The CLBC fight => Is a knockout the goal?
At the end of September, at the BCCEO Network meeting, I witnessed Doug Woollard, Interim CEO of Community Living BC, make a botched attempt to cover up the truth – that the government of BC has cheated BC support agencies and has handcuffed them to the point where services to people living with intellectual disabilities will be impacted. As a third party observer, my blood was boiling – I could only imagine how the ED’s and CEO’s in the room were feeling.
My gut reaction on behalf of all support agencies was to fight back. To hell with being the nice guys who simply accept the crap being doled out. Sometimes, the nice guys need to get aggressive and fight back in order to be heard.
The goal here is not to crush the other side, the goal is to make sure that support agencies don’t get bowled over, that they stand up for themselves and are able to work with the other side to find a win-win solution. And a win-win solution here is critical, since both sides must continue to work together long after this is over. If a situation is resolved with a win for one side and a loss for the other, there will be ongoing tension, resentment and discontent.
Some might say that being more aggressive and putting up a fight is a recipe for disaster. I think quite the opposite. If the cause is righteous and the motivation pure, history is full of examples of what happens when bullies push the good guys too far. The challenge is what happens when the good guys get the momentum: do they go for the win-lose, or do they take the high road, put aside the natural human tendency to win and engage the other side in a meaningful solution.
I applaud the fight being put up by Inclusion BC, the BCCEO network and by individual agencies. It is my hope that the whole agency network continues an aggressive fight against the bullying tactics employed by Community Living BC. I hope that they triumph and that when the day comes, they will take the high road and work towards a win-win solution.
In the meantime, managers must stay focused and continue to be productive – despite the chaos and frustration of these larger issues. It is not easy – I know – I’ve been there and in my next three blogs, I’ll focus on specific techniques managers can use to help themselves and their team members stay focused on providing the best service possible to people they serve, even when times are tough.
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