Collaborative Services ~ Concierge Practice

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Welcome to our Blog (weblog, we blog) !

The idea of "Six degrees of Separation" or the "Human Web" is that everyone on Earth is on average approximately six steps away from any other person.

So that a chain of, "a friend of a friend" is created.

Although we are virtually aside one another by a few degrees, I would like to connect with you and build bridges.

Here we can share thoughts, concerns, solutions, and build a Community. Consider joining us.

LEARN it ....... TEACH it......LIVE it!

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Educational GLOBAL Connection Opportunity

Posted by Diana Rangaves, PharmD,CEO on February 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Educational Global Connection Opportunity


REGISTER for this e- magazine Community Service Educational Project.


Our intention is to identify upcoming areas and draw aneditorial vision to fulfill the information needs of a worldwide community.


“Connecting the Educational and Clinical Essentials”.


HEALTHCARE WORLDWIDE CENTRAL e~Magazine

http://www.globalwellnessemagazine.us/vol1.html

 

 


Sweet Angels ~ Pharmacy Technician Program SRJC

Posted by Diana Rangaves, PharmD,CEO on December 4, 2011 at 12:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Starting TODAY, SweetAngelGifts.com is donating 50% of their net proceeds to Santa Rosa Junior College Pharmacy Technician Fund to support instructional equipment including IV bags, vials, TPN bags, etc. used by the students.

Please help to maximize this opportunity! Let's create an Angel e~Tree. Please forward this e-mail to as many friends, family, Tweets,Face Book, Linked In, media as you can. Ask those to send it on to others.

The goal is to reach as many people as possible, in this very short 7 days. The Sweet Angels fundraising campaign starts TODAY and ends,Sunday, December 11th!

SWEET ANGELS Nationwide CHARITY CAMPAIGN ~ http://sweetangelgifts.com/nation-wide-charity-event/


When making a purchase please type in Pharm -Tech SRJC as the charity to support during the checkout process. 

Join the Sweet Angel Family in supporting the Santa Rosa Junior College Pharmacy Technology Program, from NOW until Sunday,December 11th! THANK YOU!

PRESS DEMOCRAT is Onboard! ~

http://santarosa.towns.pressdemocrat.com/2011/11/news/want-to-help-srjcs-pharmacy-tech-program/

 


 


IMPACTING ~~ Anytime

Posted by Diana Rangaves, PharmD,CEO on August 3, 2011 at 12:36 PM Comments comments (0)

Would you like to be a part of something bigger than ourselves?

You can impact with a $5 gift!

1. Go to http://www.santarosa.edu/f​oundation/ and click the "make a gift online" button to the Right of the screen.

2. Type "Pharmacy Technician Program Fund" in the space available for other designations.

3. Thank you!

Fund Supports:

Instructional equipment including IV bags, vials, supplies, TPN bags, supplies, needles, syringes, filter syringes, glassware for the lab, kitchen items for compounding, and other equipment used by an instructor or by the students for instruction.

Just a note to let you know that whatever you do is excellent!

It will make a difference.

Thank you.


Collaboration as an Intangible Asset

Posted by Diana Rangaves, PharmD,CEO on June 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM Comments comments (0)

Virtually every tearful Tony Award winner or jubilant NBA Most Valuable Player carries a crumpled wad of paper on which are named the people who "made it all possible."

If ego & time allow, the list can be quite long. So it is with most breakthrough innovations & banner financial years.

The point is not to nod in the direction of the "little people," but instead to recognize that the intangible assets an organization has are the product of the hundreds, perhaps the thousands, of "assists" — to extend the basketball metaphor — that usually go unnoticed but without which problems would not get solved, insights would not be generated, and uncertainties would not be vanquished.

Interestingly, intangible assets are all the rage these days on Wall Street. Investors grapple daily in an effort to figure out how to value companies whose accounting assets — things like land, capital, products, and licenses — don't adequately express their true market value.

Ask a buy-side analyst why Amazon or Apple fetches the price-earnings multiple they do, & inevitably the conversation turns to things like their ability to innovate, their capacity to capture & grow the best talent, their skill at managing brand & vendor relationships or ecosystems.

There is no line on the balance sheet for "ability to innovate" or "skill at managing brand."

And even if there were, it would have to be expressed as a probability statement: How likely is Apple to innovate or out-innovate its peers?

