Opportunity for NFP to lead

Recently I came across a story where the author was discussing the relevance of an actual HR Department in companies, with many organisations now outsourcing some of these functions. Hr departments are very obviously there to protect the companies however they don’t make legal decisions because lawyers do that and really what they do is administrative and why waste valuable internal space with this when it can be outsourced. Ok, this is a simplistic take on things and the article wasn’t totally sound. However in this day and age organisations do need to be spending as much looking after staff as they do looking after themselves, however HR departments don’t look after staff even if they would like to appear that way. 

So what does this have to do with my topic. As I pondered this and other functions that operate within the Not For Profit sector I realised that there are a lot of functions that are just not required internally. As anyone who lives in this country knows we are heading into a new world with the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) rolling out across the country. This is similar to systems in New Zealand, Scotland and a past system in California. The issue is NFP organisations now need to look at the way they do business and need to streamline. They need to run lean and efficient and more than ever attract high calibre staff. They are in a prime position to now look at innovative ways to run their businesses. 

I firmly believe the best way to do this is get back to basics. Unfortunately every NFP knows they have to do this but most are unfortunately looking at it in the wrong way. Because they are banding together their senior executives and saying what do we need to do in order to be ready for NDIS, they ultimately end up with a model based on redesigning their departments to better service the NDIS model. The problem with this is that they end up with a bloated unsustainable organisation that really isn’t any different because the players in decision making were either more focussed on keeping their jobs or couldn’t fathom the magnitude of change needed. 

What they need to be doing is looking at the NDIS removed from their business. So for starters you need a group of people who have no interest in preserving their jobs and more than likely are not even from the organisation. Then look at the NDIS and say what does an organisation need to look like in the new world if it wants to deliver xxxxx services. The biggest change for many organisations is the realisation that they need to be customer focussed, no different to retail or any other customer orientated service. Clients/Customers will now have more choice (albeit limited) but because they will have more options will be looking for not only someone who can provide the actual service to a high level, but they will need to like you and on top of this will be looking for the add ons. What does your service offer that no one else does or what do you offer that is nicer for no extra charge. 

So for example if the customer is looking for supported accommodation (which isn’t covered by NDIS) they will not only be looking for somewhere they like but if there are two similar properties they will pick the one with add on services. Yes that may mean transport or similar but it may come down to the house that has a big tv and xbox. For the disability and NFP sectors in this country the times are changing and it’s a good thing. It will also come down to ease of access. So if you can offer more than one service it will make you competitive. The focus will move to the customer and not the organisation and to do that your organisation will need to cut costs and look after staff because the customers will want staff they like. 

Ok, there are a lot more complications and things that will need to be considered into the future but one thing is for sure and that is a lot of NFP’s are not in the right headspace and I predict that into the future we will see a lot of organisations disappear and not just the small ones.