5 Takeaways That I Learned About Cleaning

What You Should Do Before Cleaning a Home Residential cleaning keeps a family healthy and happy all the time. On a regular basis, ensure that you clean your home to be able to create a conducive environment for your family members. Children, old people and visitors enjoy a well-maintained home. It is what visitors meet … Continue reading “5 Takeaways That I Learned About Cleaning”

What You Should Do Before Cleaning a Home Residential cleaning keeps a family healthy and happy all the time. On a regular basis, ensure that you clean your home to be able to create a conducive environment for your family members. Children, old people and visitors enjoy a well-maintained home. It is what visitors meet at the first time that will make them visit a home again or not. Peace of mind and a good time are only realized if only you contract professional services of a cleaning company. These are people specialized in cleaning all the corners of a home. At all times, they should be able to customize their services to meet the demands of different clients. You will be required to attend to a few things before consulting the services of a cleaning company. This is to ensure that all the activities run as expected. Prior preparations should always be made before a cleaner arrives. Set all things to make cleaning easy. On weekends, when people are free from job responsibilities, it is when most cleaning occurs. After making an appointment with a cleaner, ensure that you wake up early to put various things in place. How absurd it is to sleep and wait for a cleaner to arrive. You will be required to do several things. Your jewelry and valuables should be kept in safe places. It is possible to move furniture other times to ensure that you provide enough space for your cleaner. By putting everything else in place, you will have to wake up early, this will make cleaning easy and fast. All the cleaning services will need communication. To be able to achieve satisfying results, explain to your cleaner what you want. You will therefore be required to move all round the house explaining all the details you want them to know. Ensure that you tell them about the products they will need to use if you have any specification. One way to ensure that your wishes are met, let them know whether you want to adjust various equipment around the home.
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Be hospitable and courteous. Cleaning is an active physical activity. Unless you distract a cleaner a little bit, most times they get busy. Whenever you are around, make your cleaner comfortable. As they carry out cleaning, psyche them up with conversations. You can put music that will soothe them as they clean the various places around the home. Invite them for a cup of coffee to re-energize them. This way, you will establish a long lasting relationship.
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Last but not least, before settling with any particular company, do a thorough research about their services. You value your property and that is why you need professional team to work with. Check whether the firm you think to deal with is licensed and insured. Look for their level of experience. In case a particular company does not satisfy your demands, move forward and look for another.

Getting Down To Basics with Vehicles

Things You Need To Understand About Car Modification During these past years, cars modification has become a lifestyle. Modifying cars is one way of showing your very own personality. How the cars look are just some of the types of car modification. Some people would really prefer the car look more aggressive and race like. When modifying cars for aesthetics, it will only change the way the car looks from its stock counterparts. It will not be too costly if you decide for this type of modification. A variety of parts is readily available for you for aesthetic modification. If you prefer, you can change yo cars steering wheel and or shift knobs. There is an option for you to change the stance of your car by changing its stock suspensions to lowering suspensions. The inside of your car can also be changed. There is a wide option for you to change any part of your car and that’s what we will be talking about. In car modification, it is important that you will know about engine tuning. When you change your engines design ion order to change its combustion and improve its performance, that’s engine tuning. The durability and the output of your engine will improve. It is through engine tuning that you will be able to overhaul your engine. The ignition system is one part of your car that you can also modify. The ignition system is the one that is overlooked often when modifying cars. Most people do not put too much attention on it when in reality it needs a lot of detailed attention. A strong spark plug is crucial because it is the one that ignites the fuel. The rate to how the flame travels are also important. The turbulence, the design of the combustion chamber and the fuel that you are using are the three factors that you should consider. It is also important that you check the ignition coils and leads.
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The cylinder head porting is something that you can also to modify your car. You will be babel to modify your car by changing the exhaust system as well as the intake ports of the internal combustion. By doing this, you will be able to improve the quality and quantity of gas flow. Their will be a better efficiency when you do porting.
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The next modification that you can do is to install turbochargers. Turbochargers are usually used in diesel engines and sports cars. It is a forced induction system. When the air that goes through the engine is compressed, that is because of the turbochargers. It is by having this system that you will have more fuel consumption. There is definitely more power with an engine that has a turbocharger.

Appreciating the Culture in Your Organization

Many organizational development experts acknowledge the importance of appreciating, if not understanding, the cultural context when considering an OD interventions. This includes culture on a national, regional, tribal, religious and ethnic dimension as well as the traditional social norms.

