Quality Supports People Need

  • What We Do

    IHS Services, Inc. is an Ohio-based company that provides support services to people of all ages in our community. We provide: I/O Waiver Services, Level 1 Waiver Services, Supported Living Services, Passport Services, and Private Pay Services.

  • Our Mission Statement

    IHS Services, Inc. is dedicated to facilitating a high quality of support services to enable individuals to make life choices through living, working, and community options.

  • Philosophy

    The philosophy of IHS Services, Inc. holds to the basic tenet that every human being has the right and freedom to live as independently as their capabilities allow. With this thought in mind, individuals require many kinds of assistance in their homes. IHS is committed to serving the individual in the least intrusive manner as […]

  • Management Philosophy

    IHS Services, Inc. finds that the Chain of Support is the most effective method of management for our agency. This emphasizes the team approach, which is at the heart of everything IHS does. Within this chain of support the IHS team is able to provide the varying expertise that each member of the team has […]

Be Specific: The Secret to Effective Decision Making

ChoicesDo you find it difficult making decisions? Many people get to the point of deciding to take all the valuable information they have been accumulating and find themselves frozen at the point of taking the first step in any direction. Frustration over decision making can occur at many levels in life. How often do you approach the choice of where to go to have a meal only to be frustrated at picking a restaurant. Some people have this difficulty in settling on a vacation destination.

It seems that young people seeking to find a career–their calling in life–are faced with an almost infinite number of choices. How do you decide what you want to “be” when faced with the knowledge that you can “be”nearly anything you set your mind to. It is easy to find periods in history when the course of one’s life was largely dictated by the circumstances surrounding one’s birth.

Creativity“Decision making is the specific executive task” – Peter Drucker. That does not mean that only executives make decisions. It does set decision making apart as an act of creativity. A decision marks a turning point. Something changes as the direct result of a decision. Another way of saying this is there are consequences to every decision. One thing is selected. Another is not.

Do you make decisions based solely on the effect the decision will have on you, or do you thoroughly evaluate the effect the decision you are contemplating will have on others? Do you make decisions that are consistent with your values, your mission, your passions? What do your decisions say to others about your beliefs?

“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision” – Tony Robbins. Even to decide to do nothing involves a decision. If we begin to view decisions as a set of simple acts, designed to trigger a particular behavior or pattern of behavior, we can begin to take responsibility for every decision we make. The good news is we do not have to make every decision over and over. The only time we have to do that is when we realize we have made a decision or series of decisions that are not consistent with all the things we know about ourselves.

Small Decisions“Change is the end result of all true learning. Change involves three things: First, a dissatisfaction with self — a felt void or need; second, a decision to change to fill the void or need; and third, a conscious dedication to the process of growth and change — the willful act of making the change, doing something” – Leo Buscaglia. So, consider decision making as one of your basic tools. Start small with simple decisions, easy to carry through on. Like any tool, practice improves competence. Make decisions every time the opportunity presents itself.

Don’t be afraid of making a decision you will have to change. That is how we learn. “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson’s sentiments may sound lofty, but there is something to be said for the fact that decisions lead to outcomes. Don’t dwell on decisions. “All my life, whenever it comes time to make a decision, I make it and forget about it” – Harry S. Truman. As President, Truman faced some overwhelming obstacles. His decisions impact the world through the present. Decide and move forward is good advice. I want to end with a quote from famous motivational speaker Tony Robbins concerning making decisions.

Crossroads“You are now at a crossroads. This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make. Forget your past. Who are you now? Who have you decided you really are now? Don’t think about who you have been. Who are you now? Who have you decided to become? Make this decision consciously. Make it carefully. Make it powerfully” – Tony Robbins. Make decisions, and enjoy the process!!

-David C. Bloom,
CEO of IHS Services, Inc.

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Balance

BalanceOne of the most difficult things to achieve in life is balance. In terms of overall satisfaction with life, we might be inclined to think things like money, possessions or prestige in employment put us high in the satisfaction ranking. Numerous studies over the years show that any or all of these things do not make people rank their happiness or satisfaction with life higher than other factors. What shows up time after time is how having consistent, uniform satisfaction over the various phases of life leads to happiness and fulfillment.

A model has been developed to assist in looking at our life and determining both balance and satisfaction and areas we need to work on to achieve these things.

WheelMost versions of this model start by drawing a wheel with a number of spokes. Each spoke is labeled with one element of life. Although the elements vary with different versions of the wheel, the list includes such things as family, career, health, financial, education, recreation, charitable acts, adventure, travel, romance, relationships, and spiritual. Your wheel may not include everyone of these spokes, and your life may contain a few not here, but this is a pretty comprehensive list of the various aspects of life.

The next part of the exercise involves rating each spoke as to your satisfaction with it, using a scale like one to ten, with one being not at all satisfied and ten being completely satisfied.

A look at the wheel after completing the exercise will show you areas in which you need to develop a plan to increase satisfaction, and thereby balance. The wheel gives a good overall model for observing and evaluating your life and determining where you are going to start doing things that will increase satisfaction and work toward achieving balance.

“Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other. It embraces judgment, discernment, comprehension. It is a gestalt or oneness, and integrated wholeness” – Stephen Covey.

