Using a Team-Based Approach
Organizational changes happen when every person providing and receiving services is involved in finding solutions to everyday challenges. It takes time to learn new person-centered and positive support practices. Everyone needs an opportunity to try new practices and reflect on progress over time. Changing our work routines and our daily habits requires a more formal approach. Sending one or two people to a workshop is called a “train and hope” model because we are hoping that by attending a training or workshop, we will know how to take new information and use it in our work. It takes time to learn new practices and to change our habits and work routines. We need to try new skills and reflect on what we have learned. Changing our routines at work and the habits that we rely on each day requires a more systematic approach.
Becoming a person-centered organization involves a shift in thinking which, in turn, leads to a change in our practices. One person alone cannot improve outcomes for people receiving services. It takes cooperation and a team of people who can work with together to assess an organization's strength, build consensus, make a plan, implement that plan, and evaluate the outcomes.
Research in human services has shown that to implement a practice effectively, we can’t rely on sending a small number of people to trainings. Instead, it is important to:
- Form a team within our organization to create a plan for making changes,
- Support learning and use of person-centered practices using ongoing coaching and mentoring,
- Change policies and training materials to promote person-centered practices, and
- Assess how person-centered efforts are going over time and make adjustments to improve outcomes.