Cynthia Persily, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dr. Persily is the CEO of Highland Hospital in Charleston, WV
I saw one of those little postings on some form of social media this week that said “change is a process, not an event”. How true. As I’ve been in my position at the Highland Companies now for almost 18 months, I can attest to that statement. We’ve been in a constant process of change, and no single event can necessarily be pointed to that on its own describes that change. But I think we would all agree that change is happening.
During times of change, there are often times of turbulence and discomfort. Some of our staff are feeling that discomfort. Some have decided to leave us. Some have decided to stay and ride the wave. Some have decided to stay and be an engaged part of the team. That engagement is what I’m after as a leader in our organization—staff who truly want to be a part of the change and are willing to work hard through changing times to make things better, and to assure the success of our organizations.
Late last week in our outpatient companies, our Medical Director and I spent time with every single provider pointing out their ability to impact our success as an organization, and reminding them of clear goals that we mutually agreed upon for their performance. Some are meeting and exceeding those goals. Some are not. The point we tried to make is that everyone has an opportunity to engage in meeting their goals and assuring that our company is successful. Change will be their choice.
In a CEO Open Forum last evening, staff shared with me the changes that they’d like to see in the hospital. Some were simple fixes, and I promised that we would get them done. Some are more long term, but I also promised that we will work toward those changes. Some are just not possible at the current time, but I so appreciate their willingness to share, and their trust that we will consider those changes if and when they become practical. I made a promise to staff that I would continue to work hard through the process of change, and asked them to do the same—and to remember that we can’t fix what took years to create in a matter of minutes, days, or weeks.
One of the things that I shared with our staff last evening was the importance of thinking positively, of communicating, and of being engaged in our successes and being a part of our solutions to our failures. The time is now for that engagement to occur across our organizations. I see it happening in our organization, and for that, I am so appreciative and thankful to every staff member who takes the time to engage in what we’re trying to accomplish. The process of change is not always glamorous. It’s not always smooth. And it is indeed a process, and not an event. Stay tuned to hear of our progress. We’ll surely be eager to share.