Community Ecological Development
With the current climate for health and social care reaching climax and front line services struggling to meet demand, the need for cohesive strategies has never been more apparent. A transformational shift is required, where everyone recognises that they are a stakeholder of change. Whether it’s the public, private or voluntary sector, the mind-set must be focused towards community ecological development. Why? Because everyone is affected by the environment in which they live. A vibrant, healthy community breeds optimism.
Traditionally there has been much separation across the sectors. Commercial business generates profit and gives back its percentage, whilst the public sector seeks to maintain infrastructure, education and healthy living conditions for all. The community and voluntary (CV) sector have been gap-fillers, serving to mop up the slack where the system has failed its people. The issue we now face, is that our population is increasing in size and longevity and the decline in health, leading towards mortality, means more care is needed during our later years. The reality is, front line public services are not matching our increasing level of need.
Third Sector Cohesion
‘If the mission is to develop a vibrant professional outlook, then cross pollination and skill-set sharing, across all sectors, is fundamental’.
The CV sector has mouths to feed just like any other organization, some do very well thank you, others thrive on passion and purpose alone. To be taken seriously, as a true representation of the people, the sector must rise as one with the sole purpose of collaboration. Without this, we develop a corporate third sector mind-set, where organizations seek to feed only themselves.
Bridging the gap across all sectors is key and requires as least resistance as possible from those involved. Without this, as a society, we remain compartmentalised – which greatly contributes to the problems we face. Meetings upon meetings, bureaucratic policies and shifting of power, is counterproductive without clear values and beliefs. The CV sector have an opportunity to set a new tone and create a benchmark for change. However, a ‘what’s in it for my organization, ethnic minority or ability group’ must be relaxed and a broader vision employed.
Without this, organizations that thrive on ring-fencing will continue to eat up valuable resources to thrive. Thus, end users suffer, whilst resources are eaten up by unnecessary infrastructure costs and duplication. Such a model is often fuelled by executive immorality.
Equanimity, on the other hand knows no boundaries. All nationalities, abilities and economic structures fall under this paradigm. Policies, political terminology and legislation must not divide us. Without sector cohesion, the paradigm of thrive and survive will remain and those concerned will fight only for their corner. Only when fear and self-gain are superseded by humanistic values, such as equanimity and contentment, will the sectors find harmony.
As a voice of the people, the CV organization of the future will aspire to pace and lead by example. They will commit to working closely with one another and other sectors to better understand where their resources are best placed. Together they will develop health and social care strategies that address bottle necks before they become epidemics. This type of cohesion will begin to shift the way commissioners spread their capital.
Such a working environment will encourage skill sharing and collaboration over sector dominance and tactical control. This will relax boundaries and improve public opinions on how authorities do what they do. Conflict of interest and transparency will become given qualities that need not be verbalised. The ‘peoples sector’ (Team Doncaster) will become renowned for integrity and trust – alongside compassion.
Working from the Ground up
‘The only way to know the answer to something is to ask the right questions’.
The public sector is now beginning to realise it does not have all the answers and it is not always able to ask. Thus, there has never been such an opportunity for the CV sector to lead by example, by showing that front line communication is the key to success. They will do this by empowering communities to vote with their hearts and voices.
Unfortunately, due to the conventional business model we are programmed to believe that there is not enough to go around, that we must somehow ration or stock pile our resources. Such a business model breeds a ‘win, lose’ environment. Sensible businessmen have now discovered that a ‘win, win’ business transaction is more sustainable – both the seller and end user win. Community ecological development works on the same premise, although it brings in a new dynamic, the community also benefits – it becomes a ‘win, win, win’. Here it will be realised that a strong vibrant, healthy community is one of abundance for all. The development of such a model, firstly requires the building of a strong CV sector. One built on a foundation of trust and morality by its people.
Such a utopian vision may seem like an ideology and yet resides in the heart of everyone concerned. Fear of loss and separation are the biggest cause of human suffering. The question is, do your daily activities breed separation or equanimity?