Since our founding in 2005, every member of Value Capture has strived to perform at the highest levels, always rooted in principles. The most fundamental of these principles are respect and safety. We draw our inspiration and aspiration from Paul O’Neill, Sr. (our Non-Executive Chair until his passing in 2020). He believed (and we agree) that an organization only has a chance to be habitually excellent if everyone in that organization can answer “yes” every day to what are known as the “3R Questions.” These are:
1. Am I treated with respect by everyone I encounter at work, without regard to my race, religion, work status, education, or any other distinguishing characteristic?
2. Am I given the resources I need – training, support, tools – so I can make a contribution to the organization that gives meaning to my life?
3. Am I recognized every day for my contributions by someone whose opinion matters to me?
Explicitly Embedding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our Firm and our Work
The O'Neill three questions have profound real-life meaning for us personally and in our work. Yet, until the events of 2020 – specifically, the horrific killing of George Floyd – we, as a firm, had not made our implicit values explicit, so we were not explicitly striving for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within our firm or our work. We have always focused on safety and respect as organization-energizing and aligning principles, not only as necessary to become habitually excellent but also as the right thing to do. Somehow, though, we had not embedded DEI specifically and measurably into our client engagements.
Following Mr. Floyd’s death, our eyes were wide open; we saw the gaps in ourselves and our work. We began a learning process, to better understand the state of racial inequity in the U.S. (and making clear the important difference between “inequity” and “inequality”). A group of Value Capture team members formed our DEI team, drafting and iterating A3s to guide us for learning and improvement and for work with clients. The Ideal State section of current version of our top-level A3 states:
1. Value of our work is at the Theoretical Limit because it is driven by team members with a diversity of identities and voices that fully reflect the nation and who feel fully respected and supported by an ideally inclusive environment to bring their full selves to the work.
2. Partners move toward measurable Theoretical Limit outcomes at 30-50% annual rates of improvement across every equity grouping, not just “on average,” as fundamental component of their journeys to achieve True North and Habitual Excellence. This encompasses community, patients, staff and enterprise, holistically.
Putting Words to Action
We have embedded DEI targets and behaviors into each element of our own management system and undertaken a team shared learning journey about these issues that we don’t see having an end point.
We have also moved to embed DEI values, goals and measurements explicitly into our model for supporting partner healthcare organizations, not as a separate initiative but integral to performance transformations anchored by psychological and physical safety. And we can report that our partners have launched DEI into their highest strategy development and deployment priorities and a few are moving dramatically in “real time” to apply organizational excellence principles to achieve more equal and eventually equitable outcomes.
Should We Be Color-Blind?
We thank our good friends at KaiNexus for presenting the #RootCauseRacism webinar series. We share here a five-minute excerpt from the March 4, 2021 webinar in which moderator Mark Graban asks the panel the question, “Should we strive to be color-blind as a culture and in our world?”
Why Are We Sharing This Information
Our team believes that it is important to be transparent and share our efforts, struggles and learning. Many people, small companies and large, experienced the same heartbreak we did last summer, the accumulation of so many tragic deaths. We believe our public commitment to continually improve our own internal DEI understanding and behaviors, as well as our commitment to embed this basic (yet too long overlooked and underfed) expression of respect and safety in our client work, is vital to our mission.
We will update our work from time to time, and let you know what we are learning, how our approach is working, what progress we’re making and challenges we’re facing. We hope that you will share with us as well, your thoughts, progress and challenges.
If you would like to learn more about Paul O'Neill's “3 Questions” and leadership principles, please download his eBooks, “A Playbook for Habitual Excellence” and “Lasting Impact.” To learn more about how Value Capture might help you create a culture of habitual excellence, please contact Helen Zak at 617-935-1636, or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete our Contact Form.