Most intangible assets are real but invisible, and the most important invisible ability is the ability (or, perhaps better said, the probability) to collaborate.

After all, it's the willingness on the part of people to work together to solve problems when they could just as easily pass them along to someone else that forms the core of most things we call collaboration.

It's the decision that someone makes to share an idea or to spend the extra hour helping out — not the regulation or contract that requires it — that usually means the difference between "good enough" and "outstanding."

Marvelous, but if it's invisible, how do you see an intangible asset or collaboration, for that matter? If you can't measure it, how can you manage it?

Fortunately, in recent years, social network analysis (SNA) has emerged as a powerful new way for managers to see the patterns of interaction — information sharing, problem-solving, coaching, and mentoring — that make up the less visible, often informal side of an organization.

By asking simple survey questions online and identifying the people with whom they most frequently interact, SNA makes it possible to depict the networks that underlie or exist in parallel to the formal organization charts and process diagrams.

Repeated surveys can, over time, reveal changes in networks or in patterns of collaboration — making it possible to assess whether interventions such as reorganization or targeted efforts to improve collaboration (like offsite events, new software/communications tools, or incentive programs) actually have their desired impact. Moreover, targeted questions can reveal different types of collaboration.

Case in point, SNA conducted at Novartis helped reveal a pattern of communication — and the existence of parallel innovation efforts — that made it possible to combine teams before they reached a crucial stall point in the development of a new vaccine.

At a major retail bank, early signals of an emerging rift between factions — manifested in very different networks of information sharing — made it possible to save an acquisition before it came apart.

And a rapidly growing pharmaceutical manufacturer discovered through network analysis that management bottlenecks were holding back critical decisions and alienating lower level employees.

Fortunately, tools like social network analysis are making it possible to do something more than "water and wait" when it comes to cultivating intangible assets.

By utilizing more effective ways to depict social networks, to see change in them as a result of targeted interventions, and to distinguish among the types of collaboration possible, managers are finding that they can grow enterprise value and earn their companies a much richer treatment by investors.

So, the question is: What are the most critical intangible assets in your company? What are you doing to cultivate them? Who is responsible for managing the invisible that creates the intangibles?

by Robert Thomas

Harvard Business Review

 


Alzheimer's ~ Death and Dying

Posted by Diana Rangaves, PharmD,CEO on May 26, 2011 at 4:56 PM Comments comments (0)

Alzheimer’s ~ Death and Dying

 

Heartfelt from an anonymous contributor

 

My current perception . . .

 

Tonight, my grandfather is dying.

Earlier this afternoon, morphine was being administered every two hours.

The intervals may be shorter now.

Eating and drinking have long since ceased.

 

He squeezed Grandma’s hand on Saturday. Thank goodness,now, my grandmother, his wife, is hospitalized for pneumonia.

 

He is in a nursing home.

She just barely fills a hospital bed in Santa Clara.

 

The Santa Cruz Mountains separate them, for now.

Sometime soon, the veil will part, one will pass, and then that will flutter between them too.

They will not hold hands in this world again.

 

 I am 2 hours away tonight.

Two hours away from it all until Wednesday night.

 

But I know this place. I've been here before. I've been here for a while.

This mystery, the shifting and passing of people, and places, that have been my always, my home, my family, my very self is familiar to me now.

My heart- that deeper un-namable part that wrenches and shudders still.

I knew the quake was coming.

I know when to seek cover and when to run towards open fields.

 

Alzheimer's.

Grandma and Grandpa struggled for a few years. Grandma cared for Grandpa as long as she could, until he could not walk or even eat onhis own, until she feared for both their safety.

Last June, within a month of her twin brother's diagnosis and death from advanced cancer, Grandma had to move Grandpa to a skilled nursing home.

 

My Dad's mom lived with Alzheimer’s for nearly fifteen brutal years. My grandparents were my only neighbors on a hundred mountain acres for my entire life. They were part of my every day.

 

I was born and raised in the same house as my dad. Grandpa had retired before my sisters and I were born, so Grandpa provided ourjeep rides and songs to the bus stop every morning. Grandma always had molasses cookies ready when we stopped by on our way home. 

 

My family never imagined a time when Grandma and Grandpa would not be just up the hill. I guess we always figured they could live with us or we could live with them. When the time came, my husband and I did just that near the end.

