Enough About the Gaps – What About the Bounty?

How can we work to transform health care and human services systems?

What seems to be missing from our systems to take them to the next level of efficiency and high quality service in our communities?

Questions like these tend to get us focused on what is missing – things like adequate funding, more resources, streamlined practices, and more effective approaches.

With all the talk about strengths based practice, capacity building, resiliency and hope in the helping professions, we still seem to get stuck on system gaps, inefficiencies, and lack when it comes to the overall structures we work within.

Sure, more money and resources would appear to provide us with a richer source to pull from. However, without a mindset and the capacity to utilize resources to the best of our ability, we may soon find ourselves back at square one searching for answers to address the gaps we have identified.

Perspective Shift

What if we shifted our perspective to one of appreciation for all the resources currently at our disposal? What if we began to explore the hidden or overlooked capacity for growth and transformation that may be right under our noses?

Is it possible that we have everything we need to address the gaps we have identified? Are we accessing the resources we currently possess to the best of our ability?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the greatest resource we have in health care and human services is the Human Resource. As human beings, we have an invaluable capacity for creativity and innovation. To access this deep wealth of ingenuity and genius, we are required to shift our perspective from an external to internal quest for solutions.

Our ability to stand in the full power of our creativity and resourcefulness has nothing to do with time or money.

From Lack to Plenty

When it seems that you are mired in unsolvable problems, focused on the lack of…anything, and stuck in a no-win situation, here are a few simple steps you can take to begin to shift your perspective from “not enough” to “plenty:”

Rephrase your Questions:

There is nothing as powerful as a well-formulated question. As soon as we ask any question, our brains embark on a seeking process. When we formulate our questions to point us on the path of least effort, we will be guided to practical solutions and have greater access to our creative genius. For example, instead of asking “how can we access more money to expand our program?” ask “how can we utilize our current resources to provide services to more people?”

Honour and Cultivate the Talents of your Team

It is tempting to look outside ourselves for answers to our problems. It seems easy to deny our own gifts and abilities and default to the advice of some external source. There is no doubt that sometimes, we benefit greatly from the guidance of a third party. However, there are times, when we have all the expertise and skill we require to think outside of the box.

Encourage team members to share perspectives on what might work better, to cultivate their personal interests and talents in creative ways, to play an active role in program planning and development. Welcome all the “out there” ideas and alternative ways of thinking in order to stretch into unknown territory.

Take Stock of What Already Works Well

Spend time evaluating areas of success. Identify the strengths and factors that contributed to this success. What clues can you find that might be helpful in addressing the gaps you have uncovered.

This can be so powerful because it has us looking at what we have as opposed to what is missing giving us the upper hand in any problem solving process.

Finally, develop love and respect for the problem – its presence is allowing you to discover gifts and abilities that you might not have otherwise!


Let’s get started!


Can you identify one valuable asset available to you either personally or professionally that may have been previously overlooked? Be diligent! I know you will find something!


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