In 2019, Simon Sinek penned the book, “The Infinite Game.” In this book, Sinek makes the case that while we are finite beings, our cause should be infinite. He speaks from a business perspective but offers valuable insights that apply to everyday life.
Long-term strategies guide our decisions as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization. At Moravian Manor Communities (MMC), we don’t have shareholders to whom we must pay quarterly dividends, so our Board of Trustees can focus on long-term initiatives. Most leaders in our space believe that small, stand-alone long term care facilities will struggle to survive. Thus, in 2019, the Strategic Plan called for exploring partnerships and affiliations.
In 2023, our plan to form an affiliation with Morningstar Living in Nazareth, Pennsylvania became a reality. This affiliation is the first step in our long-term strategy, which will most likely evolve to include more than just two facilities. In order to truly (and literally) represent the unity of the affiliated organizations, we established an umbrella corporation named Unitas Communities. (learn more about Unitas on page 4)
Some of my friends in college played for the women’s volleyball team. Whenever they broke from a timeout, they would yell, “Together we can!” Working together for a joint cause captures my interest. MMC’s leadership believes developing partnerships is a successful strategy. While our board meetings do not end with a “Together We Can” cheer, a similar thought process exists.
Our affiliation process with Morningstar Living is awaiting the final legal approvals. We have no concerns about gaining approval, as our affiliation is unlikely to be viewed as a harmful monopoly. On July 1, we began the process of working together, and I am spending the first 90 days learning about the respective cultures and personnel. The first fruits of the affiliation will be bringing together our Business Office functions, followed by Human Resources and Information Technology. It is truly an exciting time.
The similarities in challenges and people have been noteworthy. Many of the resident concerns in Lititz are the same as in Nazareth. The staff challenges offer different faces and names, but similar issues. We are all humans trying to make the world a better place. Through the complications, treating our fellow beings with respect is our core motivation. It is about the people.
On Wednesdays, my wife oversees our three grandsons (ages 7, 5, and 2). By the time I get home, she’s usually fatigued. One day, I arrived home and was amused to hear her recap of the day. She told me that Everett (age 5) wanted to play school. At the beginning of their fictitious school day, he was pleased to announce the RULES TO FOLLOW IN SCHOOL. He very seriously stated four rules: “Do not cough on people. Do not sneeze on people. Do not hit people. Do not call people a b*tch.” Well now! We both got a good chuckle from the last rule (which did not come from me). However, at the core of Everett’s advice is a theme we should all abide by: Respect for one another. As the affiliation unfolds, there will likely be some rocky paths to maneuver. One of our core values at MMC is “People First.” If, at the core of our being, we remain respectful of others on the journey, we will succeed.
In one of Sinek’s chapters, he discusses Trusting Teams and recounts the story of teambuilding with a Shell Oil deep-sea rig crew. He concluded that under the oil workers’ hard exteriors, like all people, they had fears, doubts, and insecurities. No matter what ethnicity, creed, or family history, we all have similar vulnerabilities. When we recognize what we have in common and work together with compassion and understanding, we grow from a collection of individuals into a strong and functional team. While working with diversified groups of people can be challenging, the fruit of our labor is worth the effort.
As MMC and Morningstar Living take the first steps of working together, I am convinced that we will succeed if we treat each other with respect and dignity, unite in unity, and remember that “TOGETHER WE CAN!”