What I do for a Living

I spend a lot of time in airports, airplanes, hotel lobbies and restaurants alone where I tend to eat at the bar. One of the inevitable questions in these types of environments is “What do you do for a living?”

Sometimes I use the bland “I’m a consultant.” But I have learned that begs more questions about what type of consultant I might possibly be.

Sometimes I say that I teach at York. Like saying “I’m a consultant” this usually leads to questions about what I teach.

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Four Essential Elements of a Comprehensive Performance Measurement System

In human services delivery, there are several effective approaches to performance measurement. My leaning is towards an approach that is comprehensive and system-focused, while remaining client-centred.

A comprehensive approach will have four essential elements:

  1. Identifying the chronically underperforming services.
  2. Identifying the services that can meet performance standards with a little coaching and/or technical assistance.
  3. Identifying outstanding services that not only exceed performance targets, but also have a unified commitment throughout the organization on performance excellence, use of evidence-based practices and a sincere commitment to continuous improvement.
  4. Emphasis on financial stewardship.
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Prioritizing Who Gets Served Next Matters – The Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT)

When I led the largest Housing First program in North America, one of the things that bothered me was that we had no defensible way to prioritize who we served next. We dabbled with different instruments and had some stellar research thanks to folks like Toby Druce – but couldn’t quite put our finger on exactly how to prioritize who got served next and why. At least not in a defensible, reliable, consistent and valid way.

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