All harried case workers dream of a better way to do things.
Wishing doesn't make it so. However, the Walter Mitty side of your personality could be very useful to your organization. When you dream about a better way to do things, speak up.
Research provides strong evidence that, in order to innovate, nonprofits need to step back and look at their operations to better understand the gaps or opportunities in their day-to-day work. A strong understanding of an organization's needs ensures that any technology solution will really address the issues that the organization faces and open the door to innovative solutions.
EXAMPLE: When a Walter Mitty working for the United Way of Olmsted County dreamed of a shared database available to all agencies, the United Way went ahead to create a hosted database combined with a scan-able photo ID card to reduce intake time for clients who visited participating service providers.
ANOTHER DREAM: A Walter Mitty at the Headway Emotional Health Services in Olmsted County dreamed of using her beloved smartphone while in the field. At her suggestion, the agency started to allow case managers to use smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices to access a database and share calendars from the field.
Every Walter-Mitty-Case-Worker dream can become a reality. The process works like this: • Identify a need in your day-to-day work life. Begin to dream of a better life.
- Your dream contains your current awareness of existing technology.
- Connect your needs with your awareness of technology.
- Speak up.
- Perhaps only a minor change occurs in your organization.
- Service is improved.
When you see a problem in your agency, dream about a better life. Your dream may well be the solution.