Quick and Dirty Book Review: The Florence Prescription

The Florence prescription, written by Joe Tye with Dick Schwab, is an engaging guidebook for improving culture in the modern healthcare facility. The book is written as a parable with Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, appearing to characters in the story. She shares wisdom gained in the late 1800s treating wounded soldiers during the Crimean War and helps apply them in a hospital struggling with a negative environment.

The central theme of the book is how to move from accountability to ownership in an organization. Accountability is the use of rules, guidelines, and disciplinary action to get a desired result. Ownership is encouraging and empowering individuals to take responsibility for their own attitudes and actions. The idea is to move from a punitive structure to one that encourages excellence and initiative. This is something that is applicable to any business or organization, not just healthcare.

The most significant part of the book, to me, is the 7 promises of the self-empowerment pledge because any important change starts with the individual. They are:

  1.  Responsibility-for my own health, happiness, success, and life.
  2.  Accountability-for becoming the person I am meant to be.
  3.  Determination-to do the things I’m afraid to do, but that must be done.
  4. Contribution-I will help and serve others to earn the help I need.
  5.  Resilience-to face rejection and failure and use them for future success.
  6. Perspective-to find strength, compassion, and grace through my trials.
  7.  Faith-my gratitude will shine through in my attitudes and actions.

Creating a positive culture in a business or institution starts with the leadership, but truly lies with each person who works or serves there. They must be empowered, encouraged, and educated until they own their position in the structure, rather than “rent it” for a paycheck. The book gives the example that a person who rents a car might put gas in it, but they will never check the oil.

Bottom line: Negativity is contagious and needs to be curtailed to achieve maximum efficiency, performance, and satisfaction. Leadership needs to encourage and practice the values that they expect from the people in their organization. What changes to your attitude and environment can you make to improve your personal and professional life.

Use the link below to get the book.


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