Good practice in action: Open and honest engagement over time
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‘People think that conversations are not the real work. The conversation is the relationship.’
- Comments from participants involved in negotiations
The first example of Code 4 Open Communication comes from Lyall Wilson, national contracts advisor with the Ministry of Social Development and agreed by Lynda Millington, CEO of Interactionz, a provider of Vocational Services for people with disabilities in Hamilton, as a true reflection of their contractual relationship and experiences.
This example is ‘currently an active’ contract that has been extended for a further 2-year period and was signed in early July 2010.
The Ministry of Social Development has contracted with providers of vocational services for people with disabilities, such as Interactionz in Hamilton, since 1998
Key contract features included:
Getting to know each other - I believe one of the most successful things we did was get to know each other. In the initial stages, regular meetings were held, which included a guided tour of the service, attending board meetings, answering lots of questions we both had, and participating in the provider’s strategic planning. Feedback from these meetings was very positive, and greatly appreciated by staff, governance, and management. Once the relationship developed, the meetings become less frequent, and on an as-required basis, mainly at contract renewal time.
Open and honest communication - I believe this has been the basis of the positive relationships that exist between MSD providers of vocational services for people with disabilities. If I felt the provider was considering something that moved away from the intent of the funding, I let providers know. Equally, if providers felt what they were doing was not in the best interests of their service users, I listened and allowed providers to experiment.
Interactionz was an example of this, and a positive outcome for all was the result. Even though the service ended up being very different to what we originally funded, the new service allowed service users to be more interactive in their communities, and to move towards independence, which fit the funding intent perfectly.
Watch the videos below to learn more
This video explains Interactionz' journey over many years as the organisation and its services have changed in response to new community expectations
This video personalises Interactionz' service by introducing one of the individuals Interactionz helps.
In December 2010, this example of a funding relationship featured in a Good Practice in Action seminar organised by the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector. The presenters were Lyall Wilson, National Contracts Advisor, Work and Income, Ministry of Social Development and Lynda Millington, Chief Executive, Interactionz.
Pictured: Presenter Lynda Millington