PROGRAM, SERVICE OR PROCESS DESIGN CASE STUDIES
Colorado Department of Human Services
Service: Culture Change
Size: 2500+ employees
The Colorado Department of Human needed to analyze data, facilitate conversations establish next steps for the results of their 2017 Employee Engagement Survey. Results included three major obstacles: inadequate staffing levels; lack of communication among divisions; and the bottlenecks as a result of required approvals. CDHS had a defined Employee Engagement Action Plans, which began to define strategies to enhance customer service, improve processes, nurture innovation and invite employees into the process. But they needed help with the process.
RMCPC hosted working sessions with the CDHS Employee Council and conducted focus groups across the Grand Junction, Pueblo, and Denver regions. Employing Appreciative Inquiry, RMCPC helped the departments identify strengths as well as opportunities for learning and collaboration and promoted a positive work culture in anticipation of upcoming administrative transition.
Voices across the system--even at challenging, low-morale locations like mental health hospitals nd detention centers--took time to engage and participate. The Employee Council gained clarity on their priorities and strategies for cross-system support. And leadership gathered recommendations which influenced existing work plans.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
DMNS wanted to empower their community. But they realized that they were not serving all perspectives--particularly in the Latino population and other communities of color. So they established the Community Collaboration Project to forge a new, more inclusive museum vision. But since the museum didn’t yet have a relationship with that particular community, they weren’t sure how to make that happen.
RMCPC applied Appreciative Inquiry process designed around three principles:
One Relationship at a Time - A perspectives mapping exercise helped DMNS partner with a core DMNS member group who had connections with the outside community. Together, they determined the right practices for authentic and intentional invitations and engagement.
Culturally Competent Questions - The core group designed and piloted test an appreciative inquiry survey, conducting interviews, leading small group conversations and organizing events.
Collaboration for the Vision: We facilitated a family-friendly community forum, including participant art exhibits, focused on creating a vision that’s culturally relevant and meaningful to all the communities DMNS serves.
After RMCPC’s work with DMNS, four important results emerged
- A renewed emphasis on the role that cultural stories should play in the museum exhibits and experience.
- The redefined DMNS vision statement: “DMNS collaborates with communities to support and create diverse and meaningful experiences around exploration of the natural world, both beyond and within the Museum’s walls.”
- Dynamic museum initiatives, including Colorado-crossing museum van, a new outdoor space and a first floor redesign.
- Greater internal capacity for inclusive planning, positive engagement, inquiry and visualization.
- Internal changes, such as a strength-based hiring process, a focus on shared leadership, efforts toward a magnetic work environment and an evolution of donor outreach.