ABC Radio Adelaide |By Brett Williamson | Posted 19 May 2017 If you lose your job past the age of 50, you are in the hardest age bracket to find work again thanks to age discrimination. A recent study by the University of South Australia’s Centre for Workplace Excellence confirmed there was a strong…
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The University of Sydney Business School
Written by Claire Robbs
CEO, Life Without Barriers
The not-for-profit sector has seen radical change in the past few years and will continue to do so in our country. This change is driven by governments slowly shifting the focus from funding one-size-fits-all services to giving choice of care to the consumer.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a prime national example. This is a positive change. Consumers should have the right to move or change providers when they choose to do so. It makes the industry work harder to be imaginative, innovative and strive for the highest standard of service.
In order to understand the changing landscape and its effect on not-for-profits, it is first important to understand how funding was allocated in the past. For many years, not‑for‑profits delivered services primarily through government grants. Put simply, the government saw an area of need, the service went to tender, and often a not-for-profit was awarded the funds to deliver the service.
This was a good solution because the service provision was often delivered in an efficient manner, by an experienced provider that usually had a long track record of success in that sector. The downside, however, was choice. This model, often called ‘block funding’, did not allow choice for the consumer and meant people were required to use whichever service provider delivered the funded services in their location. It also meant that service provision relied purely on government funding.
The change from ‘block funding’ to what we call in the industry ‘consumer-directed care’ is absolutely vital and far more aligned to a human rights-based approach. But change brings uncertainty.
The question is, how do not-for-profits remain viable for the people who need them at a time of significant change, and in a way that is not just about holding the status quo but welcoming change and thriving through it?
Not-for-profits must rethink their funding model and traditional business models to ensure their longevity and resilience in this rapidly changing landscape. Where they previously spent a lot of time on government relations, they must now act more as a business-to-consumer organisation while retaining a focus on positive outcomes and strong relationships.
So, what does this look like? The first thing not-for-profits must do is avoid the financial gymnastics of tendering for unsuitable and short-term services to keep their former business model afloat. This approach is short-sighted and does not create the innovation and reform the sector needs to change service delivery.
Instead, not-for-profits need to become more sophisticated in analytics to understand their customers, and braver about piloting new programs and services. Very few people who experience disability, vulnerability or disadvantage have one issue alone for which they need support.
Just as commercial operations look at the landscape of what people are wanting in services they seek out, our industry also needs to do the same by asking ‘what is the totality of support a person needs’, ‘how will these needs change in the future’ and ‘how can we offer these services better than anyone else’? This notion of competition has been a little taboo in the not-for-profit space, but the reality is that a competitive spirit drives better service offerings and holds us all to account with our customers.
In answering these questions, not-for-profits move away from just rethinking their funding model and instead move towards a sustainable, diversified business model, similar to a for-profit business but with the focus being on long-term sustainability of client services. To drive a successful and sustainable business, you need to set yourself up as an employer of choice, recruit professionals who have strong business acumen and a commercial mindset. They should also share the organisation’s values and be motivated by improving outcomes for the people they serve.
At Life Without Barriers we are committed to continuous improvement, service quality and person-centred care.
These factors help to position Life Without Barriers in the minds of consumers as a trustworthy and stable provider for their long-term care and support and also one that won’t be afraid to shake up the way things are done. We are in it for the long haul, prepared to take some risks and do things differently to stand out from the crowd. We believe all not-for-profits need to have this mindset in order to stay viable long term.
Hundreds of thousands of Australians are relying on them.
6 July , 2018
6 July , 2018
InfinityLab is seeking to address a national, and growing catastrophe. Companies simply passing transitioning staff to outplacement agencies is not good enough and corporate Australia must be setting an example for the rest of society. Ageism catches up with all of us eventually, and people working also ensures there are customers.
Unemployment among older Australians is a national disaster and needs to be urgently addressed. With people living longer healthier lives there is no reason they should not be able to secure fulfilling jobs. While governments are increasing the age at which people can access pensions, an enormous amount for wealth is being lost by not establishing effective programs for ensuring people remain in work. In addition to any income earned, the social engagement and satisfaction in doing a job well are vital to mental health
6 July , 2018
Recruiters actively note that they are not being paid to find applicants over 35ísh. With ageism rife across Australia, InfinityLab is a unique program offering a new career for experienced workers and bringing innovation to society
6 July , 2018
With a population of some 24million people, and some 12.5million people working the underemployed and unemployed figures of some 2.5million represents around 16% of the workforce, This is not only a significant loss for Australia, but devastating for those affected. Innovation can deliver so much for society that single minded focus on patentable IP comes at a significant cost and both government and companies have social responsibility to be bringing new products and services to market.
If all 2.5 million underemployed and unemployed were earning say $70,000 this would bring an additional $175Bn in taxable income as well as reduce the costs of welfare and health support.
In addition, all employment growth was attributable to the increase in casual and part time work. This is a short term measure, leaving people unable to secure home loans or significantly progress their lives.