September 2010

September 2010

“Broken” left us wondering how could an organization that is supposed to be based on care, not have processes to care for their caretakers

Posted on Health Beat by Maggie Mahar, this article relates the story of a third-year medical student witnessing her obstetrics chief resident’s teary response to both a mother and baby not surviving a traumatic emergency after the mother was stabbed to death. The sad events that unfolded in the ER left the chief resident sobbing, alone, in the nurses station, with no support.

If self-caring was the focus of the experience strategy, support structures would be in place when medicine breaks the care-givers. What experience would be most supportive? Rather then the doctor left to cope, on her own, crying in the nurses station, would there be a “safe space” to go for a while, and would this time alone be encouraged and expected? Would there be someone dedicated to talk with those involved immediately after the trauma? Perhaps there would be a universal “code lavender” chime so everyone pauses to send healing intentions, even if most of the staff is unaware of the particular circumstances. The opportunities are endless when viewed through the lens of primarily caring for the caregivers first by weaving self-caring into the fabric of the “beinginess” of the organization.

The author of the story concludes that her experience is that at some point most doctors experience being “broken” by similar experiences, and “how we started out suffering with our patients, but ended up suffering from them.” We cannot give what we don’t have. A health”care” system requires self-caring first.

The numbers are in: companies that operate from core values of care and compassion far surpass returns on the S&P500

This article from IONS, “The Evolutionary Imperative for Business” brilliantly explains how managing people from the perspective the industrial model of attempting to mold behavior so people operate as if we are machines doesn’t work. Managing a company like a living organism results in empowering people with an adaptive spirit necessary to respond to uncertainty and complexity of our modern world. Living systems require care and compassion to survive and thrive. Jay Braydon’s LAMP index demonstrates that companies that “operate with integrity (where the means align with the ends), value their employees, and follow the principles of nature” actually make more money than companies that do not operate from values of care and compassion.

EIM’s 5 Dimensions of self-caring provide a road map to curate the experience so all aspects of the organization, and the people within that living system, experience a state of “beingness” of healing and caring.

Hospital CEO leads on-site fitness classes

Showcasing the inconsistency between Dimension #2, personal practices at work, and Dimension #5, the business model

This article from USA Today starts out looking like a model to emulate. The CEO leads a fast-paced workout in the hospital fitness room. Talk about bringing personal practices into the workplace and leading by example. Evidence of changes in processes (Dimension #4) appear as we read about juice replacing soft drinks in vending machines and meetings being conduced while strolling the hospital campus.

Then read the comment from “hoomatt.” He was a nurse at this same organization. When he needed surgery, he elected to have it where he worked. A “botched” (his word) gall bladder removal left him in month-long coma. After 2 months in the hospital, the day before he stumbles home his supervisor tells him he’s fired. He relates that no one apologized or offered any sort of support;and he felt the organization failed to live up to the Catholic Values that were “plastered” all over.

Business models involve 3 aspects: values & mission; culture & stories and practices & policies. The juxtaposition of these two different experiences of the same organization, demonstrates the role and value of each of the 5 Dimensions.

This CEO recognized the connection between her passion for fitness and her career, understanding that when people feel better, they do better. It’s equally important to recognize the connection between all the dimensions of self-caring.

Self-caring in one area (juice or exercise) can’t make up for organizational ways of being that aren’t founded on self-caring.


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