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Insights from the 2013 Human Services Summit at Harvard University
Disruption. It is a fitting word to describe the current human services landscape. Consider the reality of the launch of major changes in demographics, funding, infrastructure and technology.
When disruption is the new normal, what does leadership look like? Successful leaders respond in innovative ways. They become adaptive, inclusive and propose dynamic, innovative programs using new technologies to promote data driven programs. Disruptions become a catalyst for better business models that guide families and communities to self-sufficiency.
To harness and share these lessons, Leadership for a Networked World, Accenture, the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) convened human services leaders for The 2013 Human Services Summit: Leadership in an Era of Disruption.
Originally published by Leadership for Networked World, this report captures insights from this unique event.
The 2013 Human Services Summit was held on October 25-27, 2013 at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA USA. APHSA leaders also held their annual CEO retreat on October 25th and more than 70 human services policy makers, researchers and executives attended Summit sessions on October 26th and 27th.
To move forward, it is imperative that leaders focus on four overarching strategies:
Exercising adaptive leadership and best practices in change management to ensure stakeholder engagement and secure sustainable transformation.
Forging dynamic relationships with service providers, workforce development partners and community stakeholders in order to create a culture of innovation.
Designing innovative policy and shared governance models that break down silos and build up integrated service delivery.
Deploying predictive analytic systems and social media tools to anticipate the needs of customers and target resources effectively.
Leaders discussed strategies to engage stakeholders, frame issues, create new governance models and increase the pace of change and adaptation. Participants also taught each other how to use major disruptions to leverage resources, build stronger bridges across agencies and create new business models that improve services for vulnerable populations:
San Diego is building a robust partnership among healthcare, human services, the private sector and community organizations to support a thriving, healthy community.
Spain is reforming its welfare system to be more integrated, efficient, sustainable and outcomes-oriented.
Transition to Success and the state of Michigan are adopting a new framework to treat poverty through client-focused programs and integrated, local services.
Colorado, Maryland and Minnesota are revamping health and human services programs.
Throughout the Summit participants developed new strategies and skills to move their human services organizations toward a generative business model.
Human services providers around the country are operating during a particularly turbulent period. Changes in the economy, demographics, technology, legislation and more have forced leaders to adapt and innovate. In the face of major disruptions, they have had to be creative, resilient and collaborative to continue providing essential services to our country’s most vulnerable populations. Key lessons learned:
March 11, 2014
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