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What Do You Stand For? -- Do You Know? Does Your Team Know?

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By Steve Moran

A few weeks ago we published an article titled Advice from Some of the Best Minds in the Field by my friend Denise Boudreau-Scott that shared how a small group of remarkable senior living leaders recently gathered in Chicago for a day to work on creating extraordinary work cultures. My dream is that our senior living cultures become so compelling that senior living will be a more exciting and desirable place to work than Silicon Valley or Hollywood.

That day in Chicago will end up having a far reaching positive impact on the entire senior living culture. The first impact is that we will produce an e-book that will allow the entire industry access to some of the great discussions and ideas that flowed from that event.

Culture 2100

The second and even more impactful impact is that Denise and I are launching an exclusive, invite-only, year-long initiative called Culture 2100 where we will gather a very small group of executive leaders from a maximum of ten organizations to do a deep dive into what a 21st century senior living culture could and should look like. It’s something that we’ve seen as a need in our field for years, but the gathering in Chicago unexpectedly made us realize: There’s no time to waste, this must happen now!

In a very critical way, this initiative will give the participating organizations a significant competitive edge in hiring and retaining the very best team members. The residual impact of creating a one-of-a-kind culture that differentiates their organization is significantly better bottom line results.

This group is committed to improving the field as a whole and we will share various lessons from what we learn.

What Do You Stand For?

As I have been thinking about how to support Culture 2100 in making the greatest impact in the participating organizations and the field, I keep coming back to the very basic question:  What do organizations stand for? It is more than just a mission statement? Is it really about living your core values?

It might look like this:

Our Mission is . . . (insert your mission statement here).


The way we get there is: (Just some ideas)

  1. We are committed to complete transparency even when things are not going well.

  2. We believe in work/life balance.

  3. We have each other’s back at all times.

  4. We are committed to diversity in our team.

  5. We will celebrate our differences in beliefs and never attack each other over individual beliefs.

  6. We believe every team member is doing the best they can.

You might think of these as being like your GPS or traffic signs -- your core values that you never intentionally violate.

The Hardest Part

The hardest part of all of this is that as leaders we must walk the talk each and every day. I have heard way too many stories about organizations that claim one set of values and then their walk is something very different. When that happens it’s actually worse than not having a set of core values at all.

Don’t Get Me Wrong

We know that a perfect culture isn’t possible. But moving to a 21st century culture has to be much more than just a good idea if you are going to survive as an organization and if we are going to thrive as a field.  

Does your organization have a set of core values? How do you model them each and every day?


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