Friday, February 26, 2016

Imagine!’s 2015 / 2016 Leadership Development Group Update:February 2016

Tim West-Heiss, Shannon Bundy, Laura Ball, Maria Klickna, Sterling Wind

This year’s Leadership Development Group (LDG) recently read the book Drive, by Daniel Pink. The thesis of this book focuses on moving away from rewards and punishment to promoting employees’ productivity and turning more towards a new way of thinking that is based on autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

The book helped LDG members to contemplate new ideas of how to motivate employees by means other than the traditional carrot and stick approach to motivation. LDG members found this book really interesting, as they read about how people are driven by various intrinsic motivators. For example, people are driven by the desire to direct their own lives, to progress at something that matters to them, and/or the desire to do something great.

Here are some comments from the LDG members on what they got out of Drive, and how they have applied it or want to apply it to their work environment:

After reading the first couple chapters of Drive, I took some time to think about what I could do to provide the staff I supervise to be more driven in their work. I focused on a specific concept from the book about providing staff more freedom to be creative. I spent a good amount of time trying to rearrange the staffing schedule to allow fulltime staff to have some hours set aside where they could work on something that was intrinsically motivating to them. Eventually, I was able to allow four primary residential counselors three to four hours to come in to work at their leisure and work on a task that was of great interest to them in supporting their primary consumers in a more creative manner. Although this new schedule has only been implemented for a couple of weeks, I can already see some great improvements. My team at the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome has already come to me with multiple projects and ideas that they are excited to work on. Everyone at the home seems to be truly more motivated and happy. I can also see an increase in their performance completing the daily responsibilities on shift. – Shannon Bundy

The book Drive truly opened my eyes to a number of new ideas. It demonstrated that tying increased compensation to better performance is more often than not a detriment to actual long term performance, that and the evidence to this fact is quite substantial, and that there must be something substantial to explain this phenomenon: internal drive. The book also argued that completely structured environments often deter creativity and don’t allow this internal motivation to flourish in to creation. This book has really sparked my desire to look at our work environment differently and now I am noticing opportunities to adjust things like how we do our documentation, and incorporating concepts from this book like adding a little more freedom on when and where documentation is done. – Tim West-Heiss

Drive by Daniel Pink was an interesting book discussing intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation occurs when we act without any obvious external rewards. We simply enjoy an activity or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn, and actualize our potentials. When reflecting on my work here at Imagine! while reading this book, it only confirmed to me that I am personally rewarded by the relationships I build and the clients we serve here at Imagine! everyday – these are my intrinsic motivators. – Maria Klickna

One concept that I found intriguing in Drive was that once an employee is identified as a preferred hire by a company, the prospective employee would begin working with existing teams. The teams have the ultimate say by actually offering the prospective employee a position with the team. The author also suggests that once an employer takes care of the essential economic needs of their workforce and their families, that employees will naturally seek autonomy, mastery, and purpose; which made me think what we as Imagine! could achieve if the essential economic needs of our workforce and their families weren’t a chronic concern” – Sterling Wind

In the book Drive, the author examines three elements of true motivation-autonomy, mastery, and purpose. This book gave me the opportunity to reflect on what motivates me individually as well as perspective on what may motivate Imagine! employees. I would like to apply this knowledge to our LDG performance management case study, and also figure out a way to incorporate these elements and ideas to retain our current staff. – Laura Ball

The book Drive has played a big part in the development of our chosen case study on performance management. We are applying Daniel Pink’s concepts in our case study to develop a better way for Imagine! to address performance management across all departments.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Girls Day Out

Last week on Monday was Girl's Day Out for the ladies living at the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome in Boulder. Staff member Margaret Kuwata organized the event so that Lana, Rae, Rebecca, Karen, and Mandy got their manicures done for free at Jlounge Nail Salon. It was Lana’s first time at a nail salon! Jennifer Zrubek (one of the owners at JLounge) and India (nail artist) donated their time, and we offer them our sincere appreciation.

Can’t see the video? Click here

After the pampering was complete, Margaret took the crew to the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse. The General Manager of the Teahouse, Matt, gave the ladies 50% off the entire meal, for which we are also very thankful!

 Check out some pictures below.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Imagine!’s 2015 / 2016 Leadership Development Group Update: January 2016

Tim West-Heiss, Shannon Bundy, Laura Ball, Maria Klickna, Sterling Wind

As a member of this year's Leadership Development Group (LDG), I am proud to announce that the LDG has achieved 100% participation in the Imagine! Employee Giving Campaign this year.

This year, the Employee Giving Campaign will support Out & About's Center Stage productions for children and adults. Next year, a new unique program associated with a different service department will be supported by our employee giving campaign. By participating in Imagine!'s Employee Giving Campaign, together we directly support the fundraising efforts of the Imagine! Foundation as well as the programs that make a difference in the lives of the people and communities we serve.

