Day: December 17, 2018

V50: Joy in Action

As health care leaders, we are immersed in so many of life’s powerful emotions on a daily basis – from the elation of birth, recovery, and healing to the Moments of uncertainty, illness, and loss. It’s important to remember, however, that amidst the emotions we often feel in these situations, we have the power to recognize and cultivate Joy. And remember: Joy is contagious, so the more we create, the more it grows. This week, we look at discovering and rediscovering Joy within our own walls and out in the world.

Have a Joy-filled week!

Flipping the Joy Model

While we’re always on a mission to bring Joy into the lives of our patients, Colton Nordvik reminds us that our guests are in need of Joy, too. Flipping the model of the toy drive, high school senior Nordvik asked his community to make donations such as cologne, picture frames, coffee mugs, and pajamas to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Northern California. The goal was to create a store where the young patients of Shriners Hospitals could shop for a present for their parents. This allowed the patients to Experience the Joy of giving even from their hospital rooms.

How can we put the Joy of giving into the hands of our team members, providers, patients, and guests? Reflect on how the act of giving brings Joy to both people involved.

Restoring Joy

Drs. David Rosenthal and Abraham Verghese went on a journey to help physicians rediscover Joy in their work. They found that the key to reversing the trending disconnect, which came with the introduction of the electronic medical record, was challenging but simple: dedication to human Connection. To invigorate Joy in their work, physicians must not fall prey to treating what Rosenthal and Verghese call the “iPatient,” or the profiles created by the “drop-down menus, cut-and-paste text fields, and lists populated with a keystroke.” It’s critical, instead, to truly see, acknowledge, and prioritize the human Connection. Rosenthal and Verghese go on to point out that this isn’t limited to the patient-doctor in-person Connection, it’s also about doctors spending time with colleagues and designing spaces such as lounges and lunchrooms to facilitate getting out from behind a computer and connecting with each other.

The power of human Connection isn’t just the key to finding Joy in work for physicians; it’s the secret to job satisfaction for all of us. What ways can we unlock the opportunities for our team members, providers, patients, and guests to connect with and acknowledge each other?

Ode to Joy

Magical things happen when an entire nation dedicates itself to Joy. In Japan, it is an end-of-year tradition to sing the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, “Ode to Joy.” The song is such an essential part of the Japanese culture that it’s known just as daiku, which translates literally to “number nine.” This particular recording is of the Number Nine Chorus performing daiku after the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan in 2011. What is normally a practice of giving time and effort to Joy became a moment of Joy for the entire world. Feel your heart soar as the chorus comes in.

The power of large groups of people devoting themselves to Joy is undeniable. Luckily, our organizations are home to thousands of people who have opportunities to discover and practice Joy collectively every single day. How are we encouraging our team members, providers, patients, and guests to come together in displays of Joy?

Joy in Action at Vidant

Joy can be shared in so many different ways and our friends at Vidant Health are creating Joy across the entire system. From surprising team members with healthy farmers market treats, to tossing Joy Prompts from the Joy action kit to begin a nursing leadership meeting, to designing a new kind of Service Award Experience, team members are feeling the Joy in their work and that their Experience matters.

The Service Award Experience, in particular, was a great example of creating Joy by intentionally designing for it. Julie Kennedy-Oehlert, Vidant’s Chief Experience Officer shared, “We didn’t just stage a traditional ‘years of service’ Service Award Experience for a group of 500 team members and their spouses. We designed unique and special ways to make the Moments memorable.” Leaders greeted team members and spouses personally at the door. Team members wore badges proudly depicting the number of years they have served and as each tenured group was announced, the number one hit song from the year they started their work with Vidant was played. Joy was shining in the eyes of everyone there as the memorable Moments unfolded. “You know the energy is changing when a president who is often quite reserved gets on stage and authentically opens with ‘I love you guys.’”

How might we intentionally design for Joy at an upcoming meeting? What little touches might make a big impact?


Choose Love has wowed us with its seasonal pop-up retail Experiences, in London and New York City, that are both purposeful and practical. The space is intentionally designed to help visitors learn about the refugee crisis and help humanize the Experience with real photos and stories throughout. Divided into the three phases of a refugee’s journey – Arrival, Shelter, and Future – the store allows visitors to step into the shoes of a refugee and then personally select how, and in what way, to make an impact. Last year, the pop-up and online platform helped provide refugees with 800,000 nutritious meals, 3,556 nights of accommodation, 25,000 winter essentials, and 100,000 items for babies and children. We can’t wait to see the impact they’ll have this year and how they’ll continue to scatter Joy.  

In this season of giving and our final month of LOVING, we’re inspired by this reminder to always Choose Love and the power of this simple message: “We all have a choice. To be motivated by fear and animosity, to build walls and turn our backs on the world. Or to nurture the hopeful; to recognize our common future. To choose love. The world can feel broken, but these cracks are letting in light.” Let’s all be the LOVING agents of possibility and #ChooseLove.