Management consultants recognize a stage in the development of an organization that can represent either an opportunity or an existential crisis for the founders.
A combination of forces make their presence felt. These forces are linked to the effort needed to simply sustain the day-to-day operation of a sizeable organization. A big organization needs systems, routines and even conventions. Those who found organizations tend not to be particularly conventional people and – in truth – they should not try to be.
Any organization also needs to innovate and to develop. The focus must always be on the future because it simply isn’t sensible or even feasible (in the long term) to stand still and to fail to respond to the way that the world is changing. Additionally, as an organization develops its people do likewise.
The name of our organization is Equilibrium. This word can be used to refer to a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced. Thus, during 2016, not only did EQ expand in the area of managing social services, we also embarked on the most ambitious project we have ever undertaken that involves creating an entirely new type of facility designed to impact significantly on early years’ childcare and education.
Managing social services
New developments during 2016 involved two processes – expanding the scale of EQ’s operations and increasing the (totally rational) use of the Ruse complex as a managerial hub for services that are truly integrated and unified. During the year, regulatory changes were announced in the way that centres of social support should operate. Significantly, these changes are highly consistent with EQ philosophy that has guided us to create a centre for services that are versatile, multifaceted and capable of evolving in response to the needs of the community. We simply do not believe in a take-it-or-leave-it focus on a highly restricted, highly repetitive repertoire.
Focusing on early years’ childcare and education
The implications of depriving children of rich and varied environment for play are serious. There is growing awareness of the inappropriateness of allowing a curriculum-driven regime that focuses on compliance to define the learning experience of children under the age of seven. Developmental psychologist, Alison Gopnik believes that “flexible and sophisticated” learning during adulthood is built on a platform of “exploration and play” during the kindergarten years.
EQ shares Gopnik’s belief in the value of exploration and play and our new facility will be a training centre like no other training centre in Bulgaria. Parents, educators and childcare professionals will be shown how to provoke a love of learning among young children by combining guidance provided by 18th century educationalist, Friedrich Froebel with evidence drawn from contemporary research in child development.
We are grateful to the Velux Foundations for providing the opportunity to start this venture.
2017 and beyond
Collaboration with other NGOs allows us to
- Strengthen local Roma communities by offering micro credit for home improvement
- Support the development of a community school in Kubrat
- Increase the help we provide to children and families who are affected by legal proceedings
Having secured a new 5-year contract for managing the Ruse complex, we continue to support the development of childcare and family services in other locations with a new contract in Silistra.
A big reason for choosing new ventures is to provide a wider range of challenging experience to EQ employees – a variety of platforms on which to express themselves professionally.