If you were asked to describe the shape of an orange traffic cone, what would you respond? For many of us, our first instinct would be to say, “It’s a triangle”. But, what about if you looked at it from above? The triangular shape would disappear and be replaced by a circle. As the old saying goes, “It’s all in how you look at things.”
Last week, I was fortunate to attend a stimulating three-day course at Harvard University where, among other things, the topic of situational awareness was discussed at length. It reminded me a great deal of the Transformational Change project we started at the JGH in 2009, and how the thinking behind it has continued and expanded across our network.
The crux of it being, with over 9,000 employees comprised of physicians, nurses, allied health care professional, engineers, housekeepers, administrative professionals (and that’s just to name a few) we each see the health care sector from a slightly different vantage point, with each opinion just as important as the next. Part of the design of Transformational Change, was for me to personally meet with staff, whether at events, department visits or simply an impromptu chat in the hallway.
The conversations I have with staff, whether long or short, leave a lasting impression on me and in many cases help shape decisions that are made at the senior level. Each person I’ve spoken with sees the proverbial traffic cone as a different shape, and I think that is what has helped, and continues to help, shape us into one of the best networks in the province.