Here is why we participate:

I participate in our Employee Giving Campaign because I believe Imagine! is making the world a better place! It’s my way of showing support and commitment to the incredible organization I work for. – Laura Ball, Imagine! Human Resources Manager

I participate in our Employee Giving Campaign because I know the amazing impact this program has on the families and individuals we serve here at Imagine!. I am very proud to work for this organization and feel good that my contribution will help directly support our programs. – Maria Klickna, Imagine! Family Support Navigator

I participate in our Employee Giving Campaign because I believe in all that goes on at Imagine! and want to help in any way I can to support the people we serve in all that they want to do and achieve. – Shannon Bundy, Imagine! Site Supervisor at the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome

I participate in our Employee Giving Campaign because my contribution connects me to something bigger than just the role that I play here at Imagine!. I participate because I believe in the potential of all! – Sterling Wind, Imagine! Public Relations Coordinator

I participate in our Employee Giving Campaign because of knowing the fact that a small portion of what I earn can go towards something extremely beneficial to a large group of people and I want to do what I can to support the larger imagine! community. – Tim West-Heiss, Imagine! CORE/Labor Source Longmont

The Executive Team at Imagine! has also achieved 100% participation in the Employee Giving Campaign this year. As an LDG team, we encourage each of you to consider contributing to this worthy campaign. If every employee donated $1 per pay period between now and the end of June 2016, we would exceed our $10,000 goal. Your donation will reap huge results for the children and adults who perform in Out & About’s Centre Stage productions!

Widespread participation in the Employee Giving Campaign is another way to show our support for the people and community we serve.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Butterfly's and Flowers and Spiders Oh My!

Earlier this month, residents of the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome took a trip to the Butterfly Pavilion. The trip was coordinated by staff member Kevin Gray. They all enjoyed seeing the beautiful butterflies, and Karen was especially excited to tell everyone that she held the spider!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Imagine!’s Leadership Development Group Update from December 2015

Tim West-Heiss, Shannon Bundy, Laura Ball, Maria Klickna, Sterling Wind

What is Imagine!’s Leadership Development Group (LDG)? I find myself asking this question even as a member of this year’s LDG. So let me share my experience from mid-October when I attended the 15th annual Coleman Conference with the LDG about my experience.

The Coleman Conference is a large annual gathering of persons who experience a disability, their family members, academics and special-educators, representatives from state and federal government, technology developers, and service providers from across the United States and several foreign countries. This diverse group of people discusses how technology presently impacts people who have an intellectual disability, and how technology can evolve to become even more accessible to benefit everyone regardless of cognitive differences. This conference occurs each fall, right here in our backyard, and is organized by the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities through the University of Colorado.

This was my first year attending the Coleman conference. Timothy Shriver, the chairman for the Special Olympics and keynote speaker for the event, gave a motivating and heartfelt speech about his perspectives in our field, and set the stage for a unique day of learning.

Several speakers gave overviews of initiatives at the federal level like the PCPID (President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities) report to the president titled “Leveling the playing field.” This presentation included recommendations on broad scale concerns like access to higher education and employment for individuals with cognitive disabilities.  Other speakers discussed their endeavors in things like the modification of webpage learning to include innovative adaptive methodology through the FLOE Project.  Post lunch was my favorite part of this conference when a panel of self-advocates took the stage. The panelist used a number of different devises to share their experiences and stories. Liz, an advocacy specialist with the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD), discussed the use of social media to incorporate her weekly advocacy videos. Cathy, the vice president of Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), gave an example of utilizing iPad’s to clearly articulate her advocacy insights and experiences. John Smith, project coordinator for the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota discussed his “Self-Advocacy Online” project. His project is designed to implement an accessible website as a resource for individuals looking to network and participate in organized self-advocacy groups across the country. I can think of only one word to describe these individuals and that word is heroic.

This experience reminded me that our field is full of heroes. It also reminded me that all who work at Imagine!, must stay focused on innovating and integrating by learning to support not just the people we serve, but the vital technologies that can deliver improved health, safety and engaged happiness for the people we serve.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valetine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a nice picture of Donna, who accepts services from Imagine!, showing her love of the holiday all about love. Donna worked one-on-one with staff members during an Imagine! CORE/Labor Source art class to create a beautiful Valentine's Day card for her husband Gerald. Donna enjoyed collaborating with staff on a creative design for the card and wrote a sweet note on the inside for her Valentine!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Celebrating the Broncos Super Bowl Victory

John recently attended a Broncos Super Bowl celebration. Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome staff member Ian Griffin took him and told us John had a blast, and was dancing and cheering the whole time! At the rally he was high fiving everyone and said, "This is so amazing!"

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Gerald's Story

On Friday, January 29 at the Imagine! Celebration, we honored Gerald, who receives services from Imagine!. Technology has played a huge role in Gerald’s success and transformation. Check out the video below to learn more.

Can’t see the video? Click here

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award: February 2016

Congratulations are in order for Kevin and Wendy Gray, who work at The Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome in Boulder, on being selected as the February 2016 co-recipients of the Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award.

Kevin and Wendy were nominated by Site Supervisor Shannon Bundy. A portion of her nomination is below, which ably demonstrates why the pair were selected as this month’s recipients:

Kevin is my full time primary residential counselor and his wife Wendy just became a sub at our house. I am so impressed with how they go above and beyond to care for the residents at our site. Kevin has been incredible as a primary counselor for two of the residents. He takes them on multiple reward outings, he has strengthened one resident’s relationship with his sister, and has really brought another out of her shell. Kevin also comes in early on Saturdays to cook an extravagant breakfast for the house, which everyone loves. Wendy has just started, but we had three residents with birthdays last month, and she baked each one of them a cake for their special day! I feel Kevin and Wendy really need to be recognized for how caring they have been with all the residents of the home. They make this place feel like a family.

Great work, Kevin and Wendy, and congratulations on this well-deserved honor!