 

Time passed, Grandma needed care we couldn't provide anymore.

Grandpa broke his hip. He never made it back up to his house on the hill.

 

We did not anticipate that our loved ones would finish their days in nursing homes.

Expectations and experience have a way of shaping and reshaping each other.

 

 


Employee Engagement? Maybe the Holy Grail is Really Employer Engagement

Posted by Diana Rangaves, PharmD,CEO on May 19, 2011 at 6:23 PM Comments comments (0)

"More than one in three surveyed employees hopes to be working elsewhere in the next 12 months,” concludes MetLife in its 9th annual study of employee benefits trends.


It adds: “And this intent is true no matter the company size. Employers – lulled by a period of low turnover – may have become less focused on employee job satisfaction and retention.”


There’s another side to the employee engagement discussion that seems to be ignored. I like to state it as this: Give us a reason to be engaged in what the organization is doing. I’m not talking about a mission statement or the top three corporate values, or even the company brand or its long history of innovation, etc.


Consensus a driving forceI’m talking about the efforts a company makes when it truly believes that employees are valuable, that they’re not just “human capital” or “our greatest asset.” I’m talking about a kind of excitement that comes from the top, the energy that flows through every level of the organization.


Call it “Employer engagement.” To me it makes sense that if the employer isn’t committed to its employees and isn’t collaborating with them to achieve its objectives, then the level of employee engagement will never improve (or be well founded) no matter how many satisfaction surveys the company takes.


Consensus in what drives employee engagement seems to settle on the following traits of an employee who is proud to be engaged in pursuing the aims of the business. Call it the “Holy Grail” of engagement. I’d like to turn them around to face back to the C-Suite – are you an engaged employer?


How to get to the “Holy Grail” or engagement.


Belief in the organization.

We all want to believe in the company – that its processes, practices and policies are fair, reasonable, and help us accomplish what we want to accomplish. It’s a workplace culture thing, sure, but does the company actually make the effort to ensure that the organization is effective (beyond just being efficient, which usually translates into fewer staff and resources to do more work).


Is it supportive of individual initiative that furthers the “mission?” In other words, does the organization believe in its people?


Desire to work to make things better.

We all have ideas on how to improve things.


Are they taken seriously? Or is the status quo the “way we’ve always done it,” the supervisor’s micro-management style, the sometimes insulting, usually intrusive, and often inflexible HR set of policies, all given the hands-off treatment?


How does the organization show its own desire to make things better for employees?


Understanding of business context and the “bigger picture.

Information isn’t knowledge or understanding, but it’s probably fair to say it’s where engagement begins. Unfortunately, information is often tightly controlled or is simply not available. Ask around – “Name our top 10 (or  five, or three) clients.” “What is our business model – how do we make money?” “Who are our chief competitors, and what makes us different from them?” “What is our ‘value proposition’ to clients?” And of course, “How are we doing financially?”


Everyone in the company should know those answers. They are the big picture.


Respectful of, and helpful to, colleagues.


Do working policies and operating procedures help us connect with the work, with clients, and with colleagues?


Is the executive suite approachable at all? Is it a natural practice among managers to say “good job” every so often? Or, is the focus on mistrust of employees, and the environment one of “they need to be told to just do their work.” If capacity is strained, are there any release valves for pressures, any commitment to improving things, or is the thought of getting all this work from so few people just too enticing?


Willingness to “go the extra mile.”


This is called discretionary effort — the extra effort I make when I have to deliver on time or solve a customer’s problem, or how I work at a full resolution to the problem. Sure, I’ll go the extra mile, but what about the company? Will management make the effort to (a) encourage me; (b) support me with the necessary tools, resources, and time; and, (c) provide clear recognition of these efforts? (From “thank you” to other tangible recognition?) 


It’s not always possible for the employer to provide the right recognition – say a promotion, or financial incentive. But “going the extra mile” means being seen to make the effort, so that I truly feel that my own efforts make a difference.


Keeping up-to-date with developments in the field.


Sure we want to keep up, even be ahead of those developments, but is there a policy against time spent online getting this information? Is there a source from the company itself that is actively supported/promoted by management (a link to an industry site, for example, or a newsletter that company will subscribe to or pay for)?


