With budget cuts driving fewer resources and the economic downturn creating increased demand, human services leaders must continue to develop human services solutions to deliver programs with the resources they have. This pressure—and the media attention that covets headlines about tragedies over stories of triumph—can be overwhelming.
Yet there is optimism among human services leaders despite these challenges. Today’s environment is cultivating a new breed of adaptive leaders and human services consulting approaches. As these leaders break through traditional barriers to build capacity through outcome-oriented business models and family-centered approaches, they are driving new human services solutions.
This article was originally published in the June 2012 issue of Policy & Practice. It was co-authored by Antonio M. Oftelie, executive director of Leadership for a Networked World and fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard University; Julie Booth, managing director, North America Human Services, Accenture; and Tracy Wareing, executive director, American Public Human Services Association and reflects insights shared by human services leaders who attended the 2011 Human Services Summit: The Pursuit of Outcomes, which was held at Harvard University in October 2011.