The Pickle Challenge accepted by The Memorial Hospital at Craig |

The Pickle Challenge accepted by The Memorial Hospital at Craig

Joe Tye held workshops with staff of The Memorial Hospital at Craig this week to help the organization shift from a culture of accountability to one of ownership as described in his book "The Florence Perscription."
Sasha Nelson

— Florence Nightingale is credited with the development of modern nursing and hospital management. By looking back at her work, founder of Values Coach Inc. and author of “The Florence Prescription,” Joe Tye hopes to help hospitals move their organizations forward.

The Memorial Hospital at Craig invited Tye to Craig this week to work with staff to move from an organization of “accountability to one of ownership,” Tye said. As part of his visit all staff at the hospital were provided with a copy of his book “The Florence Prescription.”

The idea of the book started when Tye began to imagine “what would Florence say if she visited our hospitals today? She would be amazed at what we could do. She would be appalled at some of the things she would hear about some of the ways we treat people. Nurses eat their young,” he said.

The idea that nurses eat their young is a graphic metaphor for the “toxic emotional negativity” that pervades many hospitals today Tye said.

And that’s when pickles enter the story.

The pickle challenge so named because “chronic complainers look like they were born with a dill pickle stuck in their mouths,” Tye said, he has asked hospital staff to take the pickle pledge to “turn every complaint into either a blessing or a constructive suggestion.”

Then from Nov. 13 to Nov. 20 hospital staff will raise $1,000 in quarters for the Moffat County Food Bank by contributing a quarter into a pickle jar each time someone slips into negative habits. Tye will match, up to $1,000, the money raised.

“It has a gentle way of making people aware of how they are treating themselves and others,” Tye said.

In a note tucked into the book by Andy Daniels, chief executive officer for TMH, said, “as an organization, we need to offer each other the encouragement to care, the encouragement and assertiveness to challenge each other to seek innovative solutions, encouragement to hold one another to our values and encouragement for you personally to own your attitude, skills and knowledge.”

The renewed focus on improving culture is hoped to not only create a better place of business, but also to increase business.

“We already have really great health care here. And so do a lot of the surrounding the hospitals. It isn’t the level of care that is going to differentiate us. It’s going to be the culture,” said Vice President of Hospital Operations for TMH Jennifer Riley.

The Pickle Challenge is a step forward in a transformation that will take work.

“Every organization has an opportunity to improve its culture. Some of the best in the world — Google, Zappos — work on their culture every single day,” Riley said. “If you are going to have a great culture you are going to work on it every day. It’s something we know we want and it’s going to take work to move it and a lot of work to keep it there.”

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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