Proven methods, adapted to meet your needs.

Our Approach

We start with the Model for Improvement, a simple but powerful framework for accelerating improvement. Our tools and methods are designed to work flexibly across any content area, incorporating your subject matter expertise. With years of international experience in resource-constrained environments, we’re known for innovative ideas that make creative use of existing resources to solve core problems.

“Shift’s genius is helping people collaborate effectively.”

Dr. Zoe Stemm-Calderon

Director National Education Strategy, Raikes Foundation

We work closely with you throughout the process to build alignment and remove the friction inherent in every complex undertaking. We also specialize in improvement capacity building and training so you can continue the work independently. We adapt our approach to meet the specific needs of each project. Here are some of the primary ways we support our partners.


We skillfully guide your team through the right improvement tool at the right time, adapting each one to meet your unique needs.


We build alignment and excitement around aims and outcomes, creating an environment of transparency, innovation, and shared learning.


We help organize network learning structures and coordinate events that build your community and foster a culture of transparent learning.


We believe strongly in the power of lifting up those most impacted by a problem to take leadership roles in improving it. We help practitioners, system leaders, and community members build trust and self-organize to address complex issues.



We cultivate strong teamwork through structures that support improvement, facilitate hand-offs, clarify roles, and activate participation.

“The Shift team has exceptional talent at helping people find common ground. When people have different goals but need to move in the same direction, they are quite good at making that happen and building consensus.” 

Dave Paunesku

Project for Education Research that Scales, Stanford University

Why Shift?


Ambitious goals mean lots of stakeholders with competing agendas. You need a partner who is deeply committed to the outcome.


THE SHIFT:  We become invested in your cause by taking the time to fully understand the important work you’re doing, and building alignment around it from the start.


Traditional improvement methods place too much importance on the voices of the powerful. If more voices aren’t included early enough, you might not even be asking the right questions.

THE SHIFT: We believe that incorporating voices, viewpoints, and lived experiences that aren’t typically included is critical to success.


Off the shelf improvement tools and best practices aren’t designed to handle the complexity inherent in large-scale projects.

THE SHIFT:  We work closely with you to adapt improvement methods to the unique complexities of your project.

How can we help?

“The Shift team know their craft so well that they can improvise on it. With other improvement professionals that’s not the case. Shift can have a strong point of view when needed, but also be flexible and creative.” 

Becky Margiotta

CEO/Founder, Billions Institute