To: the corporate board of Guide Dogs for the Blind Inc.
,,Tell the board it's time for a career change of the leadership at Guide Dogs for the Blind!
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Only the board of Guide Dogs for the Blind can remedy the leadership mismatch which threatens the future integrity of our guide dog school. Please instruct GDB's board to take necessary actions to put in place qualified appropriate leadership, to restore the trust which has been so badly broken by unjustified layoffs and devastating cuts to alumni support services, and to establish stronger preventative linkage between its alumni and corporate boards.
Why is this important?
, At GDB, it has always been about relationships, matching just the right guide dog with the right person for safe, independent travel, building relationships with graduates in the field while providing the most excellent and comprehensive follow-up services, creating opportunities for relationships between handlers and their guides, puppy raisers, and fostering an environment in which appreciation is shown for the heartfelt generous contributions of everyone who donates their time, talent, and treasure, to ensure the continuation of the quality and excellence of GDB services. Under current leadership, numerous highly respected employees have been unjustly laid off. Through their considerable expertise and experience, these individuals have provided outstanding graduate services and deserve the credit for helping to make GDB the great organization it is today. The number of client service areas has been reduced from ten to six, and the number of field area staff from twelve to six,vastly increasing the number of graduates assigned to each region and almost doubling the case load for these six field support representatives. Although each graduate will technically now be assigned a field manager, opportunities for relationship building will be necessarily far fewer, with assurances that a call center can adequately handle the highly individualized needs of over 2000 working teams. The leadership team has drawn up a reorganization plan, which in reality will lessen the amount of time field reps can spend with individuals in their regions and has already resulted in multiple layoffs and early retirement of highly respected individuals who have played major roles in creating and setting high industry standards. In the past, positive staff/alumni relations have made Guide Dogs for the Blind a safe place where clients have been able to trust that their best interest and individual needs would be respected and receive priority. Now, current management’s recent ill-considered decisions represent an unwelcome return to paternalistic decision-making processes we had all hoped were behind us, and it is high time for alumni points of view to be more powerfully represented, heard and acted on. GDB's current leadership has demonstrated its considerable lack of awareness regarding the organization's unique personalized culture by failing to address serious alumni concerns being expressed, and by continuing to assert that all is well. By enacting sweeping unpopular changes prior to even analyzing the results of a recent graduate survey, current leadership clearly indicates its lack of understanding of and concern for alumni points of view. GDB's mission is not being fulfilled when current senior management suddenly lays off excellent employees who represent for many, the voices and faces of GDB, reduces the number of graduate support service areas from ten to six and the number of graduate support field managers from twelve to six, and entrusts a centralized customer call center to shoulder so much of the burden for providing efficient and highly personalized graduate support for so many with diverse needs.