Not for profit aged care organisations need to identify who their owners are, according to the CEO of a NSW provider.

HammondCare’s Stephen Judd said these groups need to maintain and protect the interests of the groups and individuals that they are responsible to.

Speaking at a Voice Project business breakfast, he talked about the need to identify an organisation’s “moral owners”.

“An appreciation of who owns you should help define who you are and what you are doing,” he said.

“In a privately owned company, I think it’s pretty clear who the owners are: the shareholders.

“But for not-for-profits, it’s a little bit more difficult.”

What is clear though is that the moral owners of an organisation are not just the key stakeholders.

“Does McDonalds think it’s customers own the store? Does your bank think that about its customers? Certainly not,” Dr Judd said.

Dr Judd also urged providers to have a clearly defined purpose which shapes their services and activities.

He said that close to a third of HammondCare’s future directions strategy document is devoted to defining the group’s identity.

“The ‘who’ and the ‘why’ [of your organisation] shapes what you do and don’t do,” he said.

“If you don’t know who you are, how do you know what things you won’t do?”

Dr Judd said HammondCare decided to focus on dementia care in the 1990s when other aged care groups were limiting their activities because it had a clear mission to improve the quality of life for those in need.

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