Monday, 30 May 2011

An outbreak of third sector cannibalism

I guess it had to happen. With funding cuts and the change in emphasis from 'gimme a grant' to 'how can I help you', cannibalism was perhaps to be expected. However rather  than the nice friendly mergers I was expecting, folk are fighting dirty. It's a shame.

To avoid compromising what is actually quite a delicate situation, I'll not name names; however if you can guess who I'm talking about feel free to tweet - as we now know - even super-injunctions can't stop that!

So to the story. Imagine two young men, let's call them Less and Able. They've moved around the sector for years, working together at least twice. Able is very good at his job, gentle and passionate about making a difference. Less is not quite so bright and struggles to to settle down - deep down he means well, but somehow, never quite has the credibility of Able.

Like the similarly named Biblical brothers, tension grew and Less had an idea. He accused Able of using information gained at a previous employer in his current job. He did this by 'tipping off' the former employer with whom ironically both had worked and arguable Less had abused more!

Rather than tell Less to piss off, the former employer stormed into the new employers offices demanding retribution. Ironic again as the two organisations work closely together with the aggressor in this case being the one with the most to lose - the supplier.

Able is now under investigation and I suspect, looking for another job. Less is hoping he'll go so he can feel more secure.

The trouble is that when people and organisations fight each other everyone loses. Less will become far less popular once word gets out that he's tried to 'eat' Able. The two employers are in a no win argument from which nothing good can come. And this is the so called caring sector, there to help the weak and vulnerable in society get along. What would you do if you found yourself caught up in a situation like this?