They remind us that interventions appropriate in one area may not fit separate culture.

This cultural context must be considered for the intervention from day one in terms of defining appropriate roles for the OD consultants,

  • whether internal or external; the processes used to diagnose, analyze, design and implement strategies;
  • the degree to which the culture requires or permits partnership status for stakeholders;
  • the political culture and its accommodation for power and authority;
  • the value system by which interventions will be judged as failure or success
  • the timeframe within which interventions can expect to operate.

Culture will help influence the capacity for change as well as the degree of possible change in the narratives by which success and failure will be defined and propagated throughout the organization.

Because culture takes so long to change and is driven by factors beyond our control in many cases, while OD interventions particularly in business must happen in a much shorter timeframe, culture, in my opinion, can at best be appreciated and accounted for rather than changed in your intervention strategy.

Positive results from the change you create well over the long run influence the culture, if you’re change in results are persistent, but I have seen an awful lot of energy spent on changing a culture come to naught, both in the Army and in my private business practice.

What’s the best way to begin then?

As always, it’s best to start with a survey of your people and getting their insights into current conditions and the possibilities for the future. Consider positivist interventions like appreciative intelligence and appreciative sharing of knowledge that will tap into the most robust and exciting parts of the local culture.

Hospital Leadership, Strategy, And Culture In The Age of Health Care Reform

With just eleven months to go before the Value-Based Purchasing component of the Affordable Care Act is scheduled to go into effect, it is an auspicious time to consider how health care providers, and hospitals specifically, plan to successfully navigate the adaptive change to come. The delivery of health care is unique, complex, and currently fragmented. Over the past thirty years, no other industry has experienced such a massive infusion of technological advances while at the same time functioning within a culture that has slowly and methodically evolved over the past century. The evolutionary pace of health care culture is about to be shocked into a mandated reality. One that will inevitably require health care leadership to adopt a new, innovative perspective into the delivery of their services in order to meet the emerging requirements.

First, a bit on the details of the coming changes. The concept of Value-Based Purchasing is that the buyers of health care services (i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, and inevitably following the government’s lead, private insurers) hold the providers of health care services accountable for both cost and quality of care. While this may sound practical, pragmatic, and sensible, it effectively shifts the entire reimbursement landscape from diagnosis/procedure driven compensation to one that includes quality measures in five key areas of patient care. To support and drive this unprecedented change, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is also incentivizing the voluntary formation of Accountable Care Organizations to reward providers that, through coordination, collaboration, and communication, cost-effectively deliver optimum patient outcomes throughout the continuum of the health care delivery system.

The proposed reimbursement system would hold providers accountable for both cost and quality of care from three days prior to hospital admittance to ninety days post hospital discharge. To get an idea of the complexity of variables, in terms of patient handoffs to the next responsible party in the continuum of care, I process mapped a patient entering a hospital for a surgical procedure. It is not atypical for a patient to be tested, diagnosed, nursed, supported, and cared for by as many as thirty individual, functional units both within and outside of the hospital. Units that function and communicate both internally and externally with teams of professionals focused on optimizing care. With each handoff and with each individual in each team or unit, variables of care and communication are introduced to the system.

Historically, quality systems from other industries (i.e. Six Sigma, Total Quality Management) have focused on wringing out the potential for variability within their value creation process. The fewer variables that can affect consistency, the greater the quality of outcomes. While this approach has proven effective in manufacturing industries, health care presents a collection of challenges that go well beyond such controlled environments. Health care also introduces the single most unpredictable variable of them all; each individual patient.

Another critical factor that cannot be ignored is the highly charged emotional landscape in which health care is delivered. The implications of failure go well beyond missing a quarterly sales quota or a monthly shipping target, and clinicians carry this heavy, emotional burden of responsibility with them, day-in and day-out. Add to this the chronic nursing shortage (which has been exacerbated by layoffs during the recession), the anxiety that comes with the ambiguity of unprecedented change, the layering of one new technology over another (which creates more information and the need for more monitoring), and an industry culture that has deep roots in a bygone era and the challenge before us comes into greater focus.