Regular briefings available to all employees (not just managers)? Recognition of and support for attending local industry events?


It seems to me that engagement stems directly from leadership. An organization’s leaders who do what they can to remove procedure/process barriers, who humanize its work policies, who put people skills ahead of task skills in appointing managers, and – most of all – who communicate their enthusiasm for the business and its customers are going to have engaged employees at virtually every level of the enterprise.

That’s the Holy Grail.

by Steve Laird

Attribution Link

Breaking the Cycle of Disengagement

Posted by Diana Rangaves, PharmD,CEO on May 19, 2011 at 4:23 PM Comments comments (2)

Employees are greatly influenced by the people who surround them.


Carl is a new employee and loves his job. Since he started two weeks ago, he's been praised constantly by his supervisor for his great work ethic and high productivity. However, Carl has noticed his coworkers seem less than thrilled by his stellar performance.


After work one day, they approach Carl as a group and tell him something needs to change. Carl's productivity on the job is making the rest of them look bad and changing their supervisor's expectations. Carl backs down and lowers his performance at work from excellent to merely average in order to fit in with the group's expectations.


Rather than having a new, highly engaged employee, Carl's company now has another ambivalent employee.


This scenario, while extremely troubling, is more common than most managers would like to think. Even when employees do not take things to the extreme, they still may belittle or joke about highly productive employees to get their point across. Not all employees back down as Carl did, but most get the message: keep the status quo or be disliked.


It all comes down to the high school mentality that when an individual "sets the curve" too high, it is unfair for everyone else. This attitude is extremely dangerous in the workplace, as it breeds Disengagement.


New employees quickly pick up on cultural cues within a workplace, which can spread Disengagement like wildfire.


Situations like Carl's can create an ongoing cycle of Disengagement.


In order to break this cycle, organizations must focus on creating a culture of Engagement among the staff. Employees tend to mirror the behaviors and attitudes of those around them.


If an Ambivalent employee is placed in a situation where he or she works closely with Actively Disengaged employees, it is more likely he or she will start to exhibit the traits of Disengagement.


If Ambivalent employees are paired with Actively Engaged employees, they are more likely to become engaged themselves.


Engaged employees are distinguished in the workplace because they are passionate, prideful, and clear brand champions.


By separating out negative staff members, managers can make a huge impact on Employee Engagement within their organization.


In order to make an even bigger impact on Employee Engagement, managers need to focus on the most impactful key driver of Engagement: RECOGNITION.


Recognizing employees for great behaviors and outcomes is an excellent positive reinforcer. However, it is important to be fair when providing recognition, as any perceived favoritism could discourage employees who are not engaged and strengthen the cycle of Disengagement.


Being fair does not mean that managers should recognize everyone equally, instead, they should make sure to give employees the recognition they deserve.


In Carl's situation, his coworkers may have believed their manager was favoring Carl, which could have added to their dislike of Carl's work ethic as well as increased their personal levels of Disengagement. As a best practice to avoid conflict, managers should consider recognizing employees privately for their work to avoid any perceptions of favoritism.


Another issue employees face on their path to Engagement is a lack of connection with the organization's goals and values.


The employees who cornered Carl clearly thought only of their own personal desires, rather than connecting their productivity to company outcomes. When employees understand how they contribute to an organization's overall mission, they stop worrying about competing with other employees over performance and realize they instead need to focus on making the organization better as a whole.


Managers need to take all steps they can to attempt to engage their disengaged employees.


However, if employees do not show any signs of change, it may be time to cut them loose. People within our industry as well as some of our clients have referred to Disengaged employees as hostage takers, vampires, water cooler malcontents, arsonists, and even terrorists.


Disengaged employees are a drain on an organization and lead to bad outcomes. When a employee/customer has a bad experience, he or she tends to tell 10 different people, who in turn tell five additional people. All in all, 60 potential people hear about this bad experience.


This chain of negativity is known as the Multiplier Effect, and can be detrimental to an organization.


Managers may not always be aware of conversations like the one Carl experienced or realize their employees have entered into a cycle of Disengagement.


If management notices employees exhibiting increased behaviors of Disengagement, it is important to act quickly to ensure the situation does not become worse.


By breaking the cycle of Disengagement, managers can see a huge difference in the behaviors of their employees and their bottom line!

