I’m out of the office this week doing my favorite part of my job. I'm sitting in the back of the classroom watching one of my colleagues training a group of 15 Nonviolent Crisis Intervention®
Certified Instructors in our Enhancing Verbal Skills
: Applications of Life Space Crisis InterventionSM
course. They are dialed in, absorbing the information, planning to roll this and our Trauma-Informed Care: Implications for CPI’s Crisis Development ModelSM
course out in the next few months as Formal Refreshers
for their coworkers. They’ve gotten support and buy-in from their administration to do a full two-day Formal Refresher. I wish I could spread that attitude to all organizations.
I look around the room and I’m simply in awe. Ten of these individuals I met over a year ago. Five are new to me, but all of them are some of the most committed professionals I’ve ever met.
I’m at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. You’ve probably read about them before in my blog posts, and if you listen to the debut episode of our podcast Unrestrained
, you’ll hear more about them. They certainly aren’t the first or last group of committed professionals I’ve worked with in my 13 years at CPI, but they continue to inspire me and to evolve the way I support others through this complex process of culture change.
Any good attempt at creating culture change takes a good three to five years to accomplish. Sometimes it takes even longer. Waypoint has been changing for a number of years in small ways, but are in the midst of a concerted, organization-wide change that impacts over 1,200 staff and approximately 350 patients on any given day.
Not only are they changing clinical practices, conducting more research, and training and developing staff in best-practice strategies, they moved into a brand new building full of bells, whistles, and doors that just weren’t what they were “talked up” to be. Despite the advice from the direct care providers, they’re now navigating the broken doors, door knobs, glass windows (not supposed to be glass) etc., but, they each have their own yard, and patients are able to go out for the first time in years for many of them. The move provided the facility with the opportunity to shake up some of the units, and it has allowed staff to implement some new, creative approaches with some of the patients. One example of this involves a gentleman who for five-plus years engaged in a maladaptive behavior to keep people at arm’s length. He has not engaged in that behavior for two months now, and is fully engaged on his unit. (You don’t want the details of the behavior. You are all familiar with it if you work in mental health.)
Staff are hanging in there through the challenges. It has not been easy all the time, but they are all committed and are persevering and it is beautiful to watch. The creativity and ideas are flowing, the practices are solidifying in a way that is creating growth in both staff and patients, and the senior administration is sticking to their word. Culture change is difficult for sure, but this level of commitment at all layers of an organization will lead to success. It has been a privilege for CPI to be a part of it from the early stages.
But that’s what you get when you partner with CPI. It’s why I’ve stayed here for 13-plus years. I have a bunch of colleagues committed to assisting organizations in taking the steps toward this type of culture change. I love that we still have people that answer the phone. I love that we have subject matter experts embedded at all layers of our organization. I love that even those staff who many not interact with our customers as directly as I do still care about what our customers are trying to do in their very challenging jobs. At CPI, we go through times of culture change just like any organization. But it is the commitment, like that I see in the staff here at Waypoint, that keeps us dedicated to being better partners with the organizations that use our offerings.
It's why I stay.