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Book details
  • SubGenre:Human Resources & Personnel Management
  • Language:English
  • Pages:162
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098306724

Design a Healthy Culture

A DIY Guide for Building a Healthy Culture

by Denise Gaskin Ph.D. M.S.

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Many organizations see their main assets walk out the door each night. But these assets—the individuals and the knowledge, experience and expertise each brings to their roles—are what keep the organization running. A firm is only as good as its people, so an investment in your personnel is a smart business decision. In Design a Healthy Culture: A DIY Guide for Building a Healthy Culture, you will gain the tools and support you need to examine your own business culture and health, and design for change.
For many firms and organizations, their assets walk out the door each night. The assets are the people and the knowledge, experience and expertise each brings to their role. For ease of language, throughout this book I use the term member to refer to all those who work for a firm or organization, not just the highly skilled and most educated workers such as lawyers, accountants, engineers, doctors, or senior management. Members include everyone from the copy center, to human resources, service support, and administration. This book explores the intersection between culture, health, and a firm or organization's business goals. You will find an overlap, a congruence, between the elements of health, culture, and business strategy. What your workforce wants in its culture is nearly always tied to one of the elements of a healthy workplace. I show you how to observe and measure your firm's culture and how to use health data to understand your firm's overall health. You will discover how firm members are thriving (or suffering) in the context of your culture. You can "map" culture and health data to form a picture and decide if change is needed. If you want to change an aspect of your health or culture, I show you how to take steps to uncover your root issue and how to apply the principles of design thinking to build a desired healthy culture. A firm is only as good as its people, so an investment in your members is a smart business decision. The goal of this book is to give you the tools and support in a self-study format so you may examine your own culture and health, and then design for change. The work you do on designing a healthy culture can differentiate your firm or organization and allow you to attract and retain the best talent and clients. Think of this work as gaining a deeper understanding of who you ARE and who you want to be. With this self-study guide you choose to devote a little or a lot of resources to understand your culture health. Even a small investment of time to understand your culture and health will provide positive results.
About the author
Denise Gaskin has worked in the healthcare and behavioral health, not-for-profit, and legal industries. After completing a B.S. in Exercise Physiology and Wellness from Ball State University, she joined a large hospital system and began to design and implement wellness programs for employees and the hospital's corporate clients. She earned an M.S. in Counseling Psychology, intending to understand how humans process and adapt to change and what causes them to act in ways not always in their best self-interest. This led to a position with a regional behavioral health organization in North Carolina, where she spent more than 10 years working in two different capacities—as director of a program serving children with behavioral and emotional disorders, and in a lead operations role for a non-profit organization. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee in 2008, after which she left the field of behavioral health to take a position of COO at a law firm in Asheville. In late 2012, she moved to Portland, Oregon and assumed the position of COO at Schwabe Williamson and Wyatt, a large regional law firm serving the Pacific Northwest. In January 2020, she left Schwabe to pursue writing, teaching, training, and consulting with firms and businesses. Through her writing, she hopes to share her passion for the connection between culture + health + business strategy and design thinking.