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  • Marika Kontellis

Building Capability in Your Staff

The social sector reforms have seen organisations obsessed with building a strategy to sustain their organisation. The strategies have tended to focus on new branding, a marketing plan and investment in a business development manager. Sometimes it has meant a restructure and sometimes it has meant further investment in IT. In many organisations the emphasis has been on growing bigger to deliver more at a lower cost.

It is not a race to the bottom. The organisation with the lower “price” won’t necessarily win. Losers will also be those organisations whose staff reluctantly accept new models of business as lesser quality than “how we used to do things around here”.

There’s no doubt competitive pressures are growing. There are concerns around new entrants into the market, cost, value, workforce capacity. For all the perceived challenges, there’s also an immense amount of opportunity to deliver on your purpose. It is important that Boards and senior managers understand the context and the options to re-focus their organisation.

Zakumi has seen high performing and low performing organisations in play. Low performers are focussed on cost and reducing these costs. High performers recognise that the only way to meet these market place challenges and opportunities is not by eliminating staff, but engaging them to help build their organisation of the future. Good organisations create capacity to better serve clients, widen service options and innovate. The best organisations have enabled their staff to make decisions at the front line to improve targets and client outcomes.

Some of the strategies that Zakumi is implementing in these times of change include;

  • Skilling up people to understand and work effectively with ambiguity

  • Pushing decision making down to customer level and enabling staff to make those decisions quickly and effectively

  • Focusing job roles on outcomes, not activities.

  • Developing practice frameworks that align with organisational strategy

  • Rewarding performance

Don’t compete in the “race to the bottom”. Lead your organisation, work with others and enable your staff.

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