Becoming a Person Centered System


April 2009 | By Michael W. Smull, Mary Lou Bourne, & Helen Sanderson

A variety of agencies in many different locations have engaged with us in a set of efforts that have evolved over time. At each location the goal has been consistent: to create person centered systems that support person directed services. The learning that has taken place from working toward that goal has changed the approach. What follows is a brief overview of the evolution of the approach and the key lessons learned. Because this is a brief overview, much is left out and will be described in subsequent publications. Some of the central ideas of the effort are:


  • Changes in rules and practice should be driven by learning what is and is not working in supporting individuals.

  • Using a small set of value-based skills at all levels of the system will drive change throughout the system.

  • Using these skills in conjunction with selected quality management and organizational development tools will improve quality of life and increase organizational effectiveness and efficiency.