At Clermont’s annual Board of Directors retreat this year board members got two opportunities to experience what it’s like to live with frailty.
The first activity involved a nurse and nursing assistant serving as mentors taking each board member through empathy training. They experienced what it felt like to live with arthritis, vision loss, loss of hearing, to be ignored or treated like a child. It was very powerful to see how they experienced the exercise. One board member commented that he felt a profound sense of loneliness like he had never felt before, and it hit him how unbelievably painful it would be to live like that.
Next, they had a 13-member Elder panel from all parts of their community share their thoughts and insights on where the organization should be moving in the future. The Elders submitted an essay to get an opportunity to be on the panel.
The Elders and mentors then joined the board for cocktail hour and dinner. Board member Ross DenBraber, CEO of Christian Living Communities said:
“Inviting residents to serve on a panel to share their insights on the organization and where we are headed was invaluable. It validated our mission and the power of resident direction. The residents felt an incredible sense of empowerment and the board was inspired to continue their good work in supporting and guiding the organization. The board members said this was the best planning retreat we have ever had.”
What a great example of wise leadership in action. Can you share any ideas you have for getting your board of directors onboard with culture change?