Human Architecture? This is a term that Dr. Bill Thomas threw out at the crowd in Nashville last week during his talk. It seems that so many folks are searching as to where to start with their culture change journey. I think that most people truly want to do what’s good and right for our Elders but they just genuinely struggle with a place to begin. Many feel that their actual physical environments are too “old” or space is too “limited” to initiate real change and so they just back away from it. As human beings, it is natural to focus on where we can “see” the change the greatest around us.
I have thought for many years that our physical environments really have very little to do with beginning our culture change journey. I have seen so many beautiful homes with state of the art technology that still have a very cold institutional feel.
It’s really the relationships that matter. Not only the relationships but the steps we take to grow people serving around us. Human Architecture. Architects spend countless hours designing and methodically calculating designs to build and/or change our physical surroundings into something we percieve as better. Can we say we have invested this amount of time into designing “growth plans” for those who are on our teams? Do our blueprints for change include designing the human architecture around us? If so, then our plans would include continued growth through mistakes, focusing on strengths instead of weaknesses, opportunities for development as whole person.
How do we ensure that the Eden Alternative’s 7 Domains of Well Being are being met in each life? If Identity, Connectedness, Meaning, Security, Growth, Autonomy, and Joy are being focused on not only in our Elder’s lives but in the lives of our stakeholders, then we will be designing a perfect masterpiece.
The physical environment is only a very small part of culture change. Our focus should be on growing people so they can initiate the physical changes that need to be made. When we build strong, empowered teams of people in our homes, then we build a culture of “change”. When we invest our time wisely in mentoring others, they are then equipped to go out and be agents of change in the world around us. Human architecture is a term we must truly grasp as we continue to move forward and initiate change around us.