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Effective Culture Change – In 2 Pictures

Tonia Wallace is Director Women’s and Children’s Services at Midland Memorial Hospital in Midland, Texas. When we began the Culture of Ownership Initiative in early 2014, Tonia would print each day’s promise from The Self Empowerment Pledge on a flip chart and repeat it in the daily staff meeting.

Today Tonia has seven professionally-designed imprints, one for each day’s promise, permanently emblazoned on the walls of her unit, and each day every member of the team joins in repeating the day’s promise.

This before-and-after picture reflects two key differences between having a lasting impact on the cultural DNA of an organization and going through just another program of the month.

Lesson #1: Make it visual and keep it visible. Like Tonia, managers throughout Midland Health have made a visible visual commitment to the Culture of Ownership. There is a giant chainsaw carving of a happy pickle stationed at the employee entrance, reminding people of The Pickle Pledge for a positive attitude. The Culture of Ownership Training Room has a complete outline of the course on The Twelve Core Action Values posted on the walls. The hospital’s website features a Culture of Ownership page including a link making the PledgePower course on The Self Empowerment Pledge available to all employees.

Lesson #2: Grow the tribe. When we started the Culture of Ownership Initiative there was a relatively small number of “Spark Plug” people who engaged in the project. But over time that proportion has grown – something that can be seen by the number of people who, when participating in the daily Pledge readings, don’t have to read the promises because they know them by heart.

For more on this story read the article “Creating a Positive Culture of Ownership” that my friend Bob Dent (COO/CNO at Midland Memorial Hospital) and I wrote for the current edition of the AONE journal Nurse Leader at this link.

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