Problem Facing the Organization
In 2009, Providence Healthcare commenced its efforts to improve patients flow. This led to the formulation and implementation of “Transformation by Design” (TbyD), a project aimed to improve the flow of patients through the health care system, specifically from acute care to rehab. Through the value-based leadership of Josie Walsh (President and CEO of Providence Healthcare), the process was significantly successful. Walsh’s leadership character proved instrumental in driving change and innovation at Providence. However, implementing change is not sufficient to guarantee the long-term success of the said change. It is, therefore, imperative that Providence sustain momentum and build the future. Having successfully implemented Transformation by Design, Providence Healthcare is now faced with the question regarding what it should do to sustain the positive change.
There are possible solutions to the issue Providence is facing. To start with, the organization can implement an ongoing change evaluation/improvement framework. The model evaluates how well Providence is implementing TbyD to identify opportunities for improvements. This ensures that all key stakeholders are effectively playing their role to sustain positive change and facilitate ongoing improvements. According to Hayes (2018), key contributors to sustaining positive change using this approach include the recognition and reward of contributors and the celebration of success. The recognition and reward system ensures that stakeholders remain motivated to sustain the change and entice those who may be still resisting.
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Another possible solution is embedding the change into the organizational culture. According to Palmer, Dunford, and Buchanan (2017), sustaining positive change requires that an organization make the changes it has worked on become part of the way it operates. The changes, therefore, become an integral component of how the organization work. Dumas and Beinecke (2018) explain that integration of the changes should be an ongoing process, one that is supported and reinforced by processes and systems that ensure the new way becomes the norm. Notably, this phase is mostly dependent on effective leadership since stakeholders participating in the change effort require ongoing motivation and support. Without reinforcement from an organization’s leadership, it is almost impossible to sustain positive change since people are always tempted to relapse to their old ways of doing things.
From the two above-described strategies, integrating the changes into the organizational culture is the best option to help Providence Healthcare sustain the positive change achieved by the TbyD model. Notably, this will require frequent, closer, and personally focused engagement with all stakeholders to win their support into the future (Al-Ali, Singh, Al-Nahyan, & Sohal, 2017). It is also imperative that Providence’s leadership utilizes increased variety in how the reinforcement to integrate the change into the corporate culture is conveyed. Dumas and Beinecke (2018) elucidate that when change is properly integrated into an organization’s culture, it is almost impossible to distinguish between individual actions and organization-prescribed behaviors. The change leader must often monitor the integration process both formally and informally to establish when the changes are not being implemented authentically (Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan, 2017). Walsh’s value-based leadership qualities, such as the ability to cultivate trust, dynamic partnerships, and high accountability, will prove instrumental in monitoring the integration process both formally and informally.
There exist several techniques that have been established to increase the sustainability of positive change. They include positive reinforcement of new behaviors, continuous monitoring of progress, managing risks, celebrating successes, analyzing performance measures, planning for setbacks, undertaking ongoing evaluation and follow-up, and adapting as situations necessitate (Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan, 2017). Walsh has demonstrated consistent competence in all these areas. Therefore, her value-based leadership will prove significantly resourceful in integrating the changes into Providence’s organizational culture to ensure long-term success. Walsh’s collaboration, accountability, and integration qualities will help her win the support of key stakeholders into the future. Notably, the best way to measure the sustainability of change is through the number of stakeholders demonstrating support through actions and shift in mindset.
The expected outcome from integrating the changes into Providence’s organizational culture is the sustainability of the Transformation by Design program’s benefits. Integration of the changes introduced by the program to the organization’s culture will ensure that they become the new way of doing things through changing stakeholder’s behavior. Since the integration adopts a holistic approach that incorporates positive reinforcement, risk management, creating accountability, planning for setbacks, and ongoing evaluating and follow-up, Providence Healthcare will ensure long-term sustainability of the changes and benefit from continuous improvements. The ongoing evaluation will allow the organization to identify the program’s shortcomings to inform improvements that will enhance patient care outcomes. Therefore, Providence Healthcare should consider integrating the TbyD program’s changes into its organizational culture as a strategy to ensure positive change sustainability.