Kylie Hogan, National Disability Services

The Community Services Industry is facing a myriad of reforms and challenges now and into the future. 

Challenges such as an ageing population, workforce shortages, sector-wide reforms, technological advances and economic uncertainty are making it more important than ever for organisations to take stock of their situation and plan accordingly.

Through the Sector Readiness and Workforce Capacity Initiative (funded by DCCSDS) an Organisational Development Toolkit (ODT) was developed to assist organisations to navigate their way through reforms and their own unique circumstances. 

The ODT provides organisations with the opportunity to undertake a free business health check, by taking the time to critically assess their current position and identify where they would like to be into the future.   By undertaking this work organisations will be able to determine where changes may be needed that will assist them in being able to continue to meet the needs of the community and not only maintain viability but thrive in these times of change. 

Organisations may approach using the toolkit in a number of different ways, however below are some suggestions to assist in making the most of the exercise.

  • Be prepared to be brutally honest – this is a self-assessment tool, you need to answer the questions as honestly as possible in order to establish an accurate assessment of your current position.
  • Involve others – seek input from stakeholders, both internal and external (as appropriate) to ensure you have a well-rounded picture of the position of the organisation.
  • Be realistic – when determining a desired future position and actions, by all means strive for what you want, but also be realistic.  Sometimes unrealistic goals become a barrier to any change at all.  Everything does not have to be achieved in the first step.
  • Ongoing – Include the use of the toolkit in the ongoing review and planning for your organisation.  This might be a process you use on a regular (eg. yearly) basis to check your position and progress.

The ODT is one part of a Business Development Package that was designed to support organisational efficiency, viability and sustainability into the future. Other parts of the package, such as the organisational development modules and business development resources, are designed to support the learnings from the toolkit and provide guidance on those next important steps.

Access the Organisational Development Toolkit now.


This blog is the first in a regular series that aims to explore each aspect of the toolkit and how community service organisations have been using it to their advantage.

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