Building From the Ground Up

Building an organization from the ground up is both exciting and frightening . . . with very little in between! You soon find how much you need to learn, not matter how good you are at what you do, and who is there to help you – or not! Of course there are always people out there who really don’t want to help you at all, along with naysayers, skeptics, and those who already have more than enough on their plates. But after a while, the whole process begins to come together, as you learn what to expect from yourself and those around you.

You can’t really blame others for not wanting to help. They might have been in a helpful place once in their lives, but have become disillusioned, or disappointed. But if you are really serious about building something worthwhile, you must ignore obstacles, continue to keep moving, cutting through red tape, finding alternative routes to overcome obstacles, and opening new doors as others close. If you are serious, and show it, then one person, or two, or three hundred, will not halt your progress . . . provided you maintain your mission, your goals and a crystal-clear vision.

As we continue to build our own organization, I continue to feel the excitement as we learn new and better ways to overcome challenges. In fact, the challenges are what gets me up in morning, which is a good thing since, as we keep on branching out, they just keep on coming. Among them is building up an effective administrative infrastructure. It isn’t easy, but someone’s got to do it! Administration is responsible for the quantitative work in your organization, as well as guaranteeing the overall quality of what you do. To do this you need focus, expertise and the ability to balance the emotional needs of your customers with the tasks you must complete. You must also create a healthy environment for the boundaries you must put in place. These boundaries must be respected, and your physical space must reflect them.

For that reason we are currently in the process of separating our administrative offices from our program activities. While we do this we must continue to manage expectations on behalf of everyone we serve in order to preserve the strong, open culture we have created over the years. Everyone deserves a healthy work environment including staff, management and the individuals we help every day. It is crucial to provide information on progress, on changes, and outcomes. We now look forward to reporting on the success we are having and what we are accomplishing through our efforts to improve our administrative process as we grow.

Finally, we have found that everyone benefits from clarity. Clients need a daily routine and a regular schedule of activities otherwise the administrative process bogs down in unanswered questions. The human need for information is virtually insatiable, but only if left unfulfilled. Thus we will keep everyone informed of our progress and chronicle where we are going and where we have been.

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