HappinessObviously, if you discover low satisfaction in a number of the spokes, you will want to pick out one aspect of life to focus on at a time. This exercise may tell you exactly what you already knew, or it may show you some surprising insights into areas of life where you really need to work to increase satisfaction to achieve balance. The wheel can be used on a regular basis to check on progress and to help determine when you are ready to focus on increasing satisfaction, happiness and balance in another area of life.

“If we put the emphasis upon the right things, if we live the life that is worth while and then fail, we will survive all disasters, we will out-live all misfortune. We should be so well balanced and symmetrical, that nothing which could ever happen could throw us off our center, so that no matter what misfortune should overtake us, there would still be a whole magnificent man or woman left after being stripped of everything else” – Orison Swett Marden.

SatisfactionThat balance will bring out our core values and will give us the stability in our overall life to make us happy, motivated, satisfied people. I hope you enjoy this exercise to see where you can begin to improve the balance in your life.

-David C. Bloom,
CEO of IHS Services, Inc.

If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.

Count The Cost

WoodsAs a child, I loved to play in the big woods near our home. There never seemed to be an end to the exciting adventures we could have there. We rode our bikes on the dirt roads that went through the woods. We climbed on, made forts out of, and hid behind the many rock formations that dotted the woods.

One day some men and equipment appeared in the woods. The men began to dig a big hole, which we gradually came to realize was to be the basement of a house. We went to the site each day after the men had finished to see the progress they had made that day. The work went on for many days. and that hole got bigger and bigger.

FoundationOne day the men packed up their equipment and left. We watched and waited for them to return. They did not. After about a week our curiosity got the best of us, and we slowly approached the place the men had been digging, to get a closer look at what had happened. We played in and around that hole for the next several weeks until we became bored and moved on to another part of the woods. Although we wondered what had become of the plans to build the house, we never saw anyone at that place again.

I have no idea why that house was never built. I have often wondered over the years why someone would begin a project like that and not complete it. Whatever the reason, it has always served as an example to me that whatever I am going to do I need to count the cost before I begin.

That cost can include money, time, energy or any other resources. Sometimes the costs are simple obstacles that we can’t overcome no matter what we do. I would love to get my private airplane pilot’s license, but I have a visual impairment that would keep me from ever passing that portion of the examination. At other times, the cost may simply require an ability we do not possess. My wife is a Certified Public Accountant. While I have gained a true appreciation for what she does, I just do not have the ability with numbers to even consider pursuing that or any similar field of study.

CalculatorA cost we decide is too great might involve something we simply are not willing to invest the time money and effort into accomplishing. On at least two occasions in my life I have seriously considered pursuing a Ph D. In each case I had the opportunity and enough interest to begin the process. In each case, and for different reasons, I decided that the time and energy and money in my life would produce more of the things I want by investing them in other pursuits. I am over simplifying what, in each case, was a deliberate involved process, but the underlying principle remains the same. Counting the cost involves understanding what I really want to accomplish and then determining what I am willing to do that will most effectively get me to where I want to be.

This sounds so simple and so obvious. Yet it is amazing how often we do exactly the opposite. We get caught up in a dynamic presentation of an exciting business opportunity, or we think of a great new career opportunity, and we think of all the things we could do with the amazing amounts of money we are told others are making in this fantastic, once in a lifetime opportunity that is being presented to us.

What do we want to do with the money? Are we interested in the things we will have to do if we pursue this new opportunity? Do we have the dedication and motivation to learn the things we will need to learn in order to be successful at this opportunity? Do we believe we can do what it will take to be successful? These are some of the fundamental questions we must ask ourselves when we count the cost of any new endeavor we are considering.

ThinkingNo one can know exactly what will happen when we begin a new venture. This makes a deliberate, systematic process of counting the cost even more important. What did the people who bought the land and had the hole dug near my childhood home hope to accomplish with what they began? Were they building a family home, a retirement home, a vacation home? Did they underestimate the difficulty of digging in an area as filled with rocks as the woods near my home? Did something unforeseen happen in their lives that suddenly took the money they had earmarked for this project and required them to use it somewhere else? Was there a death in the family? Was there a divorce? Did they simply lose the interest or the motivation that would’ve allowed them to finish this project that they had started?

What do you hope to accomplish as you consider a new opportunity or beginning to look for a new job? What do you want or need in your life that you don’t have already? Do you have a hobby or some other interest that you believe would translate successfully into a profitable business? Do you have some specialized knowledge or ability that you see as marketable and profitable? What skills do you have or are willing to acquire that will give you the possibility of being successful in this new venture?

None of this is intended to discourage you from starting a business or making career adjustments. Beginning something new can be an incredibly satisfying, rewarding experience. If you don’t count the cost, it can turn into a disaster that will consume your time your energy and your money and leave you frustrated discouraged and in debt.

Those who successfully begin new businesses or seek new jobs start with that critical self-examination. Knowing what you want to accomplish must come before even examining your skills and your interests. This will logically lead to an understanding of what you know or are willing to learn. This flows logically and naturally into a realization of what you are willing to invest yourself in to achieve this success you desire and the realization of your dreams.

Counting the cost before we initiate a change can help establish our dreams and goals in a context of reality. It is one more way to ensure that we will be moving steadily toward success–whatever that means for each of us, in every area of our lives.

-David C. Bloom,
CEO of IHS Services, Inc.

If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.