To understand organisations one needs to understand the social, economic, political and other contexts in which they operate. What stories are we in? Three examples are below:
Society is in a constant state of change.
What are the social trends?
What are the implications of these social trends for the relevance of my organisation to society?
Is my organisation becoming more relevant or less relevant to society?
Changing role of government
In Australia, In recent decades the government has been changing its role from ‘rowing’ to ‘steering’ - the government’s role is seen as determining policies within which others provide services rather than the government itself providing services.
Part of this change is the change from funding to tendering and contracting.
Part of this change is also the growth in legislative and accreditation requirements, eg, OH&S, child protection, privacy, accreditation and standards.
Is my organisation aware of these changes and trends? What are the implications if my organisation is to thrive in this changing context?
Corporatisation of human services
In Australia human services are being reshaped and corporatised. Human service organisations are changing to meet the effects of increased complexity and competition - in the 1980s the development of small community organisations was encouraged; now the trend is towards larger organisations; many smaller projects have been re-auspiced to larger organisations.
There is increased competition among community organisations (and for-profit organisations) in the provision of services.
There are more external accountability structures and pressures for benchmarking, performance indicators, unit costing and the like.
are the stories my organisation is in?