I recently joined BHbusiness Mastering Essential Business Operations as a convener. The plan is to recruit 15-20 peer organizations to participate in a peer provider learning community. I decided to create an all peer – or at least a 95 percent peer – learner community after attending the ACHMA Behavioral Health College Summit last month in Santa Fe, New Mexico. What I came back with was a sense of empowerment, information and a renewed commitment to create a sustainable organization with meaningful programs, innovation, and plenty of ideas that may not necessarily be easy to implement.
My community, the District of Columbia, like many communities on this planet, suffer from systemic racism, rampant abuse of those most vulnerable, and a city that is divided between the haves and have-nots. These issues have resulted in trans-generational trauma. How can we heal ourselves, our communities, and those that we are charged with serving to build and re-build?
I decided to start with the learner community. A community created with others that not only have similar business experiences, but also come with enough differences that we can learn from each other’s successes and failures is an important component to ensure future success. The learning community will allow us to work with a business coach, who will walk us through designing successful business models, and learning to analyze the healthcare market and improve our current business processes. We will primarily work through a virtual learning community, utilizing webinars and conference calling. We will also work independently; utilizing research, reading assignments and on-line discussions. Most importantly, we will learn how to sustain the communities we have fought hard to create over the last two decades.
How can we disarm trauma in the midst of creating sustainable communities? We must love ourselves a little harder, love our peers just a little bit stronger and bring our adversaries closer to our hearts. How can we love harder and stronger?
We begin with ourselves: Stop denying our innate ability to love ourselves unconditionally. Allowing peace to enter our hearts, homes, places of businesses, and community spaces. Knowing that we are purposefully and intentionally creating safe space for people to explore conditions and thoughts that society finds hard to tolerate and bear. Going into communities asking permission to do work. Asking for insight and feedback from those communities. Not setting up shop without permission, and setting the stage for disarming trauma.
Loving me, us and them in small steps can lead to big change. This is a challenge that can be met if we are to sustain ourselves as a people. We can do this one community at a time, locally – not globally. We want to save the world but we can’t do it globally because as we all know – one size does not fit all. Let us create sustainability that is as unique as the communities we live in.
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