Culture Change is Rude!

Culture Change is Rude!

 I have never been a huge fan of the term “culture change” and not long ago my ten-year-old son’s comments reminded me why…

“Mom all you do is talk about culture change!  Isn’t it rude to tell someone to change their culture?

He then went on to say how he would be highly insulted if someone asked him to change his culture.

First let me clarify, despite my son’s declaration, I do on occasion talk about something other than culture change!  However, the kid has a point.

Who am I, or any of us for that matter, to say someone needs to change his or her culture?  Yes, most organizations need to change the way they do things.  And some need to change drastically.

But really, who wants to be told by someone else that they need to change their attitudes and beliefs?


Culture change, person-centered care, resident-directed care…Regardless of what you call the movement, the important part is that you are aware of the fact that things can be different.  That you are walking the walk and not just talking the talk when shifting from a culture of highly structured routines to empowered decision making by residents and staff.

So are your actions in line with your words?

  • If you say that nursing assistants are vitally important to the organization, do you treat them that way by allowing them to make decisions regarding their work?
  • Do you proclaim that you couldn’t survive without the housekeeping team members but fail to ask their input on changes that affect them?
  • Have you complained about staff not being friendly, yet you fail to meaningfully greet each person that walks by you?

As simple as they seem, these acts, along with countless others are supporting the positive or negative culture in your organization.  You may need a total culture change or perhaps just some cultural enlightenment.

Either way, get out there and put your money where your mouth is!  Wait…was that rude?


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