In an age of uncertainty and disruption, no corner of society will be excused from the effects of change and disruption, and therefore the myriad of new problems that will come as a result. This is true for disability services, with disruption coming from new legislation, and also, the overall trend of customer/human centricity - or as it's known in the sector - person/family centred practice.
Customer/human centricity in essence is about the customer being given their right to execute choice and control, and those are the rights now being provided to children, families and individuals who are provided disability services under this new legislation.
However, this shift does not come without its challenges as this is an industry with a long history of the institutionalisation and governmentalisation of services, two models of service delivery that are the opposite of "choice and control".
So, a shift is needed in order for the sector to move to a more customer/human centric model. And at this point in time, a mindset shift is what is really needed in order to achieve this human centricity in disability services.
From working in the space, we see that majority of service providers, who are often filled with compassion and see this new shift as a step in the right direction, often suffer from burn out and compassion fatigue. This comes from spending their careers fighting against the side effects of the institutionalisation and governmentalisation of services, or simply from working within models that do not provide the best quality of services, and are often out of touch with the real needs of the customer.
We have seen that in many cases, this fatigue among many other reasons, make it challenging for the industry to now muster the energy required in order to "become inspired intrapreneurs who need to completely transform their businesses, staffing, service models and services" which is what is being asked of them under this new legislation. In fact, we have seen more providers become cynical as opposed to being inspired.
Further, after years of operating under outdated service models, the industry was never equipped with traditional business skills, let alone the modern business skills required to make this shift viable. Modern skills such as lean business, human centred design, digital etc.
This is where and why Balancing Act 3 and businesses alike are necessary.
At Balancing Act 3, we are at team who have worked with industry, but not in industry. We are of a younger generation than the typical professional who works in disability services, and our backgrounds vary from business and human rights. Therefore, we see the world of disability services from a different lens, and we also recognise the opportunity under this new human centric legislation for the sector to finally reach its peak potential, as it will finally operate under a model that truly executes the rights of the customer. This is good for the end user and it is good for business.
Recognising this opportunity, Balancing Act 3 was founded and we have been working with service providers to support them as they transition. We focus on three core areas which include:
- Equipping service providers with the business skills and methodologies they need.
- Coaching them on the human rights principals that underpin the new legislation and a human centric model of business operation, and;
- Ensuring they do not forget the self in the process, and therefore overcoming their compassion fatigue in order to ride this wave of change and disruption.
Helping our partners balance these 3 pillars is the reason why we exist and why we are called Balancing Act 3!