With over 1000 employees, Bios Companies, Inc. has lead the industry in Oklahoma and Tennessee by providing gentle and person-centered residential, vocational, home care, and home health supports to more than 600 aging adults, children in foster care, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Our Mission to Create Better Lives
The founders of Bios started the company with a mission to create better lives for people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their goal was to support individuals in living real, meaningful, and connected lives. For years, the founders and early employees worked together, teaching people to have positive control in their lives.
As the company grew, we realized we needed a curriculum for employees to learn how to help the people we support in an empowering way. We developed a curriculum called Bios 101, but it wasn’t enough. The company then discovered Essential Lifestyle Planning and Person-Centered Thinking, which gave us a structure and vocabulary for teaching life-affirming supports to employees.
Three Major Things We’ve Learned
Over the years, we have learned a lot, and three things really helped guide us to where we are today.
First, we realized we can’t discipline or process people into changing their thinking – we must INSPIRE them. We INSPIRE them by walking the talk on all levels of the organization. In order for human beings to be able to support other humans in a valuing, loving, and empowered way, they need to experience love, value, and empowerment themselves. It’s unrealistic to expect them to be able to give what they’re not getting.
BiosReady was created as a program to help organizations establish policies, procedures, processes, and practices that are supportive and inspirational. It allows employees to give what they are getting, creating a positive and empowering environment.
Second, Level One Change is everything. We want our employees to understand on a deep level that the most powerful thing they can do is wake up each morning committed to noticing and taking advantage of the day-by-day, hour-by-hour opportunities they have to change something that improves the life of another person.
Lastly, it’s called “practice” for a reason. People need supported opportunities to practice the skills they learn, receiving encouragement and helpful feedback along the way.
We Are a Person-Centered Organization
Bios began its Person-Centered Organization journey in 2005 when we aligned with the work of the The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices. Through positive rituals training from the University of Oklahoma Center for Learning and Leadership, we were introduced to the principles of Person-Centered Thinking and began our journey of becoming Person-Centered Thinking trainers.
Today, we can confidently say we are a person-centered organization. We have over a thousand employees moving in the same direction, using similar strategies to help the people we support create a vision of what a meaningful life looks like for them. Bios helps individuals describe and receive the supports they need to stay on a positive trajectory towards accomplishing those meaningful lives.
As an established Employee Owned Person-Centered Organization, we have developed a process for mentoring other organizations to help improve their operations and starting their own journey to becoming a Person-Centered Organization.