April 15: The Soul of Banner Good Samaritan
Like most of us in Phoenix, I enjoy hiking. Below is a recent picture I took while hiking in Fountain Hills. If you look carefully at the picture, behind the cactus are mountain peaks. They are very distant, and have particularly striking silhouettes as they merge into the horizon.
I often stare at these mountains so intently while I hike (because of their beauty) that I sometimes don’t pay attention to the path in front of me and find myself tripping over a rock or dangerously close to cacti.
There’s a message in my missteps during these hikes. It’s a message for any great organization: We must focus on the little steps, the small moments …the journey itself. That is where we should get our joy. It’s okay to look at the mountains every now and then, but’s ultimately it’s the connection to the process that brings us great joy.
With these lessons learned during my hikes, you may notice I keep mentioning this “journey” we are taking. Any chance I get I like to talk about this journey of improvement — from patient safety, clinical quality, patient experience, program differentiation, an academic brand and so and on …
Notice, however, that I don’t talk about any particular destination. It’s not about an “ending” in my mind. It’s about finding meaning every day, every moment and contributing to improvement. Our vision is not about reaching a goal but it’s about individually contributing to something you believe in.
Ultimately our success in this journey is all about engagement and leadership effectiveness. And how are we doing? One way to know is our annual VOICE survey where we all have an opportunity to give our voice on how engaged we feel at Banner Good Sam and Banner Health. Though our VOICE survey is not until later in the year, we just finished a PULSE survey to check in with each one of you. Thirty percent of you participated and the great news is that Banner Good Samaritan had one of the highest scores for overall Leadership Effectiveness and Shape the Future in the entire system. And, more importantly, we demonstrated significant improvement year over year.
Here are some highlights:
- All but one question went up approximately 3 to 20 percent on the 10 Shape the Future Questions, which is fabulous.
- “My immediate leader involves me in decision-making” is our leadership effectiveness focus question this year and the Pulse showed us at 71 percent, compared to 53 percent this time last year — yay!
- Fifty-eight percent of our employees responded favorably to “The top team at my facility (C-Suite) involves me in organizational change" compared to 43 percent last year.
The message here is more of us are getting engaged. We can’t do this without 100 percent engagement, so take a few minute and connect with each other and your leader and demand to get involved. Our patients deserve it. With each of your contributions, this place of Possibilities becomes a Place of Realities. Thank you.Steve Narang, MD, is the chief executive officer at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.