David Hawkins reveals how one predictive indicator of a company’s wellbeing - and one that is rarely measured - is the strength of its relationships.
Examine any company and its reporting mechanisms, and you’ll find that financial value is determined by a profit and loss report and a balance sheet. These reveal how well the company has fared historically, and the current state of finances.
But the P&L and balance sheet tell us nothing about the company’s future success.
One predictive indicator of a company’s wellbeing - one that is rarely measured - is the strength of its relationships. Good relationships with clients, customers and the community are central to any company achieving its mission - whether that’s selling a product, providing a service, or advocating change.
Melbourne’s Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) serves as an extraordinary example of how a focus on building relationships has created an entrepreneurial, high performance workplace.
In 2005, the Victorian Government determined that Collingwood had the second highest crime rate in the state - 453 per cent above the state average. Unemployment was 286 per cent higher than the state average, and the suburb had more than three times the number of single parent families and double the occurrence of disability support pensioners. The gentrification of some pockets of the suburb was starkly contrasted with significant disadvantage, leading to polarisation in the community.
The government decided to adopt an innovative approach, establishing the NJC in January 2007. The Centre’s Director, Kerry Walker, arrived “just before the doors opened” with a determination to build a unique organisational culture which placed relationships front and centre.
“We established ourselves as people who could be trusted,” Kerry explains. “The community came to understand that we were honest, worked hard, and were committed to being there when times were tough, as well as when times were good.”