Through my work I often come into contact with great leaders, who despite engaging me to help them find answers, often end up teaching me and contributing to my professional development in the process.
Being a good leader in the NFP sector is no easy job. In a sector where resources are scarce, competition for funding, clients and good staff is fierce, leaders have competing priorities that they are required to meet simultaneously and with minimal resources. Achieving success is challenging at the best of times with business as usual let alone when change and uncertainty to the environment they operate in enter the picture.
For organisations working in aged care and the disability services sectors they are currently facing BIG changes and uncertainty. The introduction of consumer directed care to aged care services and individualised funding within the disability services sector through the NDIS are revolutionising service delivery, placing service recipients at the centre and giving them the opportunity to say how and on what they wish to spend their funding. All of this is hugely positive for service recipients and the right direction for the sectors to take, however it does mean organisations working in this space have some serious adaptation ahead of them.
I recently worked with the CEO of an organisation that works in both of these sectors who impressed me with her proactive and effective approach to the changes her organisation is facing. The remit of my role was to help develop a strategic plan for the next period which involved identifying the right goals and strategic initiatives for the organisation in consultation with key stakeholders including staff, Board members and funders.
In engaging with the different stakeholders I soon realised that through effective communication by the CEO they had some understanding of the changes ahead and the implications. She had been honest and up front with them, put forward a view of the changes, however also proposed a direction of where they needed to head as an organisation to take them on.
The process of adapting to these changes is and will continue to be ongoing, however, what I have learnt from this CEO is the importance of leading the way for staff whilst also bringing them along the journey, and being mindful that in all uncertainty lies opportunity should you choose to take it.