1. Hader, Richard RN, CNA, CHE, CPHQ, PhD, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief

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I like simple food. When I dine at a gourmet restaurant, I can't decide what to order because the menu details different glazes and sauces[horizontal ellipsis] and all I really want is a plain piece of chicken. My gut tells me to stay with the familiar because I don't want to ruin my evening with eating food I'd normally avoid. Through the years, to circumvent my own embarrassment of ordering a no-frills grilled chicken breast, I've "risked it" and ordered the special sauce, even though I couldn't pronounce it. By venturing beyond my comfort zone, I've realized that my gut isn't always right. And most of the time, I'm happy with my choice.

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Many leadership strategies encourage us to act based on instinct. Do so with caution, though: You might avoid innovative ideas because they conflict with your initial beliefs. Remember, just as our taste buds change, so, too, does our work environment. Consider different approaches, even if you've previously tried them and failed.


The habit of making snap decisions is difficult to break yet worth it. By allowing yourself the freedom to consider new strategies, you'll not only facilitate your own professional growth, but also help meet your facility's desired outcomes. Creativity can often fall victim to sabotage. If you dismiss suggestions too quickly, you'll stifle team commitment. Promote free thinking and foster a culture of acceptance that engages staff members.


Surround yourself with individuals who bring new ideas to the table. Interview job candidates with the objective of adding differing perspectives to your teams to fuel original dialogue and facilitate paradigm shifts and positive organizational change.


Resistance to fresh thoughts will decay creativity and limit everyone's ability to succeed. Like food, ideas spoil when not used. Don't waste the delicacy of human ingenuity: Act on it swiftly, as the competition already has a copy of your menu.


Richard Hader