Shining a light for your community

In my last article “The cup of tea that changed my life and could change yours“, I challenged you to be brave, step back, and look at the problem before you seek a solution.

There are two more questions you should think about before leaping into problem solving.

Trust me, your answers will set you up for success by helping you to shape an organisation that supports your community with a skilled workforce that is passionate about achieving the same things that you are, and who knows when they are on the right path.

Start by asking yourself…

“Do we have a clear vision?”

Do you understand what you’re trying to achieve? Can you describe the world you want to create? Are you excited about, and committed to, achieving that Vision? Is your organisation doing what it’s good at and working where it can have the best impact? Can you measure your progress to achieving that impact? Do your Values align with your Vision? And does the whole organisation believe in the shared Vision?

Sure, sure, I know that’s already more than two questions, but they all add up to the same thing – do you know what you’re working towards and how to get there?

Well, what I have observed of health and social care organisations is that their vision is usually something wonderful about wanting to improve the lives of those they serve.

BUT they rarely measure or promote this in a systematic way that could keep everyone (board members, leadership, staff, and clients) in the loop, being accountable to, AND seeing real progress toward the dream.

I have also seen fabulous examples of big, bold and measurable visions outside of the health sector. In fact, I’ve written about a fascinating case I came across when I was sitting down to lunch, check it out…

In order to create a clear Vision, you’re going to need to ask yourself another big question…

“Do we understand the needs of our community?”

The best and most impactful Visions have an identifiable community at the heart of the statement.

In the health and social care sector, we are highly skilled with a lot of passion to create a better and more equitable world. But if we are to have any success, we need to understand what our community actually needs.

If there is a disconnect between what we want to achieve and what our community actually needs then we’ve set ourselves an impossible task.

We’ll waste our time and resources going around in circles, we’ll pay attention to the squeaky wheels not knowing if that’s having the best impact, we’ll not clearly communicate our value or strategy to get the most appropriate funding, and eventually we’ll burn out. And more importantly, our community won’t get the most benefit from our efforts.

So take the time to understand what your clients need to be at their best, and that should inform your Vision.

When you have that real connection between your community and your vision then your team will understand how they can best improve the lives around them and they’ll have the agency to act.  

Think of it this way – your Vision is like a beacon of light on a hill. As an organisation, you’re excited about helping everyone benefit from that beautiful view at the top. But if you’re going to get everyone there safely and efficiently, you need to plan your journey.

In the next article, I’m going to describe how I work with leadership and teams to find and build the best path up that hill by collecting data, stories, and solutions in order to create the right workforce service model that fits your vision, skills, resources, and community need.

In the meantime, subscribe to my newsletter! Connect – UNPLEX

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