New Age Services Inc, Strategic Plan

New Age Services Inc, Strategic Plan

New Age Services Inc, Strategic Plan

Annual Report Review September 2012

An annual strategic planning process for New Age Services Inc. was implemented in September of 2009, with the intent of creating goals for the organization that would be implemented and evaluated for the next 1-5 years. As articulated in last years’ planning and review process the difficulty with the original process was that the majority of the work resided only within the roles and responsibilities of the organizational leadership and executive leadership. So with this realization, the strategic planning session of 2011 focused on ensuring all key stakeholders that interfaced with the organization could see themselves and their work within the values, principles and goals of the organization.

This years’ strategic planning session expanded on this intent by continuing to engage all key stakeholders to ensure there was still synergy in what individuals and the organization are doing. Then evaluate where the organization currently sits within the Provincial Social Policy Framework, specifically within the continuum of services for people with developmental disabilities in the Province of Alberta. In the initial large group discussions that were facilitated in the morning all of the participant stakeholders did articulate that there was a significant connect between what New Age Services does and is and what the government is looking to define as the Provincial Social Policy framework that will inform provincial decisions about how human needs are met within the province.

Facilitated discussion on an example social policy vision, “Alberta is one of the finest places in the world to live, work and raise a family because all Albertans have the opportunity to engage in our economic, social and cultural life.” reinforced the New Age Services vision, “People working together to create fulfilling lives.” The words, ideas and actions that were suggested on the day as those that describe or add meaning to a social policy framework, were those that are also found in the core values of New Age Services. Words and values (but not limited to):

  • Inclusion
  • Diversity; ability, culture, ethnic and gender equity
  • Acceptance and tolerance(non-judgemental)
  • Empowerment
  • Self-agency and advocacy
  • Collective voice
  • Transparency
  • Access to services
  • Preventative focus
  • Decreasing segmentation of services
  • Accessible language
  • Public accountability
  • Respect
  • Quality, safe, sustainable services
  • Continuous quality assurance

The previously articulated Operating Principles of New Age Services were further supported when the group worked to answer the question, ”Where are positive social outcomes for Albertans already being achieved.” Participants felt that there are quality services within the province achieving this particularly in the areas of; self-advocacy; empowering individuals to do as much for themselves as they can manage; developing greater standards for care and defining a more seamless continuum of services; increased public awareness of provincial social issues, that has led to a more informed voting public; and an ongoing desire to learn and work further upstream, with preventative services promoting healthy living choices.

The group felt that the areas where improvement was most needed were those that interfaced with access to information, both for the agency when trying to assess and then craft the best supports for an individual that has come to them (ie. The different sector data bases are not linked and so important information can get lost, or set up a situation of risk for individuals and service providers). Access to services is impacted by the level of language used and in the complexity of supporting documentation and diagnosis that has to be provided to gain access. Lastly there was significant discussion on public perceptions of contributions made by all Albertans, and it was felt that there is not a common understanding and valuing of those who contribute outside of the social norms in the areas of education, employment, and family affiliations within the province of Alberta.

The group reiterated the previously stated organizational principles as being core to provincial social policy framework principles and they also felt that the principles did appear in their daily work. They are good stewards of public dollars and will work collaboratively with other service organizations and systems to ensure the best possible outcome for individuals accessing service. They are accountable to the consumers, the organization, the social sector and to themselves as trained professionals to work with integrity and respect for all. They promote transparency in what they do and take responsibility for mitigating risks and supporting well-being.

As already stated the group did feel there was a great deal that they and others within the voluntary sector were doing very well, especially in the areas of service provision and increased opportunity for self and group advocacy. That being said though the group did identify one issue that they feel is experienced by the whole sector, and that is the issue of recognizing the professionals who work within services for people with developmental disabilities, as true professionals. Professionals who have completed specialized training and post-secondary education and who have dedicated their professional lives to supporting some of the most vulnerable individuals in our province to experience what a social policy framework vision espouses to achieve. The group did believe that there have been some good first steps toward this professionalization of the field, but much more work needs to be done, if the field hopes to sustain a healthy work force.

This concluded the large group discussion that identified recommendations for the Provincial Social Policy Framework and lead the group nicely into the afternoon small group activity of reviewing, evaluating and assessing where the organization has been, where is it now and where it wants to be in the future.

Strategic Directions Today and into 2013

Short-term Outcomes

(1) Increase ability to attract and retain quality staff,

(2) Rebrand/rename the services

Intermediate-term Outcomes

(3) Increase operational efficiency and programmatic individuation

(4) Increase Public and institutional awareness of our services

(5) Increased leadership team cohesion

Long-term Outcomes

(6) Increase scope of service delivery

(7) Increase advocacy efforts for sector, organization and individual consumers

Implementation Plan or Development Plan

Short-term Outcome Implementation

(1) New Age Services has worked to refine and implement the structured mentorship program, to be made available to all staff within the organization who wish to enter into a professional skill development mentorship relationship. There are also opportunities for certification training made available to staff through a partnership with Bow Valley College and ongoing professional workshops and conferences offered by both PDD and ADWA. Further opportunities for cross-training across the spectrum of positions within the organization, have been facilitated in the past for staff who wish to broaden their skills and expertise. The leadership team will continue to advocate for the professionalization of the supports for people with disabilities field. Staff within the organization will identify and work with their immediate supervisor to ensure that their annual review includes activities that will build professional skill and expertise. All key stakeholders will feel empowered to voice concerns, articulate suggestions for improvement and facilitate positive change within the organization, ensuring the New Age Services will continue to be a wonderful place to work.

