Intentional Teaming, with Beth Gallagher

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Agencies that offer support services for people with disabilities often talk up the importance of person-centred planning, but they don’t really build it into their corporate culture. And that means they’re missing the point. 

Beth Gallagher’s supported living service agency Life Works is built on authentic person-centred planning and she knows how to help other agencies incorporate the principle into their own organizational structure. The secret? Intentional teaming. 

With intentional teaming, teams are built around the person they’re supporting with every team member’s strengths in mind, rather than a top-down barking order that’s built around the manager. By thinking of each team as its own autonomous micro-enterprise, service agencies can help reinforce positive relationships among all stakeholders: clients, their families, friends, and advocates, the rest of the agency staff, and the community at large. 

Beth Gallagher is the founder, owner, and CEO of Life Works Supported Living Services. Her work with people with developmental disabilities began just weeks after graduating from California State University, Chico in 1986 with degrees in Child Development and Psychology. Beth has spent the past three decades creating unique and specific support strategies for individuals who have been underserved within the developmental disability system, by studying methods of design and strategy that allow people to be heard and understood as individuals. She is co-creator of the planning method called The Liberty Plan and co-author (with Kirk Hinkleman) of Intentional Teaming: Shifting Organizational Culture

I had an excellent chat with Beth about her principle of intentional teaming, how she attracts, recruits, and nurtures such talented staff, and how to build an organizational culture that prioritizes true person-centred planning. Listen now!

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Special thanks to Beth Gallagher for joining me this week. Until next time!

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Genia Stephen
Genia Stephen

Sister, mother, midwife, writer, speaker and perpetually curious. Dedicated to bringing you the voices, ideas and conversations of world class mentors and thought leaders in the field of disability.