Keeping the human in human services
In a context where strategy, market position and customer acquisition dominate Board Room and Staff Kitchen Room discussions, the human impact of what people really value at their point of need is going unnoticed. Many human service organisations (whether they be government, not for profit, hybrid or for profit) are missing the point. They are becoming obsessed with strategizing and building corporate alliances, merging or reinventing systems and processes to build their business. I know this, because Zakumi is supporting some of these agencies in their work. It is important stuff but it is mostly focused on organisational sustainability and business development strategies fixated on creating a high impact, outcome driven organisation. But what many organisations are missing is the plain, solid, understanding of what people need. What are they afraid of? What are they hoping for? What makes it easier for them? You don’t always need a customer engagement officer or a market specialist to remind you of what matters. You just need to sit down with a few people. Have a bit of food to share and have the conversation. Remember that we are in the business of human services. Bring people together. Share a cup of tea and facilitate conversations that matter to them. I did this recently with a group of Older carers of people with disability. When asked what it is that allows them to do what they do they said “love”. Just pure, unadulterated love for their child. Keep the human in human services.