Board Governance

Eden Care Communities Relationship Model of Governance

In our Relationship Model, values, structure, and processes form the basis of governance, leadership, management and service delivery. The roles of governance, leadership, and management differ, but the principles that underlie them are the same. There is a continuity of design I would use the word “practice” instead of design from our membership to the point where our Residents and Elders receive the care and housing services.

Our values determine our behavior. In order to have an effective organization, all who work together must share the same values. When values are shared there is a built-in tendency to work with the same operating system within the same structure and with the same processes. There are many categories of values and many values in each category. The list of our values is as long as we want it to be. In the Relationship Model, we have identified three core relationship-oriented values. Together they form the foundation of successful working relationships.

Affirmation is fundamental to healthy and productive relationships. Affirmation is the most elemental of all values. It encourages, builds, enables, empowers and ensures the fulfillment of each individual in your organization. It encourages calculated risk. Affirmation enables mistakes to fuel a learning culture instead of a blame culture. Our affirmation of others and ourselves is the most significant factor influencing the structure and the processes of our relationships.

Involvement means collaboration. It affirms the unique contribution of each individual in the organization. It means that people are involved in the decision-making process, especially in matters where they are personally affected. Involvement increases ownership and commitment, making individual fulfillment and organizational effectiveness more likely. It unlocks enormous potential through synergy and allows organizations to make changes more effectively.

Servant leadership means lifting people up instead of putting them down. It’s a quality that characterizes those who are the source of authority to others in a relationship-oriented organization. Servant leadership includes such values as care, concern, valuing the worth of others, service and support. Servant leadership can be demonstrated by anyone who is in a position of authority in an organization. In any organization, everyone has some authority. We often think of authority in a “top-down” manner. Our organizational charts, which place the “highest” level of authority at the “top”, suggest the opposite of the kind of authority that supports those above. A better organizational “chart” is the image of the tree where those with the most authority support those above.

The Relationship Model™ offers the most natural means of giving an effective design to our organization. No major paradigm shift is required. At the same time, we realize how important it is to use the conceptual framework this model offers both when we build a governance structure and when we process information.

Structure is the vehicle. Process is the journey. The way we use power reflects the quality of our driving.