Renewing Commitment to Culture Change

February 13, 2013
Denise Hyde

Worth the Effort: Renewing Commitment to Culture Change

 The Eden Steering Team at Spectrum Health Reed City Campus in Reed City, MI thought they had a good idea for 2012. Little did they know just how great an idea it would be. They spent 2012 doing an Eden Alternative renewal journey. The rationale, for going through this renewal process, was to help those who were not part of their original journey understand what the organization had already accomplished. They created 10 teams, each focused on one of the Eden Alternative Principles. Members of the Eden Steering Team served as mentors on each of the Principle teams. Each of the steering team mentors were given a copy of Haleigh’s Almanac, provided with leadership education (e.g., personality tests), and taught how to run effective meetings.

All of the employee care partners were chosen to be on one of the Principle teams. The steering team drew out names and filled the teams, making sure each team had representation from across the organization. Each team reviewed what the organization was currently doing to meet the Principle they were focused on, and then came up with ideas on what more could be done. Each team decided how often to meet during the year and what they wanted to do for their presentation.

The presentations were done to a team of judges which included their hospital team members. It gave everyone across their system a better feel for what The Eden Alternative is about. One team had a skit, one included the judges in a Learning Circle, and some teams created scrapbooks. There was a PowerPoint presentation, a birthday celebration, and a poem. One team framed the Ten Principles which they have hanging in the center of the home.

In this community, the Eden Registry tree plaque is a sacred object! After all the presentations were done, they added leaves to their Eden Registry tree plaque above the stars they had earned previously for each Principle.

What did they do with all the new ideas that the teams shared? The Principle 7 team redid their shower rooms adding cushy robes, slippers, a mirror for Elders to do self-care, and removed the tiles. Another team started welcome baskets. One team posted a bulletin board at entrance where pictures of the employee care partners are displayed so they can become well-known to others. A new housekeeper on the Principle 6 team is now doing lots of spontaneous things with the Elders.

When was the last time your team renewed their commitment to the culture change journey? Renewal can be a powerful experience whether it happens through a ritual, a vote or a year-long learning process. The work of changing the culture of care is exhausting, and never-ending (Principle Nine). Take time to reflect on what has been learned and dream about the future now and then too!

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