 

By: Kristina Anderson, Associate Marketing Project Manager 

Attribution Link

Safety, Trust, and Leadership

Posted by Diana Rangaves, PharmD,CEO on April 16, 2011 at 5:18 PM Comments comments (2)

Safety, Trust, Intimacy

By Ed Batista

In my capacity as a Leadership Coach at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, I work regularly with groups of MBA students whose purpose is to help the members learn, become more self-aware (and more aware of others), and change their behavior in order to achieve their goals more effectively.

But I'd argue that every group in every organization serves one or more of these purposes in addition to the group's explicitly stated function.  Intentionally or not, each group in which we participate serves as a de facto learning laboratory, within which we come to understand how our interactions with others support or undermine our efforts to accomplish the tasks noted above.

It's clear that some groups are more effective than others at helping the members learn, increase their awareness and change their behavior, and I believe that the group's levels of safety, trust and intimacy are the key factors in determining its effectiveness in this regard.



1) Every group's experience is rooted in a set of initial conditions: How and why were we assembled?  What will our first meeting be like?  What will we discuss there?  These initial conditions form the foundation for all subsequent "layers" of the group dynamic.

2) The foundational qualities that define every group are the levels of safety, trust and intimacy: Safety =  A belief that we won't get hurt.  Trust = We mean what we say and we say what we mean.  Intimacy = A willingness to make the private public.

3) When safety, trust and intimacy are established, these qualities support the actions that lead to greater success as a group: experimentation, risk-taking and a willingness to be vulnerable.

4) When we feel able to experiment, take risks and make ourselves vulnerable, our ability to learn, to increase our self-awareness (and our awareness of others) and to change our behavior in order to achieve our goals more effectively increases dramatically.

5) The process of building one layer upon another occurs in a unique context—so in addition to asking whether learning and change are taking place, we also need to assess how the group's context supports (or inhibits) the development of the underlying layers in the group dynamic.

As we learn, become more aware (of ourselves and others), and change our behavior to achieve our goals more effectively...

Learning, awareness and change become self-reinforcing norms in the group.Group members become more willing to experiment, take risks, and express more vulnerability.

We value the importance of safety, trust and intimacy and act to enhance these qualities in the group.And we identify and seek to replicate initial conditions that support the development of these qualities in future groups. So we need to ask...

How will the group's initial conditions support or inhibit the establishment of safety, trust and intimacy?

At each step of the group's subsequent development, are we increasing or decreasing the levels of these qualities?

What behaviors in the the group dynamic support the development of these qualities?

What behaviors inhibit these qualities?

A final point regarding feedback:

While excessive delicacy and indirectness inhibit learning, awareness and change, the degree of candor and directness in a group must be calibrated to the group’s current levels of safety, trust and intimacy. 

Feedback attuned to these qualities can increase their presence in the group by stretching the group’s capacity for candid and direct discussion.  But feedback that fails to take these qualities into account can actually lead to less safety, trust and intimacy than before and undermine the group’s ability to learn and change. 

Attribution

"Celebrating Our Students" Santa Rosa Junior College Pharmacy Technician & Ensemble Class Graduation

Posted by Diana Rangaves, PharmD,CEO on April 4, 2011 at 12:00 AM

Please join us at a reception hosted by the Santa Rosa Junior College Pharmacy Technician Program & Advisory Committee to Recognize Ten Years of Current and Past Graduates.

 

You are cordially invited to attend the 10th Annual Santa Rosa Junior College

Pharmacy Technician Class of 2011 Graduation Ceremony & Ensemble Class from 2002 to 2010,

 

on Saturday, May 28th, Ceremony 1 pm to 2 pm, Dessert Reception 2 pm to 3 pm

 

The Race Health Sciences Building, Outside Rotunda and Lawn, on the SRJC Campus,

1501 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA,

 

Reception and Socializing follows the Ceremony.

 

Parking available on campus, $4

For More Information :
[email protected]

 

 


Perspectives ~ Perceptions

Posted by Diana Rangaves, PharmD,CEO on March 16, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of information.

Any information, received, collected, with the mind or senses. It quantifies the relationship in our brains existing belief system.

 ~ ~ ~

Perspective is the state of one’s ideas to the known facts in the context of meaningful interrelationship.

It is the learned technique of seeing all the relevant data in relationship.


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