Tri-County Health Care, a critical access hospital in Wadena, Minnesota, launched a Values and Culture Project late last year. As we always do when starting a new project, we asked every associate (every single one) to make a personal commitment to embrace their Culture of Ownership be being more emotionally positive, self empowered, and fully engaged.
The TCHC team came up with the creative idea of asking people to document their commitment to The Pickle Pledge for a positive attitude by having their picture taken with this pickle cutout.
They recently told me that one of their physicians had taken a week’s vacation, and when he got back thought perhaps he’d made a wrong turn and ended up in another hospital because he couldn’t believe how much more positive people were – including people he had known for a long time who he never would have guessed would have made such a significant attitude adjustment in such a short time.
People who say that it takes a long time to change culture are wrong. Culture can change very quickly. We’ve seen it happen many times. The challenge is usually not starting the change process, it’s sustaining forward momentum and preventing backsliding.
That’s why our Values and Culture Project is a phased and structured process in which each phase builds upon what’s been done before until the cultural transformation has been woven into the cultural DNA of the organization.