Social Determinents and Success

I was driving to work the other day and heard a really interesting report on NPR.  (In fact, as a side piece, I can’t tell you how valuable NPR radio is for being informed.  If you are not a member, you should think about joining and listening more often).  This report was looking at school success and interviewing some parents who were shopping around to find the most successful school for their children.  The reporter talked about how there are now reviewing sites on line, much like Yelp and others that rate schools following mostly consumer reactions. 

What caught my attention was when the reporter then shifted his interview to some experts in education they balked a bit on this reviewing process.  They said that you can’t gauge a school like you might gauge a hotel room. That schools are more like ecosystems that are complex and difficult to measure in a simple review process.  Then he said that the more important variable for school success are the connections and relationships that are formed. 

These so called “social determinents” are showing up more and more as a key factor for success.  Certainly now in health care, reseearchers are clear that the social determinents of connections and relationships are at the bottom of more successful health outcomes.  In fact, these social determinents also include housing, food security, transportation and the like. 

We are discovering that when people are in better social situations their chance for success is greatly enhanced, regardless of the agenda of the platform.  As a long time CEO of a nonprofit organization, I have come to learn that when folks who work for us have greater access to social aspects we seem to do better as an organization.   

So think a bit more of the social determinents of your life.  Perhaps more success can be found through social connections.