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Formative Fields

1. Task

An evaluation of the performance of an organisation depends on the direction of work that has been chosen and on what outcomes are aimed at. The starting point is an accurate understanding of the needs of the clientele for whom the organisation aims to improve their situation. The guiding vision statement contains a description of the performance aimed at and is binding on all concerned. The involvement of as many co-workers as possible in ongoing work on this fundamental aspect is an essential factor in the approach to work and its performance; a deficiency in this fundamental work is a continual source of disruption.

 

2. Individual Responsibility

Although the will to take on responsibility is not present everywhere, there is general agreement that the quality of service provision is better and more sustainable where there is a readiness to take on more responsibility and where greater capacity for carrying responsibility is present. The working structures and organisation should facilitate this. An instrument such as dynamic delegation shows how responsibility can come about and be nurtured

 

3. Ability

This field deals with the issue of the co-workers' qualifications, including basic training, continuing professional development and specialist training. The focus is on internal learning, primarily in developing potential for gaining knowledge. The aim is for co-workers to have and develop the qualifications and competencies needed for the particular tasks of the organisation.

 

4. Freedom

The focus here is a free space for unfolding the competencies of individual co-workers or groups and their integration into the overall aim. Relationship-based services cannot manage without open spaces for shaping activity. This freedom of action does not arise from the need for free scope of those active, but from an expectation on the part of the service recipients that the course of events shall be appropriate to their individual needs. Issues connected with the description of the task and reflective co-working conversations (also known as collegial conversations) also belong in this field.

 

5. Trust

This field has to do with the conditions that make it possible to work with shared responsibility, for example elements that build and maintain trust such as information sharing, openness for conversation, a culture of openness toward feedback, preventing and rectifying failures of trust. This is not limited to trust between co-workers, but also in relation to the clientele and other stakeholders such as authorities or funders.

 

6. Protection

The involvement of those for whom the services are provided is particularly important in the relationship-based services sector, for without their participation the outcomes aimed at cannot come about. Insofar as participation affects the legal position of the service recipients, Ways to Quality emphasises the contractual relationship as a mutual form of agreement based on commitments. Genuine inclusion in the process of the service is the most active form of protection and surmounts an attitude of passive consumption. Different forms of feedback from the service recipients, their relatives or other caregivers (such as referring doctors) or organisations also belong in this field.

 

7. Financial Enabling

This field deals with different aspects of the flow of funds in an organisation. One aspect is accounting, but this field also includes the way co-workers become involved in shared responsibility for finance in relation to the cost effectiveness of the services provided. Another aspect is the financial arrangements with the organisation's contractual partners. The concern here is the service charges which enable the services agreed on to be provided at the level of quality to which the organisation has committed itself. This goes beyond the sole responsibility of the organisation as it is dependent on others for its sources of funding.

 

8. Insight

Experience shows that, in everyday practical implementation, the sources of knowledge can be neglected. This applies particularly to relationship-based services where everything depends on how well the people receiving the services are perceived, both in general and individually. The primary concern here is to condense individual impressions into an overall view of the person concerned and thus go beyond individual activity. The right space for this needs to be created.

 

9. Individual Development

This field concerns the way in which the possibilities for the service provision are dependent ultimately on the development of the individuals concerned. This cannot simply be demanded from outside, but the way the work is shaped and organised must induce and enable development by itself. At the same time the development of the service recipients is also involved, as their progress significantly co-determines the course of future service provision.

 

10. Initiative

The entire course of the services provided is subject to continual change and transformation: people change, new needs arise (new conditions for example), new experiences are made and new insights gained. Thus constant observation of developments, on the one hand, and being prepared for renewal and being able as an organisation to manage change, on the other hand, are essential components of sustainable work on quality. Work on these influences is the content of this field.

 

11. Individual and Community

It is essential for an organisation in the field of relationship-based services to learn to live with a fundamental tension: on one hand it is necessary to individualise the service to the greatest possible extent in order to do justice to the individual situations of the clients and the co-workers; on the other hand it must move within the spectrum of the service aims that the whole organisation has agreed to strive for, and thus find its boundaries. There is an innovative potential of tension here, the fruitful activation of which calls for a process of continual agreement and reconciliation between different approaches.

 

12. Community as Destiny

With good reason the working life in an organisation quite objectively focuses on the service required by the person in need, and to a lesser extent the sensitivities of those providing the service. The danger here is that one can lose sight of the latter behind all this sober objectivity. Exaggerated systematic thinking can even view the human being as a threat to the efficiency of organisation systems that are independent of people. However it is necessary to find the right balance. The impact of matters that lie beyond the performance of the service on those involved as co-workers or clients is the subject of this field too.