Winning Results Mike Davies, Managing Director of Catalyst Interiors, demonstrates how taking a results-based approach

I realised many years ago that involved and motivated employees generate ideas and plans, but equally that they will stop if they feel constrained by endless tasks that they see no benefit or enjoyment from. And in seeking to design beautiful, practical interiors for the UK’s care homes – which meet every need of residents with dementia, coupled with the need to deliver fast occupancy and early ROI in return for the greater care, attention to detail, and time involved – it made sense to allow our experienced passionate team to focus on the outcome alone.

When I started the business in early 1999, I had a clear picture of how I wanted it to be, a vision that had been built upon a bedrock of understanding the care sector from a previous role as an Estates & Property Director, but equally importantly from a wider commercial background comparing business culture, recognising what successful comapnies did better than their competitors. I recognised that a high motivation for original problem solving by employees is knowing that their creative ideas won’t be shot down if they don’t meet a checklist held by their employer. A much more efficient way to stimulate creativity therefore is to minimise the feeling of micromanagement, and a task that is easier said than done is a deterrent to employee productivity.

We have a greater understanding of the Design for Dementia principles and this is something that we were on to at the cusp. I have always been passionate about getting every member of our team to understand, work with and create solutions for the elderly, and particularly people with dementia of all types. I therefore sought to study the global research with a voracious appetite.

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At Catalyst Interiors we are 100% focussed on the results of our team’s work and not on the procedural tasks that they need to achieve it, as a result our work is more enjoyable for them. We believe in empowering our care home interior design and fit-out specialists and letting them work within guidelines, linked to Design for Dementia, and best practice built up over 22 years in the sector to achieve fantastic work that surpasses our customer expectations.


DESIGN FUNCTIONALITY A good example of this approach would be in ensuring that the communal eating areas we design focus the residents' total attention to why they are there, namely, to eat and drink, and everything visual and physical they interact with relates to that outcome. There’s no ‘design for design’s sake’, just attractive aesthetic environments that clearly are functional, practical and remind the residents that they are there to eat first and last.

The principles of ‘wayfinding’ are now better appreciated by most people in the healthcare sector, but our team goes much further by designing memorable features, practical aids and ways of assisting care home residents to find bedrooms, bathrooms and all communal facilities by linked and themed design, and notable staging posts so that “Past the red suitcase, turn right at Doris Day” may not be as strange as first thought without understanding why we do as we do.

Task-based companies make themselves fertile ground for micromanagement because people will be more interested in making sure they cover themselves if a problem arises. Since

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