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Unleash the Power of Vision in Your Agency

by Stephen Tweed

One of the highlights of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice annual convention in Orlando this week was hearing John DeHart, the co-Founder and CEO of Nurse Next Door, in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Nurse Next Door is the largest private duty franchise in Canada, with over 60 offices, and has just begun offering franchises in the US.  I had the privilege of speaking for Nurse Next Door at their annual franchise partners conference last week in Vancouver.

John presented a powerful program on how to Unleash the Power of Vision in Your Agency.  It is based on his personal experience in creating a clear vision for the company, and building on their core values.

John said the problem with corporate values is that companies have too many of them, and they all look the same.  He said that we should focus on three or four core vales and make them come alive in our companies.  He used four companies as examples;  Disney, Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, and Toyota.

He said something that I think is really important for all leaders in home health, hospice, and private duty home care.  He said, “You build the culture of your company in one of two ways;  by design or by default.  Most companies build their culture by default. I want to build a culture by design.”

In our work at Leading Home Care, we have defined culture as “The way we do things around here.”  Culture is created by four factors:

1.  The leadership style of the CEO
2.  The core values of the company
3.  The behavior that we expect
4.  The behavior the we permit

John reinforced these concepts as he talked about the process of building a culture by design at Nurse Next Door.    He shared his experience of owning a company with his co-founder, Ken Simm, that he no longer wanted to work in. So they decided to change the culture around four core values:

  • Admire people
  • WOW customer experience
  • Find a better way
  • Passionate about making a difference

He gave us three specific tips about building a culture by design around your core values:

1.  Get a bit crazy about it.  You cannot use logic to change people.  We are a company obsessed by core values looking for like-minded people.

2.  Get the right people on the bus.  People flock to a company with strong values.

3.  Learn the power of recognition.  Reward behavior that is related to core values.

Finally, John said, “Culture mirrors brand.  Brand mirrors culture.  We are about making dreams happen for our clients.”

You can read more of Johns ideas on his blog.

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