Invited speaker Seth Kahan, author of the book “Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out,” challenged Clinical Impact Symposium participants to take the experience of the last two days back to their own facilities and use it to effect positive change.

Mr. Kahan described four stages of transformation, beginning with what he labeled “the call.” This could be something like a sudden promotion, a new opportunity, the illness of oneself or a family member, or, in this case, the decision to attend the symposium. The threshold stage, said Mr. Kahan, is the point when a person crosses from the normal reality to the reality of the ritual – arriving at the hotel, checking in, the adjustment of the mind to the process. “Time out of time.” The transition to a place where we have permission to have long conversations about topics we care about, and think deeply about things we normally might not have time to think about, Mr. Kahan said.

Fourth Clinical Impact Symposium Draws to a Close with Motivational Speech Third is the moment when change happens – the “I now pronounce you man and wife” moment, as Mr. Kahan described it. Fourth is reincorporation – taking the body back on again and entering back into the normal world equipped with the knowledge and experience of the change that has happened.

Mr. Kahan entertained the audience with personal and professional stories of effective change-making and lessons learned. He talked about how people effectively communicate with one another and the role of storytelling in organizations; the importance of social messaging and how messages are delivered; and awareness of the environment – is there a “swamp” where all new ideas tend to end up? If so, how can you navigate it?

It is easy to apply this process and these ideas to the experience of the Clinical Impact Symposium, which draws to a close today. The 400 participants, some of whom had suitcases in tow during this morning’s session, will soon depart for the airport and head back to the many Kindred facilities they represent, armed with fresh thoughts, new knowledge and food for thought to spread throughout the entire Kindred Healthcare organization.

“Sometimes the real gems are at home,” Mr. Kahan said, as he wrapped up his talk. “You need to pull out woodstoves, pull up the floor boards – it may have been there all along.”