  • The mentorship program implementation can occur within the next year and all other activities happen in an ongoing way and need to be reviewed in regular supervision sessions

(2) New Age Services has outgrown its name and the first step in assisting the general public to get a better understanding of what it is that the organization does is to look at a new name and a branding strategy to get the name/reputation out into the community. Suggestions were made that the renaming should imply and be inclusive of quality, individuals and empowerment. A small team representative of all key stakeholders in the organization will be formed to make recommendations to leadership.

  • A small team of stakeholders will be commissioned in the next three months and tasked with developing recommendations for a name change to leadership in the new year

Intermediate-term Outcome Implementation

(3) Increase operational efficiency and programmatic individuation, through an enhanced practice of ongoing continuous quality improvement. The organization has just completed a Creating Excellence Together accreditation process. Completing the review with many commendations for both quality standard adherence and for innovative, individualized programming implementation. A combination of the ongoing annual or semi-annual programmatic and operational reviews along with an ongoing team meeting forum that allocates time for programmatic discussions, sharing and synergy identification will facilitate the creation and adoption of improved programmatic and operational practices. Leadership will consider facilitating a future opportunity for small group discussions to review organizational structure, lines of communication and accountability. With the intent to reinforce what is currently working and to make recommendations for change in areas where current practices are causing friction or bottlenecks.

  • The annual and semi-annual review schedules will be communicated to all key stakeholders so they will plan for and have opportunity to submit feedback and recommendations
  • The planning and implementation of small group discussions, will be further discussed with the leadership team, to develop an effective implementation strategy

(4) Increase public and institutional awareness of our services, has been an ongoing intentional strategy for the last five years, with members of the leadership team purposefully connecting with agencies and service providers within the broader continuum of service delivery for people with developmental disabilities. The name change and communications that will need to occur with that will create a natural opportunity to reconnect with and reinforce connections to community partners and system partners (ie. Health, education, PDD). Some initial discussions were facilitated in the strategic planning session to refine the ‘value proposition’ for New Age Services. Statements that all key stakeholders will learn and have to share forward to all they meet in the community who ask questions about services and what is New Age Services unique value add to the community. Initial thoughts and suggestions for the value proposition statements will be refined and standardized to assist the introduction of the name change.

  • Continue tracking the leadership connectedness to the community and possibly develop a strategy screen for evaluation of future awareness opportunities and potential partnerships
  • By June of 2013 the first iteration of organizational value proposition statements will be presented to leadership for sign-off and hen be shared forward to the larger organization

(5) Increase leadership team cohesion is an ongoing activity for any growing organization and something that needs intentional time allocated to it. The leadership team has done this through their leadership team meetings and the communication and accountability structures they have created. As with operational and programmatic review and enhancement, time needs to be set-aside at regular intervals for organizational leaders to connect outside of their day-to-day professional demands to evaluate what is working, what needs tweaking and what needs to be scraped. Through a regular practice of including time at regular intervals on the leadership team agenda, this practice becomes easier and more productive.

  • Continue the schedule of regular leadership team meetings, tweaking the agenda creation process to include time for ongoing programmatic review, organizational structure review, accountability review, communication practice review and sharing of leadership practices.

Long-term Outcome Implementation

(6) Increase scope of service delivery, is something that an organization must always keep abreast of, not to grow for growth’s sake, but to look at growth as a vehicle to enhance existing services and to potentially proactively create a solution for a future community need. Growth needs to be considered from a strong understanding of the values, principles and uniqueness of the organization and its services, which is something that this organization has and is evidenced in the continuity of responses that were provided to questions asked in the strategic planning session. This longer term work could increase the overall organizational sustainability and further support the value proposition of the organization within a changing service provision sector.

  • Twice a year create a forum for open discussion on service delivery and public funding trends
  • Create an ongoing process, possibly on-line where stakeholders can make suggestions and observations, these can then be brought forward at the twice yearly forum

(7) Increase advocacy for the sector, the organization and the individual consumers is a longer term goal, in that the results of current and ongoing advocacy will most likely not be felt in the near future. With that it is easy to not plan for opportunities to do advocacy, but the active participation of leadership at different community tables and provincial initiatives, has given the opportunity to develop an organization voice (ie. Work Force Council, Service Providers Council, ACDS and CAN).Individual stakeholders are supported to participate in community forums and collective action initiatives that align with individual and organizational goals.

  • Articulate a specific target to be achieved through advocacy for the next two

New Ages Services Inc. continues to thrive and strive for excellence within the field of services for persons with developmental disabilities. The leadership is forward thinking and respectful of the skills, expertise, experience and passion that the staff bring to work every day. As a professional staff team the organization will move to a greater position of leadership within the sector and in so doing will enhance the organizational sustainability.

So Helene, I am not certain what else you would like included and pleas edit as you see fit. I have put some suggested timelines for activities so please review that in particular to see if it will fit organizationally.



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