Chris Campbell, CEO
With industry change thrust upon service providers and users under the NDIS, there is one certainty: the need to address challenges and to adapt. But what does effective change management look like in the disability sector, and how do we maintain strategic direction in an unpredictable environment?
With the arrival of the NDIS in July 2016, there was undeniably the expectation that the transition would present complex challenges to organisations operating under the old funding model, as well as to participants and families entering the new marketplace of support services through the scheme.
After all, the NDIS requires the adoption of an entirely new business model for organisations, with the former model of paid-in-advance block funding replaced by individually-funded contracts paid following service. Add into this NDIS prices, many of which are lower than the cost to provide a service and an increase in competition, and you have a context of real change.
Nevertheless, reflecting on the challenge and impact of the NDIS on The Junction Works, it can be said that despite the industry change, a great deal has stayed the same. The NDIS has caused us to reshape and strengthen our efforts to deliver value and commitment to the people we support. Whilst we have been growing our support services, we believe that our focus on consolidating these with our client and families over the next 12-18 months will put us on the path to success.
HOW ARE WE ADAPTING TO INDUSTRY CHANGE?
By strengthening our communications
Under the NDIS, participants are at the centre of the decision-making process. At The Junction Works, our role is to reduce the confusion around their NDIS plan, to assist them to navigate services and to provide a voice on behalf of individuals and families throughout the process.
By maintaining authenticity and building trust
A downside to the competitive NDIS marketplace is its potential to drive certain providers into over-promising on services - and in turn, under-delivering - in order to compete. Whether to meet demand or to avoid disappointment by 'matching' client expectations, this presents a clear risk to the integrity of the organisation. At The Junction Works, our strategy has been to establish transparent communications with clients entering into a service agreement by being open about what we can and cannot deliver. We know that our community trusts that we will act in their best interests and offer the best solution based on all available options.
By investing in our staff to improve client engagement
The desire of our staff to achieve results for those we support is an advantage for The Junction Works to build on. Through The BASICS of Client & Customer Engagement (a staff training program introduced in 2015 to The Junction Works by David Penglase), and efforts to foster a positive work culture through open communication, we hope to cultivate the passion of our staff as a powerful driving force into the future.
By being open to partnerships
We know the value of developing mutually beneficial relationships with our corporate partners - and the NDIS has opened up an entirely new avenue for The Junction Works to do this with fellow providers. We have taken a collaborative approach by welcoming new partnerships ideas and opportunities.
Paramount to any change is recognising where there is a need to adapt, but equally important, where there is not - and for The Junction Works this is in our mission and values. Our responsibility is to lead the people we support through difficult circumstances by delivering quality services with an accountability of outcomes - a mission that will withstand any change.
As long as we continue to stay true to what we do best, creating new possibilities in people's lives, we are confident that we can deliver value to our families beyond any funded package.
Article by CEO Chris Campbell drawn from the Junction Connect: Winter 2017.