assess the co-design capabilities of individuals and the team, both before and during co-design work.

You can use the readiness assessment templates and reflection templates at the start of your project or as you go along.

The CORE co-design capabilities give you and your team ideas on how to get started and activities to strengthen different ways of working.

About the co-design project team

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