The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, had some advice for CEOs attending the Business Council of Australia dinner recently: “You’ve got to ensure that you’re always testing existing practices… the old phrase ‘not invented here, we’ve always done it that way’ is disastrous”.
And we might add this addendum to that quote: “We also have to bust the myth that only large organisations or special or creative people can innovate.”
This is sage advice, not only for corporate CEOs, but for CEOs of social service organisations. Large parts of the sector are moving from the ‘block funded’ process of winning multi-year funding contracts to the ‘consumer-directed’ process of winning each customer.
In many ways, the transition to consumer-directed funding for the aged care, disability and community mental health sectors is demanding more change, more quickly than commercial businesses usually face. For example, energy and mining companies have known for years that governments would eventually take action on climate change — this is not a surprise, it is a factor that any strategic planner would have had in their sights at least ten years ago.