Team shares insights with change agents from around the world
One of the final concurrent sessions offered on Day 3 of the Pioneer Network Conference in Jacksonville, Florida, where 1,000 delegates gathered talk about the changing culture of aging, was a session on the importance of collaboration in the culture change process.
Schlegel Villages’ chief operating officer Bob Kallonen and director of program development and education Jennifer Carson presented from the perspective of an organization’s leaders who support and empower all stakeholders in the development of a path to enhanced social living for the elders they serve.
|Taunton Mills resident Glenn Coopman is a symbol or patriotism and collaboration as part of the Schlegel Villages delegation at this year's Pioneer Network Conference.
The team of 13 delegates representing Schlegel Villages at the conference is the symbol of this collaboration at work, and a panel representing the diverse perspectives of the team fielded questions from the audience.
They described how collaboration among families, residents, front-line team members and support office designed the path of culture change nearly three years ago and informs ongoing decisions today in the form of village advisory teams, where residents comprise the majority of advisers.
Taunton Mills resident Glenn Coopman spoke of how honoured he was to have been chosen to join the delegation of ambassadors in Florida.
He would later be seen dancing the Macarena during the final night’s reception, his work for the day complete.
Change must come not dictated by the leaders but informed by the input of all, the panel agreed, and the following morning Bob spoke about why this is important to him and the value he sees in investing in the conference delegation.
“Because it’s different people seeing different things, my expectation is that we’re going to see an exponential return on the investment of those people (attending),” he said.
“I watched the people who were at this conference last year come back and I watched their contribution over the course of the year. It’s not like winning a beauty contest; it’s not like their turn comes up and now we’re not going to get any contribution out of them.
“Their heart was in tune to this kind of work to begin with, and it’s going to go on. We’ve just doubled that capacity.”
Following a morning session on the final day of the conference, Glendale Crossing dietary aide Melissa Millen considered her role as a culture-change ambassador.
“I’m very thankful to Schlegel Villages for choosing me to come,” Melissa said. “I never thought this would be possible for a dietary aide and it’s great that they embrace all team members and not just management and the hierarchy.
“I’m going to share this energy with everybody.”
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