Bethesda Lutheran Community is a Christian organization that caters for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities in the United States through services that seek to spread the gospel truth of Jesus Christ. The organization was started in 1904 as a single unit location in Watertown Wisconsin, creating an inclusion community that catered for people with mental disabilities. By 1960s, the pioneer campus in Watertown had a capacity of about 660 individuals (Hodge, Lieberman & Murata, 2012).
At this time, the societal attitudes about people living with disabilities was perceived with skepticism, and hence there was little from either the government or from the society. As time progressed, the attitudes and perceptions began to shift towards appreciating the lives of individuals with disabilities, and more support was acquired from government, charity groups and from other well-wishers in the society (Greenspan, Wieder & Simons, 1998). Currently, the organization has the capacity to support up to 2500 people in different community homes across 14 states. The community is run on the values of integrity, compassion, and commitment to serve, grow and develop others.
Strategic assessment of Bethesda Community:
The strategic assessment model is an essential tool in the organizational planning that focuses on the internal and external environment, with consideration on the internal and external problems, threats and opportunities, evaluating their weights and probabilities (Schalock & Verdugo, 2012). The Bethesda strategic assessment model is based on organizational efficiency and effectiveness that relies on financial stability. This model hence forms a critical tool in guiding the decision and policy makers on sound planning techniques in different organization elements such as, finances, leadership, human resource, technology, competition and the market economy, with consideration of the current organization status, towards achieving the set goals and objectives.
Internal and external environments:
For the objective of providing quality humanitarian services, the organization has about 3,100 employees, 500 adult campers, about 700 volunteers, 11, 500 donors and over 444 network congregations that support the running of the organization in terms of material and financial support. Government support has also been on the decline, and this has contributed to a challenging economic environment factoring that the fundraising initiatives have not yielded enough funds to manage the ongoing projects (Hodge, Lieberman & Murata, 2012).
Despite the large number of employees, the staff turnover has reached its peak within the last few years, and this has significantly interfered with the organizational growth due to limiting professional expertise. With the consistent decline on the human assets, this has consistently placed the firm at stake considering the dire financial status. The cumulative effect of these circumstances is that this has left the management in a crisis, making it reluctant toward making critical and bold managerial moves due to the prevailing uncertainties in the future.
With escalating total cash flow deficit, the firm has also tried to reduce the number of philanthropic projects with the financial constraints, and hence its budgetary allocation has been limited even with the high number of needy financial situations. In the recent years, more individuals with disabilities have continued to approach the organization seeking financial assistance, but it has not been possible (Hodge, Lieberman & Murata, 2012). Consequently, this has compelled the organization to deal with the neediest cases, while leaving some unattended. Due to limiting funds, expanding the internal facilities and utilities with the essential learning and mental development amenities has been a challenge.
Operations consolidation strategy:
With the prevailing financial and employee turnover setbacks, it may prove difficult to sustain the organization in its fragmented state. In such a status, it is likely that the organization may remain small and never attain an extensive market share as defined in its vision statement. Currently the organization exists as an individual unit running many small-like organizations as homes and residential facilities (Wyoming, Campbell, Fortune, & Heinlein, 2000).
A merger would involve entering into an integration relationship, where Bethesda Community would join another similar-sized company offering home and community based services. This strategy would accomplish a low-cost management strategy, and grant more operations efficiency by combining the technical and financial capacities.
On the other hand, acquisition would occur if Bethesda Community purchases a philanthropic company like the Arc Link (US) Organization, one of the largest national community based organization. The firm would acquire its entire resources and the existing market share. As a result, the firm would expand its influence across the United States, with more locations in more than the current 14 states and subsequently concentrate its services on a large scale to its target population (Schalock & Verdugo, 2012).
Model organizations to learn from:
The main reason why Mosaic firm has managed to retain its employees is entrenched on solid employer-employee relationships, where the employee is given the freedom to implement the best practices that would attain the highest good to the individuals served, to fellow employees and to the employer. Moreover, the firm provides competitive pays, incentives and benefits, excellent career growth and promotion opportunities, and creation of a positive working environment.
Creating new partnerships with collaborative groups that serve individuals with intellectual and development disabilities would be most feasible. Therefore, entering into mergers and acquisitions would be a prime strategy towards securing more funds. This prospective financial remedy would work towards expanding the business framework to more operations efficiency, reaching needier cases and extending the market share across locations that need the humanitarian services (Schalock & Verdugo, 2012).
Moreover, by affiliating with like-minded organizations like the Protected Tomorrows, an organization that provides financial support and planning to organizations that offer disability services. In such a relationship, Bethesda Community would readily acquire full insights on the management essentials, especially with the human resources planning and acquire a better understanding on the scope and breadth of the philanthropic needs. In addition, the firm would easily navigate its financial setbacks upon the acquisition of vital financial planning and monitoring practices and models.
