It’s Time to Reinvent the Wheel

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We’ve all heard the saying: “There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.” Yet, as I think about this today, I am shifting my focus and adapting to some new realities. Friends, it’s time we reinvent the wheel.

Welcome to 2022.

Like it or not, we’re still in a pandemic. People are hurting. People are dying. Healthcare workers are burned out. Teachers and parents are stressed out. Senior citizens are isolated and depressed. We have two choices. We can push forward with the same old strategies and agendas, or we can reinvent our organizations to flourish in 2022 and beyond.

My theme for 2022 is “Reinvention”

Reinvention does not mean we’re going to wipe away all that CICOA has achieved over the last 48 years. Reinvention means we are going to identify current needs and wants. We’re going to identify gaps and grow partnerships. We’re going to build on our history and culture and become more innovative about the way we move forward.

CICOA is in the business of making life better, and we have big, bold plans.

I want to be clear; these plans are not underway because we have not been successful. In fact, we have a lot to celebrate. Thanks to our team of employees, volunteers, donors and partners, in the first five months of this fiscal year (July through November) we have:

  • Provided more than 188,000 meals
  • Talked to more than 12,300 people seeking services
  • Provided more than 11,600 rides
  • Made 120 homes safer

It would be easy to say, with so much success, why reinvent the wheel?

Change is constant

As COVID has rocked our world, it’s caused us to think differently. It’s helped us understand the importance of being flexible and nimble. Like it or not, life isn’t going to return to pre-COVID ways. That world no longer exists. The new world demands new ways of thinking and new ways of doing business, whether you are a nonprofit like CICOA or a for-profit business.

Many organizations are not going to survive.

At CICOA, we’re not content to simply survive. We’re focused on thriving. That’s going to happen through more collaboration, innovation and human connection. Before we initiate change, we’ll first ask how it makes life better for our clients and employees. Too often, we get caught up in making decisions solely on how it impacts the bottom line. Sure, we must be good stewards of our finances, but in doing so, we must make decisions as though we’re providing for our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.  

What lies ahead for CICOA in 2022

This is the time of year for predictions, so here are my predictions for CICOA in 2022, the year of reinvention.

CICOA will continue to deliver key services to low-income seniors, people with disabilities and their caregivers. This includes our core services of care management, meal delivery, transportation and home accessibility modifications. However, each of those services will be enhanced and reinvented with the goal of improving lives.

You’re going to see CICOA launch more pilot programs to test concepts. You’ll see more integration of services and more partnerships with healthcare and community organizations.

This kind of change doesn’t happen overnight. Of this I’m certain:  We will continue to reinvent ourselves, because that’s the only way to thrive in an everchanging environment.

It’s time to reinvent the wheel.

CICOA President and CEO Tauhric Brown
Tauhric Brown

As President and CEO, Tauhric Brown uses his strategic vision and experience in the elderly and disability service industry to expand CICOA services and collaborative partnerships to better meet the needs of the vulnerable populations we serve. Before joining CICOA, Brown served as the chief operating officer for Senior Services, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Mich. His career started in the U.S. Army, and then he became a successful owner/operator for a multi-carrier wireless retail company. Inspired by his family and upbringing, he made the switch to the nonprofit world to fulfill his dream of improving the lives of others.

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