A DEA agent comes to the door of an old Texas rancher and demands to search the grounds under suspicion that the rancher was growing illegal drugs. The rancher said “That’s fine sir, you can go anywhere you want, just don’t go in that field over there.” To which the DEA agent pulled out his badge and said “do you see this badge? This badge is backed by the full permission of the United States Government. It says that I can go where I want, when I want and do whatever I want because I am a duly appointed deputy of this government.” “Alright sir” the rancher replied and went about his chores. A while later a scream was heard from the field that the rancher had told the agent to stay out of and there was the agent tearing across the field with the rancher’s prized bull in hot pursuit. To this the rancher jumped on the fence and hollered out “show him your badge! Show him your badge!”
Recent management studies are attempting to dismantle and examine power relations inside and outside nonprofit organizations to open the black box of governance politicking, power struggles, board behavior and management decision making. Apparently it is a simplification to believe that organizations are run by the proverbial “boss” and all decisions that affect the organization are made by the “powers that be”.
We look at case management systems, functionality, services and programs ever day at Global Vision Technologies.
Ma, Pa and their young son have lived in the country their whole life. They finally decided that they wanted to go into the city to see what there was to see there. They load up the family wagon with supplies for the day and the three of them hop in and ride into the city. The first stop they make is a shopping mall, which was something the likes of which they had ever seen before. As soon as they step in the door Ma is overtaken and runs off to look at the various shops leaving Pa and his son standing dumfounded. They look and they see a pair of metal doors a little ways away from them. As they watch, an old lady hobbles up to the doors, pushes a button next to them and the doors open. She steps in and the doors close. Pa and his son watch the numbers on top of the doors go up, and then back down and when the doors open again a bombshell blonde steps through the doors. Pa looks at his son and says “Go find your Ma”!
I often start my day by opening up a browser and checking the weather. A couple months ago when the weather site loaded, it looked completely different! It took me a few minutes to learn the navigation of the site and all was well. But why did they change the site? It appears there was no new or different information--it was simply a cosmetic upgrade with different navigation. I felt a few minutes of my life had been wasted for no reason.
Recently, I was at a conference with a client offering a presentation on software implementation. While preparing for the presentation, a conversation occurred with the client that really made me stop and think.
A few days before the training I called this client to review everything and confirm we were ready for our presentation. I asked for her cell phone number so we could connect the day before at the conference. She replied, “Do not laugh at me, I still have a flip phone”. After a short pause, I was not sure what to say. This client is one of the most technically savvy project managers I have worked with in my career. She can write HTML and SQL very well and is responsible for automating her entire workflow of five departments and 125 staff members, and yet she has a phone that I had 20 years ago when I first got out of college. Then just when I thought it could not get any more interesting, she stated that I have to text her “Yes” or “No” questions because she does not know how to text on it and she can only text back one letter.
At Global Vision Technologies we are inspired every day by the dedication and commitment of the social workers we are privileged to work with. It is no secret that, for the most part, social workers are overworked, underpaid, and constantly immersed in human suffering. Why do they do it? What motivates them to work such long hours under constant scrutiny facing opposition from supervisors, regulators, and the clients themselves? In their own words, here’s what social workers told us about why they do what they do.
Do You Allow Your Children to Fail?
These days our children’s lives read like a Hollywood movie. People are trying to script their children’s lives. In some cases - they are not allowed to fail. It starts young, if they are sports minded, they have to grow up to be the next Tiger Woods. If they are smart, they are pushed to be a rocket scientist or similar.
How Bad Beliefs...
On August 22, 1996 President Bill Clinton signed into law legislation that replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The new bill was supposed to reform welfare. At that time, most Americans believed that poverty was the fault of the poor and that it wasn’t fare for hard working people to be burdened with supporting “freeloaders”. Welfare had become a dirty word. TANF was designed to counter this objection by adding a work requirement to the welfare eligibility requirements. Now social workers are required to help anyone who can work to find a job and only approve welfare assistance when it is clear to the social worker that no job is available.