How to Keep the Wheels of Your Children’s Home Turning All Year Round

January is the month for getting focused. If you have purchased the Children’s Home Manager’s Annual Planner, you will be focusing this month on planning for the year ahead.  Doing this in the first weeks of the year honestly saves heaps of time further down the road and helps you toward a good to great transformation and Ofsted readiness.

This month you will be setting the wheels in motion for all the months ahead. Each daily task leads you toward an end goal.  Once the tasks are complete, you are not only meeting your statutory requirements you are engaged in the process of building your service, your team and your leadership skills.

Build Momentum

This year you will find yourself building your leadership skills by motivating your senior team. Encouragement is a habit you will consistently establish, enabling you to bring leadership momentum into the team. Monthly meetings will help your team grow and progress and help them in their personal and professional development. No tick box exercises here. Planning for individual children’s needs and how the senior team can help young people with their outcomes will feature high. You will be setting the foundation for the year ahead. You will be building a consistent habit of leading from the front. The main point here is to stick with whatever plans you make and see them through!

Children's Home Manager's Annual Planner

The Flywheel Effect

In the book Good to Great, Jim Collins explains the flywheel effect which is when we keep trying to reinvent the wheel expecting the next push to be successful when we haven’t stuck with the first plan we made. This often happens in children’s homes throughout the year, especially if there is an unexpected event.

In Good to Great Jim Collins compared companies who failed in their endeavours to grow and be successful.

‘We found a very different pattern at the comparison companies. Instead of a quiet, deliberate process of figuring out what needed to be done and then simply doing it, the comparison companies frequently launched new programs—often with great fanfare and hoopla aimed at “motivating the troops”—only to see the programs fail to produce sustained results. They sought the single defining action, the grand program, the one killer innovation, the miracle moment that would allow them to skip the arduous build-up stage and jump right to breakthrough. They would push the flywheel in one direction, then stop, change course, and throw it in a new direction—and then they would stop, change course, and throw it into yet another direction. After years of lurching back and forth, the comparison companies failed to build sustained momentum and fell instead into what we came to call the doom loop. 

Good to Great Transformation

No matter how dramatic the end result, good-to-great transformations never happen in one fell swoop. In building a great company or social sector enterprise, there is no single defining action, no grand program, no one killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, no miracle moment. Rather, the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant, heavy flywheel, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough, and beyond.’