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The Management Team

Taken from Ecological Human Services Management

Shift focus now to consider human services agency excellence from a Management Perspective. Earlier, we saw the agency is not a static entity with fixed relationships to other entities and elements. It is more like an organism whose survival and success are interdependent with the survival and success of many other organisms and elements in the incorporating environment. As we consider internal agency functioning, the organic analogy applies just as it does within the Helping Triangle.

The people — agency staff — associated with the internal operation of the agency are not static entities with fixed relationships to other entities. Rather, they are separate, autonomous organisms dynamically associating to form the internal portion of the agency’s eco system. I refer to this as the internal eco system. Taking the analogy a step further, the purpose of agency Management is to establish, support, and sustain the internal eco system.

There is an underlying point here that is somewhat counter-intuitive. The purpose of agency Management is not to manage people. The purpose is to establish, support, and sustain the internal eco system. Agency Managers do not manage people. They manage the internal eco system or aspects of the eco system. Agency staff function as self-managing organisms within the internal eco system. De Pree (2004, page 15-17) When talking about organizational leaders advised us in part that leaders owe the organization’s people a clear statement of the values of the organization; a new reference point for what caring, purposeful, committed people can be in the institutional setting; maturity as a sense of self worth, a sense of belonging, a sense of expectancy, a sense of responsibility, a sense of accountability, a sense of equality; rationality valuing trust, human dignity, and self fulfillment; and space to grow and exercise diversity. As managers manage the internal eco system, they must keep this covenant with everyone associated with the agency. …