Over the last four years we have consulted to a huge variety of disability service organisations that are making the transition to the NDIS. We are starting to see some real themes in the types of organisations who are succeeding and the ones who will be also rans. Here’s what we are seeing:
Commercial (and they are often small) organisations are much less stressed about the impact of the NDIS. There are many for-profit providers who know how to deliver customer service and how to be business-like, because they are business-like! For example, while the concept of getting staff to be accountable for ‘billable hours’ is a freak out for most non profit organisations it is standard operating procedure in many small businesses. Invoicing for individual services is de rigueur. These business practices are most readily seen in allied health staff who have often had to bill clients for individual services such as OT, speech or physio.
The take out: you can learn a lot from people who have been doing it for years and they are often non-competing players are happy to share their learnings.
Trial site organisations
These guys have suffered the teething pain and for many there was insufficient anaesthetic! They are putting in place the systems that will support their organisations in full roll out and will definitely have the ‘flying start’ we keep banging on about. A lot of them are still telling us things are pretty confusing and it’s really difficult for them to know where they should place their efforts. What we do know is that as the fog clears (and it is), it is these organisations who are likely to prosper.
The take out: the full roll out is still a little way off, if you are not in a trial site learn from the people who are. You can also develop scenarios of NDIS situations and put them into operational practice so that parts of your business are operating under NDIS conditions.
You gotta want to be one of these rather than the other categories that include ‘late majority’ or ‘laggards’! We are seeing the early adopters getting out there at every opportunity: learning, learning and then learning. They are setting their systems up ready for change and will be ready to take advantage of the biggest social change of a generation.
The take out: get out and start playing, learn as much as you can as quick as you can, some organisations have appointed dedicated NDIS transition staff to assist the process.
Small and nimble
Contrary to the fear being fostered by a few of the predatory bigger organisations, it is often the smaller organisations we are seeing that are well placed for success. They already know their loyal client base, they are close to staff and are able to make changes quickly to capture unanticipated opportunities.
The take out: you can always support parts of your organisation to act ‘smaller’ by giving them more autonomy (with accountability). If you are small already? Stop fretting and start succeeding.
The Change Fatigued!
Yep, too many organisations are entering the NDIS environment with change fatigue. This is a really bad place to start the significant and ongoing change processes required by the NDIS! All change needs to be incredibly well planned and managed. One of the simple tools we use is Gleicher’s formula, check it out at http://www.disabilityservicesconsulting.com.au/resources/new-practice-standards
The take out: Forget about making any changes that aren’t necessary (such as a merger) and start working hard at reducing the fatigue.
We are seeing some wonderful examples of leaders who collaborate and engage at all levels. It is these people who are leading staff through difficult change and keeping clients loyal when many are switching.
The take out: collaborative leadership is not negotiable for long term NDIS success.