008: Moving from Wellness Program to Total Organizational Health with Jennifer Pitts, Co-Founder of Edington Associates

Jennifer Pitts is the founder of the Institute for Positive Organizational Health, and co-founder of Edington Associates. She and Dee Edington recently coauthored a new book, Shared Values – Shared Results, a book that proposes a systems view for designing healthier cultures in organizations.

Jennifer brings a strong background in the behavioral and social sciences, including a masters degree in experimental psychology, a doctorate in applied social psychology, and a post doc fellowship in health services research and health policy.

In this podcast, we talk about:

  • The Institute of Positive Organizational Health and how it co-exists with Edington Associates.
  • How we need better collaboration through opening up and being vulnerable about where we’re not succeeding within our organizations and also being proud of where we are.
  • How poor health is a wicked problem because of it’s interconnectedness with the other 8+ dimensions, such as social health, emotional health and occupational health.
  • The value of becoming a caring organization.

This was my favorite quote from Jennifer and great advice for anyone having trouble starting a wellness movement:

“Start a movement wherever you can get a foothold or leverage in your organization.”

I also pick her brain on a focus on disease management vs wellness, systems thinking, characteristics of healthy organizations and mistakes employers make with evaluation.

Finally, Jennifer answers this question:

How do we shift the thinking from a wellness program to whole organizational health?

Links mentioned in the show:

Edington Associates website

The Institute for Positive Organizational Health: http://www.culturecolab.org/

Their book: Shared Values, Shared Results

Our previous written interview

The Powers of 10: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fKBhvDjuy0

Jennifer Pitts: jspitts@edingtonassociates.com

Dee Edington: dwe@edingtonassociates.com