Which brings us to the question; what approach should leadership adopt in order to successfully migrate the delivery system through the inflection point where quality of care and cost containment intersect? How will this collection of independent contractors and institutions coordinate care and meet the new quality metrics proposed by HHS? The fact of the matter is, health care is the most human of our national industries and reforming it to meet the shifting demographic needs and economic constraints of our society may prompt leadership to revisit how they choose to engage and integrate the human element within the system.

In contemplating this approach, a canvasing of the peer-reviewed research into both quality of care and cost containment issues points to a possible solution; the cultivation of emotional intelligence in health care workers. After reviewing more than three dozen published studies, all of which confirmed the positive impact cultivating emotional intelligence has in clinical settings, I believe contemplating this approach warrants further exploration.

Emotional intelligence is a skill as much as an attribute. It is comprised by a set of competencies in Self-Awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management, all leading to Self Mastery. Fortunately, these are skills that can be developed and enhanced over the course of one’s lifetime.

Keeping the number of handoffs and individuals involved in delivering the continuum of care, let’s examine how emotional intelligence factors into the proposed quality measures the Department of Health and Human Services will be using come October, 2012:

1.) Patient/Caregiver Experience of Care – This factor really comes down to a patient’s perception of care. Perceptions of care are heavily shaded by emotions. Patients consistently rate less skilled surgeons that have a greater bedside manner as better than maestro surgeons that lack, or choose not to display, these softer skills. Additional research into why people sue over malpractice also indicates how perceptions of care are formed. People don’t sue over a medical mistake in and of itself. People sue because of how they felt they were treated after the error occurred. From the patient’s perspective (and often their family’s) there’s a difference between being cured and being healed. The difference often can be found in the expression of authentic empathy through healthy, professional boundaries.

This is a key driver in patient decision-making as well. Patients tend to choose a hospital based upon one or two criteria; the recommendation of their primary care physician (with whom they have an established relationship) and/or upon the recommendations from family members or friends that have experienced care in a particular hospital or an individual surgeon. A quick look into the field of Applied Behavioral Economics supports this finding. Economic decision making is 70% emotionally driven with the remaining 30% based in rational thought. In many instances, it would appear that a lot of hospital marketing initiatives don’t seem to reflect an understanding of this phenomena. Waiting room times in Emergency Rooms have little to do with why patients choose a hospital, yet we see billboards everywhere that have the actual E.R. wait times electronically flashing along the roadside.

A patient’s experience (and perception) of care can be highly impacted at the handoff points within the continuum of care. Any new model of care will require exceptional cross-organizational communications to emerge. This requires a high level of engagement and commitment to the new vision at every patient touch-point.

This metric also addresses the caregivers’ experience of care. This speaks largely to the experience of nurses that are delivering that care. The research related to the impact of cultivating emotional intelligence in nurses clearly demonstrates a reduction in stress, improved communication skills, improved leadership and retention, the ability to quickly connect and engage patients, as well as a reduction in nurse burnout (which leads to turnover and additional stress amongst the remaining staff).

2.) Care Co-ordination – Again, this will require optimal engagement and pro-active communication intra-organizationally and cross-organizationally. Each handoff introduces opportunities for variable care to emerge that must be seamlessly co-ordinated. Poor co-ordination also introduces the risk of eroding the quality of the patient’s experience.

3.) Patient Safety – Research shows that the cultivation of emotional intelligence competencies in nursing contributes to positive patient outcomes, lowers the risk of adverse events, lowers costs at discharge, and reduces medication errors, all while lowering nurse stress, burnout, and turnover. Each time a nurse resigns it adds to the nursing shortage on the floor, requires additional hours from other nurses, and costs the hospital approximately $64,000, on average, to backfill the open position. Improving how an institution cares for its nurses improves the level of patient care and safety as well. In many institutions, this will require a shift in leadership’s perspective in order to support a culture that embraces and values the critical role nurses play in maintaining patient safety.

4.) Preventive Health – Elevating Self-Awareness and Social Awareness in clinicians helps them quickly connect and effectively communicate with patients. Subtle, non-verbal cues become more readily apparent, helping clinicians understand the fears and emotions of their patients. Self Management and Relationship Management helps clinicians communicate appropriately and supports the expression of authentic empathy through healthy, professional boundaries. All of these factors come into play when speaking with patients about lifestyle choices, course of treatment, and preventive health care.

From our own personal lives we’ve all learned we cannot “fix” other peoples’ behaviors. We can, however, be in relationship and help support healthy changes they’re ready to embrace. Pro-actively moving to improve preventive health will require deeper, more authentic relationships to emerge between front-line health care providers and patients.

