Australia is a country where nearly half the population will have to deal with a mental health issue during their lifetime. That means that Georgie Harman, CEO of mental health organisation, beyondblue, is ferociously busy – but happy.
“It’s the best job I’ve ever had,” she says, “It’s a privilege and a joy to work on something that matters so much.”
Yet, Georgie admits that for all the good work done by organisations like beyondblue by governments, professionals and the community, the scale and breadth of Australia’s mental health problem keeps her awake at night. The “gaps” between people and the services and support they need is looming large.
But like many NFP CEOs, she’s also convinced a truly strategic mindset is what’s needed - a hard-headed approach that drives the best thinking and the most powerful resources towards the areas of most need.
Learning from your peers, learning from your tests
Part of that focus is testing ideas and approaches with fellow NFP CEOs, something Georgie got to do recently as part of the Perpetual Foundation-supported study tour to Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.
“We met great people, real leading thinkers from around the world”, says Georgie. “But the chance to learn from and share with other Australian CEOs was game changing. We’re already planning to partner with some of those organisations, to innovate, test and learn about ways to better meet the needs of the people we serve – because we have about seven million contacts from people a year.”
Watch the video above to see what’s happening at beyondblue.
Image courtesy of beyondblue.