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 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 lanscape breeds optimism.
Traditionally there has been separation across the sectors. Commercial business generates profit and pays back its percentage in taxes, whilst the public sector seeks to maintain infrastructure, education and healthy living conditions for all. The voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sectors have been gap-fillers, serving to take up the slack where the system falls short. The issues we now face are that our population is increasing in size and living longer. And, an increase in health-related illness means more care is needed during the later stages of life. The reality is, front line public services are not matching the 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’.
VCF organisations have mouths to feed just like any other organization, some do very well thank you, others struggle along from passion and purpose. To be taken seriously, as a true representation of the people, the sector must rise as one with the sole purpose of collaboration. Without spreading the wealth, a ‘corporate third sector’, where leading organizations seek to feed only themselves is probable.
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 only contributes to the problems we face. Meetings upon meetings, bureaucratic policies and shifting power, is counterproductive without clear values and beliefs. For a new horizon to shine, the VCF sector has an opportunity to set a benchmark for change.
Without this, organizations that thrive on ring-fencing will continue to eat up valuable resources and thrive. Thus, the end-user suffers, whilst using unnecessary resources, infrastructure costs and duplication dominates. Such a model is often fuelled by executive immorality and this type of greed must elapse.
Equanimity 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 all sectors harmonise.
As the voice of the people, the VCF organization of the future will aspire to pace and lead by example. They will commit to working closely with one another and invite stakeholders to question where their resources are best placed. Together, all those concerned will develop health and social care strategies that address bottlenecks before they become epidemics.
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. Transparency, integrity and trust will be the new buz words, over corporate language which seeks to pigeon hole those less informed. The ‘peoples sector’ will become renowned for empathy and 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, due to previous pitfalls, is not always able to ask. Thus, there has never been such an opportunity for the VCF sector to lead, by showing that front line communication is the key to intrapersonal care. 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 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 – we create a ‘win, win, win’. Here it is 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 VCF sector. One built on a foundation of trust and morality by its people and for 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 causes of human suffering. The question is this, do your day to day work relations and activities breed separation or equanimity?