Is Growth Required or Optional?

September 18, 2014
Denise Hyde


“When you stop growing you start dying.” – William S. Burroughs

When our grandson comes for Sunday dinner it is not unusual to have someone ask him to “grow up” or “settle down.” I bet he is often pressured to grow up, of course not by grandma! As an adult, there have been points in my life where, like our grandson, I have been required to grow up.There are other times when I’ve made personal growth an option only to realize that my life has stagnated and it is time to challenge myself to grow further.

In your team or organization, when do regular conversations about quality or performance improvement come up? Does this only happen during a crisis, or in preparation for some regulatory requirement? Or, are you fortunate to be a part of a team or organization that has a different perspective? For example, an organization committed to person-directed care that engages the hearts and minds of all care partners.

Growth is a positive experience that they require of each other.

The Eden Alternative, is equally passionate about ongoing growth of all care partners (Elders, employees, family members, volunteers) across the care continuum and across the lifespan. Driven by the principle that human growth should never be separated from human life, we have developed an approach called the GROWTH Model.

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The GROWTH Model is a six-step process for thinking through change and quality or performance improvement efforts. It frames a discussion that puts everyone on the same page, better prepared to resolve quality issues, push change forward, and hardwire it into place. The acronym stands for:

G = Get Real

R = Reach Out

O = Open Up and Dream

W = Work Up a Plan

T = Take Action

H = Hold Steady and Reach Further

What makes the GROWTH Model easy to learn and use is that it applies to individuals, teams and the organization. Once the GROWTH Model is fully understood by all, anyone can simply call out the letters and everyone can follow along with the improvement conversation. It is easy to quickly assess where there may be a need to strengthen a step in the process. The model is comprehensive because it develops the reason for the change, establishes a team to drive the change effort, sets the goal, develops the action plan, implements the plan and then helps sustain the change and promotes the development of the next step forward in improvement efforts.

The GROWTH Model also aligns with the five elements of QAPI, an improvement (growth) effort required by the federal government in healthcare settings. The good news is that although consistent use of a quality improvement method is required for QAPI, there are many options as to which methodology an organization might choose. In fact, an organization can create their own. Why not choose something easy to remember and use?

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” – John C. Maxwell

Some people learn well, or grow best, through a face-to-face learning experience. If you would like to host a two-day GROWTH: Six Steps to Implementing Change training for your organization click here. It is a chance to discuss and apply the GROWTH Model to personal, team and organizational improvement efforts with your peers. You can also choose to attend one of the upcoming GROWTH Trainings scheduled in Sharon, PA on October 16, 2014 or Jackson, MS on March 16, 2015.

If you are a self-study type of learner, then you might prefer to order the workbook GROWTH: Six Steps for Framing Lasting Change. It has content, exercises and examples that an individual and team can work through to deepen their understanding and use of the model.

Perhaps the best way to learn more about how person-directed care and performance improvement align for your organization, check out the upcoming webinar series from The Eden Alternative: Person-Directed Performance Improvement.

What did you decide? Based on your life experience, is growth required or optional? Which perspective works best for you?



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