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The disability industry emboldens those to use their assets, but they need administrative help to find the right people. ThinkChangeGrow is changing the industry from within.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme isn’t just about the increased funding, it enables the disabled and the aged to take more control of their treatment and their lives.
NDIS funds can now flow to the disabled rather than the organisations that provide them with services. That transforms them into clients with the power to choose providers who are in their own best interests.
Disability and aged-care services have suddenly become a consumer-driven market. This is a massive culture shock for disability service providers who have a great tradition of admirable work practices delivered by dedicated staff who are their greatest assets. Yet they are finding this traditional response to market needs is no longer adequate.
It’s time for service providers to consider the sort of cultural change in leadership and work skills that equips them to respond effectively to the needs of people with disabilities and the aged in the post-NDIS era.
There are other current pressures to consider. The market for disability and aged-care services is growing but conversely the number of service providers is falling.
The rate of new staff entering the industry is also falling. Only the most dedicated of young people are now attracted to it. For others the lure of happening industries like technology and finance is proving too powerful.
Most staff working in the disability services sector are referred to as “disability support workers” – a term which is hardly calculated to build status and self-esteem in such valuable assets.
They are trained to deliver disability and aged-care services that are essentially pre-determined with limited scope for individual initiative and they have limited opportunity for personal development.
It’s time for a reset.
ThinkChangeGrow, the new-age business consultancy founded by Google alumni Monika Gisler and Hiam Sakakini, identified the need for transformational change in the disability and aged-care services market. With the backing of National Disability Services, they approached industry leaders like The House With No Steps, Northcott and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance with a proposal.
As a result they brought the three organisations together to join their Greater Collective, a leadership program specifically designed to guide them through the first stages of operational change. The agreement of the three participating organisations to work in collaboration on the program was a significant factor in its ultimate success.
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Monika and Hiam launched the Greater Collective in October 2017 bringing together staff from the three participating service providers as well as other key industry bodies. This introduced the industry culture and operational changes needed to meet the new market challenges they faced.
In addition, the service providers selected projects for ongoing collaborative development as part of the program.
The Handover Snapshot project was designed to achieve greater co-ordination, quality and consistency in service delivery. The key element in handovers from one support worker to the next becomes an app that enables voice recorded briefings capable of conversion to script and also translation from other languages into English. All three service providers chose to implement this project.
To date, the Next Chapter project has been implemented exclusively by House With No Steps. This introduces work practices for disability support workers that respond to the need to tailor-make services to individual requirements.
Initial results from both of these projects have been rated as highly encouraging. Both the disabled and the aged have responded positively to engagement with more tailored services.
Monika and Hiam’s mission is to bring positive change to workplaces through empowering employees to realise their full potential, acquire leadership qualities and lead a cultural change.
They have succeeded in bringing a significant positive change to the disability services industry and unquestionably have the solutions that can help effect a similar cultural change in any organisation or industry with the potential to benefit from higher engagement and empowerment of its people and the need to respond effectively to change.
If you are a disability or aged-care services provider interested in joining the existing Greater Collective Program or an organisation interested in engaging with a similar Greater Collective Program you can download the free impact study on the current program at thegreatercollective.com.au/impact-study.
This is also the place for guidance on the next steps towards engaging with a program, or you can simply phone Monika on 0478 472 602.
Sound investment in your greatest assets can only enhance their value.