Friday, September 22, 2017

Good News Friday!

I’m very pleased to announce that Imagine! will be participating in Way To Go Tober next month.

Way To Go Tober is a great way for Imagine! employees to try new, smarter ways to commute while saving money, reducing stress, and improving the air. Employees can track and receive points for smart commutes, and the company with the highest score wins prizes, glory and the Go-Tober Champion title. I’m feeling good about Imagine!’s chances!

We put together the short video below to encourage Imagine! employee participation. Even if you aren’t an employee here (though you could be), you should consider taking part in this fun way to make our environment a little healthier.

Can’t see the video? Click here

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Technology Tuesday

Touring Imagine!’s SmartHome yesterday, to see first hand how technology is changing the way services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can be delivered, was John Covert, Development/Marketing Director for Glory Community.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Good News Friday!

Today, I’d like to officially introduce the members of the 2017-2018 Imagine! Leadership Development Group (LDG). This year’s LDG members are (from left to right in the picture below):

Jeff Rodarti, who works for Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source department.

Brodie Schulze, who also works for Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source department.

Britt McWilliams, who works for Imagine!’s Innovations department.

Ally Joel, who works for Imagine!’s Out & About department.

Jen McIntyre, who works for Imagine!’s Case Management department.

The purpose of Imagine!’s Leadership Development program is to provide a coordinated platform that strategically develops talent within Imagine! to address the company’s leadership needs for the future. The program is designed to educate employee participants about the complexities of the organization and to assist management in learning about people with talent that may be good matches for leadership roles.

Each participant in the LDG will gain a broad understanding of leadership skills and be provided the opportunity to apply their learning in various settings. Each participant will assess their present strengths and areas for growth and realize their potential for leadership. Leadership skills and knowledge gained will be applicable in many aspects of the successful participant’s experiences.

The Leadership Development Group will utilize a variety of methods of learning during the course of the year. These methods will include opportunities for self-study, facilitated group meetings, attendance at other Imagine! meetings, mentoring, training opportunities, and presentations.

Congratulations to all of this year’s LDG members. I think you will find it to be a very rewarding experience. I’m looking forward to getting to know you and, just as important, to learning from you throughout the year.

Check out the short video below to learn more about Imagine!’s Leadership Development Group. And get to know a little more about this year's participants (including their favorite super hero) here.

Can’t see the video? Click here

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Confidence Builders

I mentioned recently on this blog that Imagine! has been working on changing our approach to performance management and performance evaluation. This is a topic I will return to occasionally in this space because I think it is so important to the success of our ability to meet our mission.

Some interactions I have had with some newly hired Imagine! supervisors got me to thinking about confidence. Specifically, I wondered if we are doing enough to not only provide our supervisors with the skills and tools they need to do the job well, but also if we are instilling the confidence they need to do the job well.

You may ask where the distinction between skills/tools and confidence lies. I believe it is the same as the distinction between how and why.

The “how” part is fairly simple. You can easily show somebody what forms they need to fill out, what boxes they need to check, or what dates and times specific projects are due. Those are important.

Equally important, in my mind at least, is establishing the “why” of the job. Supervision is a very human endeavor. And human beings are complex, and they sometimes, may I say, become independently creative when asked to conform to an established set of tools and instructions.

So if your only knowledge is the “how,” you aren’t very well equipped to address those deviations that inevitably will occur in supervisory duties. In other words, if your comfort level as a supervisor is that you can readily fill in for someone you supervise, there is a great deal of room to grow. As more cases like that arise, supervisors can find themselves losing confidence rapidly.

Much better then, to help new (and established) supervisors to understand the “why” of the work to be completed, a reason to be; and to be able to convey that purpose to others. Having a solid understanding of the why of their job gives them a solid foundation which allows them, somewhat counterintuitively, to be more flexible with their decision making in the face of unexpected challenges. With a firm footing based on the why of the work, a supervisor can be more effective and feel more confident when leading others and giving them purpose beyond “how” to complete their tasks.

Imagine! hasn’t always been great at helping new supervisors grasp the larger picture before throwing them into the mix. But we need to be. Supervisors at Imagine! have important and difficult jobs. That is why we are working to ensure that our supervisors are given clear, realistic performance expectations while at the same time presented with milestones to strive for as they continuously work to improve their ability and confidence in their key efforts toward the creation of a world of opportunity for all abilities.

I thank them for their efforts, and stand ready to support them so that our mission moves ever closer to reality.

Then again, what do I know?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Technology Tuesday

Since this is National Direct Support Professional Week, we thought it would be a good idea to use this Tech Tuesday give a shout out to Imagine!’s very own Brodie Schulze, who will be participating in an American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) webinar this Thursday entitled “DSPs Unplugged.” A moderated panel of direct support professionals, including Brodie (the 2017 Colorado DSP of the Year), will share their reflections, lessons learned, and ideas for providing critical support for people who rely on our services. The webinar platform technology makes it possible for DSPs from different parts of the country to share their insights in a single online setting.

Learn more, or register for the webinar here.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Good News Friday!

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has declared September 11-15 as Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) Week. 

The often unheralded efforts of DSPs make it possible for millions of Americans with disabilities to lead meaningful lives as valued members of their communities. Imagine! DSPs are the ones who are working hard at the ground level to facilitate those possibilities. To our DSPs, Imagine!’s mission isn’t just a bunch of words on a piece of paper – it is something they live and embody every day.

All next week on our Facebook page we’ll be highlighting some of our amazing DSPs, so please check it out if you get a chance.

And be sure to thank an Imagine! DSP if you get a chance – they are the heart and soul of our organization.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Out & About 20 Stories Update - 9/06/17

Imagine!’s Out & About department is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year! 

To honor this milestone, we are collecting and sharing stories and memories from our employees, from the families and individuals we serve, and from the many businesses that support our work. In fact, we’re collecting and sharing 20 stories from each of those three categories!

Here’s a couple of recent stories from Out & About participants:

Jordy is happy to report that everyone at Out & About is “helpful and friendly.”


And Terra shares how Out & About has enabled her to make many friends.

I’ll be sharing other stories and memories on this blog throughout the year. You can also click here to see all the stories we have so far.

I encourage you to visit the page often – there’s a lot more coming!