October 13, 2015

While I was giving my speech at the APICS International Conference, my Mom was calling my cell phone to tell me that she couldn’t wake my Dad up that morning.  He had a stroke in his sleep.  Of course I flew out to AZ immediately.  He ended up at Hospice of the Valley Eckstein center a few days later.

They do an amazing job at this particular hospice center.  My aunt told me that she has visited others in different hospice centers in different states, and they are not all the same (or even remotely comparable).  The people at this facility jumped to every need, wish or thought of family members.  There was a couch in the room, games in the common area, fresh baked cookies most of the time, refrigerators for our use – and most importantly, everyone was absolutely caring.  They had comfort and caring nailed down – it didn’t seem like anyone ever had a bad day or moment.  I wondered about that, even as I was focused on my Dad and concern for my Mom.  How do they create such a powerful environment?

A few days later, my Dad moved to home hospice and passed away a day later.  My Mom called hospice and a man drove from an hour away on a Sunday night to talk with us and take care of next steps.  What he said was powerful enough that my Mom repeated it several times in conversations with relatives, the mortuary, the church etc.  This hospice group is truly amazing.

One tip to implement this week:
Think about what type of environment you want to create in your company, department, team or with your customers and suppliers.  How can you make that a reality?  How can you get each person to believe in the vision for your environment?  It starts with creating a powerful picture of what you want to create.  You don’t have to do that alone.  Collaborate with your internal team members and supply chain partners.  Leverage your resources.  Hospice of the Valley didn’t just leave the environment to accident.