5.) At-Risk Population/Frail Elderly Health – Like preventive health, being measured on the care of the community’s at-risk population and elderly will require an innovative approach to community outreach and pro-active communication. These are not populations that can be easily reached via Facebook or Twitter. Building effective relationships with these demographics will require trustful, human contact and deep engagement with each population, both of which are supported through the development of a mindful approach (i.e. emotionally intelligent) to the challenges at hand.

It will be interesting to see how reform unfolds and how leadership within the health care delivery system chooses to respond to the challenges that lie ahead. Systems and hospitals that choose to take an honest, evidence-based look at how they choose to lead, how they create and execute strategy, and the organizational culture they’re cultivating will be well served in preparing to successfully navigate this unprecedented change.

© 2011, Terry Murray.

How Cultural Intelligence Can Benefit You and Your Work Environment

We live in one world. What we do affects others, and what others do affects us. To recognize that we are all members of a world community and that we all have responsibilities to each other is not romantic rhetoric, but modern economic and social reality.

We are all living and working in a multicultural community whichever country we live in. In order to succeed, we must acquire a far different set of knowledge, skills and perspectives than previous generations. We must be prepared to trade with, work alongside and communicate with persons from radically different backgrounds than our own. We must be willing to learn, understand and confront complex new issues. For us and our children, preparing for any type of success in today’s world, knowledge about the rest of the world is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity.

We need not look beyond our own borders to sense the impact of the new globalism. New immigrants from Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America and elsewhere have generated diversity within the UK – in communities, places of worship, workplaces and shopping malls – that mirrors the diversity of the world.

There is no doubt, globalization has changed and is still changing the business environment, faster than we can possibly imagine. Today’s rapidly changing technology, the ever changing global economy, the constant mergers and acquisitions among companies, up-sizing, downsizing and resizing has forced almost all of us to change, in some cases almost daily. And all these changes in our professional lives, is in addition to all the daily changes happening in our personal lives.

The term ‘globalization’ has found a significant place in changing the lives of all of us. Though globalization primarily covers the economical side, the impact is not limited to only the economy. It most definitely has a major impact and affects every aspect of our life, whether it’s cultural, social, psychological or political.

The world has become a melting pot of cultures. According to the Regional Language Network, in London, after English the top ten languages spoken fluently are French, Spanish, Polish, Hindi, Italian, Urdu, German, Russian, Bengali and Portuguese. In 2008, over 300 languages were spoken in London, and roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world. London is a well known international centre of culture. The Encyclopaedia of World Cultures has entries on over 1,500 different culture groups in the world.

Whether it’s in our personal or professional lives, this is the real issue facing all of us, globally. How can we find a way to co-exist in this new world? By learning to communicate better, learning about and understanding each other’s cultures, and respecting each other’s differences.

Cultural Intelligence is an important competence in the world we work and live in today. Logically, it’s been around since the beginning of mankind, but it’s only recently entered the mainstream world of the West.

Attempts to collaborate are hindered by friction due to different preferences, language and interpretation of the situation. It can be difficult to harness the benefits of the variety of knowledge and perspective if people defend themselves and lack the awareness of the cultural differences across disciplines. It can prove even more difficult with mergers and acquisitions if cultural dimensions are taken into account before organisational integration.

People have a habit of clinging on to ‘the way it was’ even in our own back yard, never mind in foreign countries and cultures. How can you make an effective and seamless transition and bridge the gap of differences in culture?

In knowledge management, Cultural Intelligence is a big factor in determining teamwork among people from different functions, corporate cultures, disciplines, nationalities, cultures and traditions. In a social complexity situation you need a systematic approach to bridging cultural differences – it can make the success of or it can destroy your business.

The learning and development of Cultural Intelligence is not a quick fix, but a process in which people gradually attain a new insight and a new perspective to a new language and professional methods that will enable them to obtain better solutions in cross cultural situations.

What are the benefits of Cultural Intelligence and what can you gain? Cultural Intelligence will enable you to:

  • Create productive relationships based on valuing people’s differences;
  • Harness the synergy in groups where people think and act differently;
  • Bridge cultural differences and create a common ground and joint culture;
  • Analyse and reflect on intercultural communication;
  • Communicate effectively in various cultural settings;
  • Use differences as a lever in innovation processes.