These faculties have demonstrated a higher level of client management and training, as compared to Bethesda, where most of these firms have adopted and integrated science, engineering and modern technology in offering training and advancing the mental wellness of their patients. Subsequently, this has effectively functioned towards promoting the quality of life and transforming them into independent personalities (Hodge et al., 2012).
Earning a positive transition:
Among the reported setbacks that has masked the relevance of the organization in its services include: poor quality service delivery to its clientele, where the firm fails to provide quality programs with appropriate equipment and technology that would enhance the lives of its clientele, meagre medical attention, and poor employee working environment and remunerations (Schalock & Verdugo, 2012). This premise therefore explains the high turnover levels, ineffectiveness and clarifies why Bethesda has continued to lose its market share (Virgilio, 2012).
The solution to these two major problem lies in the ability of the management to establish an internal Quality Committee, an oversight body that should assess the efficacy of the available support facilities and equipment, towards meeting the mental and skills development of the people served. In this regard, the monitoring and evaluation process of the various services and programs offered must be frequent and results oriented.
Provision of tailored services and programs, through a learner-mentor based environmental modification, will be critical to meet site-specific needs of the occupants. Therefore, training and capacity building must be embraced as the most viable approach to sustaining a dynamic and competent human capital (Greenspan, Wider, Simons, 1998). Through fundraising initiatives, such as ‘Save the Underprivileged Child Fund’, these projects will support the institution in the purchase of modern training and enhanced therapeutic programs.
In addition, the oversight team should advocate for better working conditions for the employees, and introduce competitive working rates and benefits that parallel rival firms (Schalock & Verdugo, 2012). It is worth-noting that besides strategic leadership, employee motivation ranks paramount to quality services delivery and towards achieving cost effectiveness.
Strategic orientation recommendations:
Currently, Bethesda has significant challenges with its operations workforce, declining financial health, absence of critical business thinking, declining products and services quality, limited technology and systems, and inefficient processes and operations (Schalock & Verdugo, 2012). Considering that the firm has encountered bleak times before, it is possible to rise from the current position.
Secondly, the firm must establish efficiency in all its operations by providing a clear structure on activities and programs that must be guided by performance and competence. In this regard, carrying out data collection and evaluation procedures on the current managerial operations must set precedence. A results oriented approach will be significant in transforming the current managerial regime and operations.
It is evident that the organization needs a dynamic Project Manager: Dynamic leadership will espouse self-evaluation, continuity in planning, control, and coordination of all responsibilities to a central office. This decision will ensure that there is clarity in definition of roles, which enhances monitoring and accountability from various departmental heads.
The new leadership must be motivated with fostering hands on skills and abilities, such as musical instruments and percussions play, knitting and weaving, and physical build through regular exercises and physical workouts. Such a skillful direction demands commitment and effective delegation of responsibilities and obligations (Hodge, Lieberman & Murata, 2012).
These appraisals will be imperative in identifying the efficacy of various processes and systems towards attaining the projected outcomes. By tracing all quality problems to management decisions, this will ensure that critical decision making is sustained towards accountability, providing the appropriate staffing levels, providing quality equipment and training facilities, and definition of clear working procedures (Greenspan, Wieder & Simons, 1998).
Bethesda can better place itself for future advancement and maintain a long-term sustainability by safeguarding the analysis of all internal procedures, processes and operations, and executing them strategically, effectively and systematically (Schalock & Verdugo, 2012). Under strategic leadership, the firm has the opportunity to foster a solid internal and external organizational infrastructure, towards enhancing its financial stability, technical capacities, and preparedness in addressing future challenges and grabbing opportunities that will preserve growth in new and existing aspects.
Greenspan, S. I., Wieder, S., & Simons, R. (1998). Bethesda: Encouraging intellectual and emotional growth. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley.
Hemp, R., Braddock, David L., & King, Martha P., (2014). Bethesda Community-based Medicaid funding for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Denver, Colorado.: National Conference of State Legislatures.
Hodge, S. R., Lieberman, L. J., & Murata, N. M. (2012). Essentials of teaching adapted physical educationin Bethesda: Diversity, culture, and inclusion. Scottsdale, Ariz: Holcomb Publishers.
Schalock, R. L., & Verdugo, M. A. (2012). A leadership guide for today's disabilities organizations: Overcoming challenges and making change happen. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
Virgilio, S. J. (2012). Fitness education for children: Bethesda team approach. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Wyoming., Campbell, E. M., Fortune, J., & Heinlein, K. B. (2000). Eight models for explaining states' total spending for people with developmental disabilities in the United States. Cheyenne, WY: The Division.