Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Organizational Excellence - GCASA's Superior Performance

Jim Collins the author of Good To Great has written a little monograph entitled, "Good To Great and the Social Sectors",(This book is listed in My Favorites on the side bar) in which he applies the concepts form his book Good To Great to nonprofits. He says on page 5 "In the social sectors, the critical question is not 'How much money do we make per dollar of invested capital?', but 'How effectively do we deliver on our mission and make a distinctive impact, relative to our resources?"

Collins then goes on to use the Cleveland Orchestra as an example demonstrating that nonprofits can measure their success by assessing their performance, impact, and endurance. Collins suggests that nonprofit organizations should aspire to superior performance, distinctive impact, and lasting endurance.

What would be indicators of GCASA' Superior Performance? I can think of several for G
CASA's treatment and residential services progams:
Excellent ratings on client satisfaction surveys; Excellent ratings on referral agent satisfaction surveys; High rates of client engagement; High rates of client retention; high rates of drug of abuse discontinuance; reduced incarceration rates and legal problems; increase in self-sufficiency; increase in self-actualization with client report of well being.

I can also think of several indicators of superior performance for GCASA's Prevention Program: reduction in the incidence and prevalence of substance abuse in GCASA's service area; reduction in 30 use rates for people under 21; increase in the intensity of protective factors; reduction in intensity of risk factors; a change in social norms and attitudes about substance abuse reducing demand for addictive and damaging substances and behaviors(gambling).

There also several indicators of superior performance for GCASA's Royal Employee Assistance Program: improvement in employee attendance; improvement in employee productivity; improvement in employee error rates; improvement in employee retention; improvement in employee morale; decrease in supervisory problems; increase in workforce well being.

There are many ways to measure GCASA's performance and compare it to other similar service providers. GCASA does better than most already on most indicators, but in its desire to be just not good but great, GCASA has a way to go to further improve its outcomes commensurate with its resources. GCASA cannot rest on its laurels of being the Agency of the Year in 2005 in New York State, and the Best Drug Free Coalition in the United States in 2006 according to CADCA, and in 2007 by NASADAD. Our quest is to be the standard in the industry in outpatient treatment, residential services, and substance abuse prevention.

For future goals GCASA stives for 95% client satisfaction scores in the excellent range knowing that our program services will not suit everyone. Likewise, GCASA strives for 98% referral agent satisfaction in the excellent range. GCASA strives for public recognition and support of its prevention efforts which make the community a healthier place. As this has occurred, citizens tend to take it for granted and think "this has how it has always been" when in fact, things in the past have been worse. GCASA strives to make services available to all who need and want them. We have learned as a society that a criminal justice approach to substance abuse problems, while it has a place, doesn't eliminate our citizens demand, use, and abuse of substances and destructive behaviors.

In the next article, we will be covering the idea of Distinctive Impact.

This is article # 2 in a series on Organizational Excellence.

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