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Joy Freeman

Hi all,

The first article while focusing on how to start a chaplaincy program, I still found helpful re-orientation and reminding of focus for already established programs.  The first step described – focusing on the organization’s mission and strategic goals – is one I think is helpful to periodically go back to even for established programs.  I’ve noticed where I am at, in the last year with our new director as he has had us as a department explore parts of the mission and how it relates to what we do, that we have been able to get invitations to leadership meetings to introduce new staff care initiatives and doors I had thought would never open (such as trying to get a specific spiritual care screening question changed) may be starting to crack open a bit. I’m still very much a worker bee so I don’t know how much of a place at the table we may get eventually, but I am more encouraged than I have been in a while.

The second article was very much an enjoyable read and gave me many aha moments.  My hospital is a magnet hospital which means involving nurses in leadership, research, and performance improvement is big, we have unit based councils and nurse led leadership councils.  And yet we are a very structured hierarchy and I have learned going up the chain of command is critically important to getting anything done with full buy in and support.  It feels like a weird mix some days.

My first impressions from this second article is that this idea of complexity leadership is very process oriented where observation is important along with not rushing to action but working with the system in place and the experiences and ideas that the workers with in the system raise.  It feels very intuitive to me as a chaplain who is almost always focused on working the process of shepherding people to the outcome hoped for and desired rather than forcing a quick solution.

As I read through the article it became clear to me that the idea is to see the system as a living organism rather than a structured organization.  I saw this to be helpful to dealing with change and making change.  Living organisms grow and change, seeing a system in this way, seems to me to then lead to being able to embrace the natural evolution of the system in more helpful and end game healthy way.  It seems to help, perhaps, reduce reactionary responses to change and the fear that change can create.

I think I may be starting to see some of this begin to happen where I am at.  It may have happened because of our process to become a magnet hospital.  I know when I first started there, things felt much more top down.  I have been where I am at for 16 years now, I’ve weathered quite a bit of change.

I’ll pause here and look forward to others thoughts.


One note on next week – I will have to catch the interview from the recording, the live interview happens right when I need to be headed to an appointment.