When Richard Taylor speaks, we listen. Read his comment and respond at the original post Abolishing the Old Age Home, Part 3: What Comes Next.
Hello, recently I listened for 90 minutes to two well intended, hard working, true believing culture change enthusiasts and leaders report on how they had been a part of culture change in their nursing home. When their report was over I asked them “And how has all this successful culture change empowered the folks who acutally live in your community to take charge of their own lives by assuming the rresponsiblity and authority to make their own decisions?”
After a long pause one of them said “That’s an interesting question that I never thought of. I’ll ahve to get back to you with an answer.”
I am continually amazed at how few culture change enthusiasts, leaders, thinkers – involve, begin with the folks whose culture they want to change for the better. DVD’s work books, conferences, and books cannot begin to reveal what individuals want/need and how they want/need to achieve it. They can generalize, but changing culture is not about some generalizable set of ways of behaving that “fit” exactly the needs of everyone, especially when those everyones are disempowered in the first place, especially when others think they can’t figure things out for themselves and need others to do their thinking and acting for them.
Culture change makes matters worse because those who could empower/enable are busy changing things the way they believe is best for everyone. Instead of starting with the people they serve, they offer one or two of them the opportunity to be an advisor, to be a part of a focus group.
Why won’t/don’t they get “it?” They end up singing better sounding and feeling verses to the same disempowering songs.