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Transformation: an essential capability, not just a journey

Updated: Oct 31, 2019


This is the first blog in a weekly series leading into the NDS CEOs’ Meeting in Sydney on 20-21 November 2019. Drawing from our experience as the community sector transformation specialists, we will focus on key elements essential for service provider’s growth and sustainability in the complex consumer directed care landscape.


Seeing the need


We see disability services providers wrestling with the challenges of transformation like never before. There’s a clear need to seek out advantageous opportunities, adapt to the NDIS funding model, manage increasingly complex compliance requirements, achieve sustainability - while meeting a growing list of stakeholder expectations. It’s not a scene for the faint-hearted!


The extent of administrative and operational complexity has never been greater as providers seek to acquire the sophistication needed to operate sustainably. Consequently, many providers will have, or are developing a highly complex web of systems, tools, and processes.


How can you as a provider get from where you are now to where you need to be, then keep moving to where you want to be? Transformation is the essential capability for service providers to intentionally develop in the new decade - bringing together People, Process, Technology, and Data.


So, what is a transformation capability?


Provider organisations who seek to achieve a step-change in the way they operate will need to develop a transformation capability. A transformation capability is about having the ability to:


1. Commit to a program of transformation as an organisation – with Board and Executive support

2. Understand the order-of-magnitude investment required for that program

3. Be prepared to govern a multi-year program of work

4. Understand the breadth of capabilities you’ll need to deliver a program

5. Consider your organisational capacity to adopt a program of transformation

6. Identify the range of initiatives that will make up that program

7. See the dependencies between initiatives within the program

8. Prioritise initiatives based on a multitude of factors

9. Manage multiple projects in parallel, often with dependencies


Implementing transformation programs is about managing the portfolio of initiatives that impacts technology, process, the way people work, and the way clients and stakeholders interact with the organisation. It is not just about choosing new software tools. It is about recognising that the ways of working and approaches to business-as-usual operations won’t necessarily meet the needs of the transforming organisation. This can take people to an uncomfortable place so working with your team to navigate the new terrain is critical.


Future blogs in the series will focus on transformation topics such as:


· Cliffs of Complexity: The increasing need for operational sophistication and maturity

· What does good look like? People-Process-Tech-Data for provider organisations

· Data Aggregation: The key to asking and answering your critical business questions

· Engaging your people: Human-centred transformation

· Your Health-Check for transformation capability….


If you are coming to the NDS Conference, drop by the Blue Bike Solutions booth next to the coffee cart at the NDS Conference … the coffee is on us!



Written by Steven Balderstone

Strategy and Operations Lead



Blue Bike exists to help organisations that provide a positive impact for our community do their good, better. We partner extensively with service providers from the disability, mental-health, aged-care, international development and broader social services sectors. As the community sector consulting specialists we understand the importance of taking a holistic and pragmatic approach to transformation. With proven capabilities spanning strategy & operations, people & process, systems & technology, and data & insights you can rest assured we know how to meet you where you are and help you move to where you need to be.

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