Leadership Lessons from the Field: September 2020 – Words of Advice from Leaders on the Front Lines

August 31, 2020

Quotes can inspire us. They can get us thinking on our work in a different way.  The phrase, “You can’t read the label from inside the jar. You need help from the outside.” – deemed a southern expression – has been quoted several times in the past few years by the team at Alliant Quality. 

Dennis White, Alliant Health Solutions’ CEO mentioned it during a meeting recently. It has inspired us to reflect on what we could do better and how to request others to help us in our work.  When we are too close to a work effort, and especially when the stakes are high, an outside opinion allows for a different perspective …  from outside the jar. It is important to invite others into our lives to be honest with us.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

Every fall, Alliant Quality conducts an annual evaluation process – there are two parts. The self-assessment asks each employee to detail how we have supported the company goals, values, achieved our personal goals, and contributed to the success of the team. The other half the process comes from outside the jar. Supervisors share customer satisfaction results – from internal and external customers (e.g., board members, executives, stakeholders, peers, and more). They share what they see on the label- our visible life to those we work with daily. This process of self-reflection and outside perspective helps us glean insights and consider new approaches where we’ve felt blocked in our work or interactions. It is a powerful opportunity to learn and grow.

As Maya Angelou said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

Since April 2020, CMS has asked the QIN-QIOs to invite targeted nursing homes to focus on their infection control improvement efforts.  Almost 300 nursing homes are now working with Alliant Quality’s team to do a root cause analysis and action plan on their results in the past year and determine how to do better. This type of intense technical assistance will be critical to improving the outcomes with COVID-19 today and in the future.  The CMS directed Quality Improvement Initiatives are an opportunity to get help to better read the label on infection prevention so that the care provided can stick from shift to shift throughout a nursing home to benefit residents and staff daily. 

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” — Marie Curie

The information contained in this was shared by Alliant Health Solutions’ CEO Dennis White during a recent meeting. Linda Kluge is Executive Director, IDIQ for Alliant Health Solutions in Atlanta, GA.