“Balancing the new, emerging system of the PTS with old systems, old power and traditional hierarchies is incredibly hard.”
Working alongside PTS Partners, exposed how impossible it was to truly deliver ‘person-led’ approaches within a deficit system, including within traditional structures of organisations. This was an extremely critical point of learning for the Partnership. Each Partner was trying to deliver the PTS and system change within a wholly different set of circumstances and challenges.
Mayday was able to transform itself towards a person-led approach in such a radical way because of a committed Board of Trustees who had a healthy appetite for innovation and risk. Combined with a strong leadership team who focused fully on the vision, an organisational culture that supported prototyping, failure and risk. Motivated and mission-driven teams could then develop. This also required the ability to invest reserves, commitment from open-minded funders and investors who are willing to learn in partnership, not hold us to account against set performance targets.
Integrating systems change into the overarching organisational strategy is hugely important to keep it front and centre and not an optional pilot project. This helps to protect the PTS from wider organisational changes and the pull of survival over the mission.
If organisations are to ensure that they don’t become another part of the deficit system or another barrier for change, they have to be brave, listen and adapt alongside the people they work to be genuinely person-led and part of the paradigm shift that is needed.