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“You’re on mute” and other facts…

There are plenty of keywords or phrases that represent the last couple of years, for example: pivot, uncertainty, ‘flatten the curve’, mandate, WFH, ‘closed borders’ and the one that makes us all smile ‘you’re on mute’, I am sure you heard enough of them.

Another is ‘that’s your opinion’, and it is usually said in a less than affirming way. We have all heard that throughout the pandemic. Opinions can be good; they can assist us and others in understanding our position. What is even better is opinion combined with good information.

Before you wonder whether this is a COVID rant, I want to let you know, it is not.

From time to time, I will share topics or direction that is discussed with senior leadership. It is important that I communicate to you all, what the thinking is on direction, or ways of working.

Each of you is involved in decision making daily, like me, you must consider what is in front of you and what your experience and training tells you, when making a decision. We cannot make good decisions without good information. One area I have highlighted with the Executive leaders is the importance that all of us have in discerning that good information.

I am convinced that we cannot make good decisions unless we have good information and can separate facts from opinion and speculation. As Baptist Care SA moves forward, and dig deeper with strong foundation for our work, by making key decisions, I ask that you support me and your colleagues as we together separate facts from opinion and speculation, strengthening our resolve and fulfilling our mission.

I am pleased to let you know that in addition to our recent successful NDIS accreditation, we have also moved one step closer to successfully receiving our QIC Health and Community Standards accreditation for 2022, with provisionally meeting standards. We still need to go through several formal steps, but it is looking good. In addition to those leading the process, I want to thank all staff, because service standards and quality does not depend on one team, it is dependent on all of us. We will continue to improve. Successful accreditation is just the starting line for the journey of continuous quality improvement. Like one of the QIC assessors said to me, “it doesn’t mean you have arrived, it means you are on the way, with plenty of opportunities for improvement ahead.”

On the 23-24 February, I had the opportunity to meet with each Senior Manager, and his/her Finance BP to look at the half year financial position of each business unit and review the opportunities and challenges remaining in this financial year. Supported by the ELs and the Senior Manager Finance, we were able to resolve that it isn’t really about the money, it is about the mission. Budget and finances are vitally important, because we are to be good stewards of the resources we have been given. We are to turn those resources, whether time, talent, or treasure, into ways and means of fulfilling our mission.

I challenge each of you to speak with your manager about how you can engage with the Mission.

Shane Austin

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