Insight from Derreck Kayongo

Categories: Education and People & Places.

Photo: Derreck Kayongo

Derreck Kayongo is s Visionary Corporate Social Entrepreneur, CEO, Regional Director, Program Director and Advocacy Professional with over 13 years of wide-ranging national and international experience developing NGO programs involving legislative campaigns on human rights, food security, education and economic development programs. Founder of the internationally renowned Global Soap Project, Mr. Kayongo helps others to seek opportunities to improve, and most importantly, to maintain faith in oneself and team to create an environment where everyone is empowered to thrive.

In preparation for his keynote at the upcoming National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s 2019 Interdisciplinary Conference on November 6, Mr. Kayongo shares some insight into his personal guiding principles.

What is S.E.L.F.?

Service, Education, Leadership and Faith. An acronym that has over time come to represent my motto in life. It all starts with one putting themselves in service of others. In that service, they come to get educated on the needs of that community and figure out ways to innovate in order to solve problems. In those two tenants of the motto a leader is born and comes with the experience of being a servant leader, which is important. But a leader with faith on their side is a leader who believes in others and is in tune with the idea of trusting his/her team to carry out the duties bestowed upon them.

 During this time of great change how can S.E.L.F. help?

S.E.L.F. for me acts as the foundation on which I construct my approach to life in general. I think each person should have their motto for life and by which they determine how to contribute to society. Change is hard and sometimes very disheartening and with that in mind, one needs a foundation to use as a base for operation. Others will judge you based on your foundation and moral aptitude, which helps you, weave through the vicissitudes of life.

 What are the common traits among innovative teams?

A clear intellectual understanding and documenting of the problem at hand. Entrepreneurship skills. Sometimes not thinking so much out of the box but actually looking for simple and overlooked solutions that reside still in the box! Not every innovative solution is outside the box.

What can hospice and palliative care teams learn from other innovative teams, or how can hospice and palliative care teams develop those traits?

Some traits among innovative teams are diversity and inclusion as a tool for better understanding of the problems the system faces. Given the changing face of those that need hospice care in terms of culture and the like, it will be cardinal for us to bring about a workforce that comprehends those new markets and in particular the cultural shifts in the client demographic.

Why is change often so slow?

Change is slow because each team member is at a different place of understanding the reasons for change and whether it’s needed and vetted by all concerned. Sometimes change is slow because people in general like the status quo once its part and parcel of their daily work. Lastly, managers and indeed organizations don’t spend valuable resources and time educating the employees on why changes are happening and usually don’t involve the right stakeholders within the organization. This creates pockets of resistance and therefore failure to implement that change in a meaningful manner.

 What can organizations do to innovate faster?

Create a “war room” wherein teams get a chance to record key problems that surface that don’t have a clear solution. Here then it’s important for a diverse team representing several departments to be assembled to go about examining the anatomy of the problem because if that problem is well understood then it’s easier to find a solution that answers the questions of the problem. Then the company has to set aside the resources needed to solve the problem without politicizing the process and stonewalling. Innovation itself is not always a clean and clear path because it’s a place for entrepreneurship. As such, space has to be created for it to happen and patience has to be employed at all times because it takes time to innovate. Lastly, organizations have to get in the business of developing internal case studies that document the problems they ran into so they become the real context in which the innovation can happen.

 What are some improvements that hospice and palliative care teams can make to adapt to change?

Ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the process and that there is first Inclusion and that its diverse a process as possible. Allocate the necessary resources needed to make the process of change easy and good for everyone including your client base.

In your keynote presentation at NHPCO 2019 Interdisciplinary Conference in Orlando this November, what should attendees be thinking about leading up to the conference?

Harnessing your power to create change. It all starts with S.E.L.F.


Learn more about NHPCO’s 2019 Interdisciplinary Conference at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Florida, November 4-6 (preconference November 2 & 3).  Registration is open and the early-bird rate is available to September 12.

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