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What difficulties do
agency clients have coping with the particular needs, problems, and
vulnerabilities in their lives?

We next want to understand whatever difficulties agency clients
experience coping with the range of needs, problems, and vulnerabilities they
experience in their day-to-day lives. It is tempting to assume we already know
what the life-issues are for agency clients. Although this may be mostly true,
it is at least partially not true. Before we proceed, we need a higher level of
certainty our understanding is actually a good fit with agency clients’

The first step is to consider what we think clients and potential
clients experience in their day-to-day lives. What difficulties do they have
handling the needs, problems, and vulnerabilities with which they have to cope?
Our goal is to develop one or more profiles describing clients’ experiences
from our point of view. Limit this to a few profiles generally illustrative of
people who either are or may become agency clients, showing them in their real
lives, experiencing the range of difficulties they actually experience.

After we develop the client profiles, the profiles are validated.
The strategy for doing this is similar to that used for determining who agency
clients should be. Start with 0-A leadership connections with Potential
Clients. Share the client profiles with the Potential Clients and ask
them to assess the completeness and accuracy of the profiles. Our task is to
adjust the profiles to achieve a best fit
with the potential clients and their situations.

From the validated profiles, identify those particular
difficulties and issues with which the agency expects to help. Those
difficulties and issues are the intervention
. Next, share this intervention focus with the Initiators and other
stakeholders accessible through connections from point “0” in the Helping
Triangle. Make any resulting adjustments to the intervention focus and, in
turn, discuss the adjusted intervention focus with the Authorizers. The goal is
to verify there is continuing auspices and authorization for providing help
with the specific problems and issues reflected in the intervention focus.

This step creates both the intended outcome – the intervention
focus – and unintended outcomes – stakeholder dissonance. Some stakeholders are
unhappy about our choice of issues and concerns for inclusion in the
intervention focus. They believe we have omitted important issues in people’s
lives and have included issues they – the stakeholders – think should have
lower priority. They think we are not doing what they believe should be done.
Although carefully managing this dissonance can minimize its negative effect,
it is a continuing feature of the agency eco system. We also see stakeholder
dissonance accumulates as we proceed through
the process of developing the agency eco system.

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