1) For a human to sustain peak performance, it is not enough to engage the brain; we have to engage the heart.
2) We're very social animals, always watching each other for clues; to sustain a value, we need to see constant reaffirmation from others that it is still a value today.
3) We are each other's context, and have to proactively make an effort daily to give that reaffirmation of our shared values and positive feedback/encouragement for the right thing, not just criticism of the wrong thing.
4) Sustaining that shared spirit is what makes the daily pain tolerable; to paraphrase old wisdom: the spirit can survive any illness, but a broken spirit - who can bear?
5) The side-conversation of any "business" decision has to be a human conversation that says: "We share a goal, we share these values. I really like you. Now, what was it we were arguing over and deciding?"
6) If it doesn't have a spirit, create one; if it has a Spirit, treat that as if it were a living being, with its own "health" and "fitness," and make sure that there's a program to keep it healthy.
7) Beware of solutions based on technology or "systems" that neglect compassion. Compassion is the strongest suit there is, the strength to build on - "He ain't heavy, Father, he's my brother."
The "caring" in "health care" is what makes it work. Not caring will kill any business model, cold. We don't build cars. We don't entertain. We care about people and do something about it. And that's what defines us and gets us up in the morning and holds us up 36 hours later.
8) Spiritual issues (above) have a dramatic impact on the bottom line, clinically and financially.
I see this daily in software design and performance outcomes our IT shop produces, something that at first looks 100% technical. People who care build things that survive. People who don't care build things that look similar but turn out to be a waste of time.
(photo by jarkkoS )