How To Prepare For The Future of Housing


Community groups and individuals have delivered the most useful support networks in a physically distanced world. So now is the time for social landlords to revisit our purpose and reflect on the non value-adding activities that our organisations are involved i

How To Keep Focussed (And Remain Sane) In A World Of Complex Problems


In our heart, we know the solution does not lie in reforming silo by silo but in organizing our silos the way people organize their lives, so that the neighbourhood becomes our primary unit of analysis and change – Cormac Russell I’ve spent two days this week with both the Connected Places Catapult in London … Continue reading How To Keep Focussed (And Remain Sane) In A World Of Complex Problems

Four Factors Hindering Transformation


The problem with good service design is that you don’t notice it. It’s only when you experience truly bad design that you appreciate the good stuff. That’s why so few organisations are design led. They focus on designing out the bad rather than designing in the good from the beginning. Earlier this week I ordered … Continue reading Four Factors Hindering Transformation

Is It Time To Rethink Industry Awards?


Award schemes have become a form of media. They exist to generate income for an organisation through a combination of entry fees and overpriced chicken dinners – Stephen Waddington It can sometimes feel like there is an industry awards ceremony for every night of the week. A Google search for ‘housing awards’ will get you … Continue reading Is It Time To Rethink Industry Awards?

If We Don’t Develop Different Relationships, We’ll Lose Our Legitimacy


If we do not respond to people and communities’ desire for power, we will lose our legitimacy and waste the potential of the many ways they can have agency over what matters to them. If we do not continually, bravely work to build trust, we will lose the essential foundation for everything we do. – Civil … Continue reading If We Don’t Develop Different Relationships, We’ll Lose Our Legitimacy

The Problem With Professionals


Social progress is about the expansion of freedom, not the growth of services – Cormac Russell Our digital networks, Twitter, in particular, are unparalleled listening tools. I follow thousands of accounts, many organised into lists so I can get a sense of what’s going on in innovation, technology, health, housing – and the social sector generally. … Continue reading The Problem With Professionals

How To Design For Better Outcomes


Our job is to the mind the gap between the bureaucracy of our systems and the opportunities in our communities – Cormac Russell Sometimes it’s preferable to pull the plug on a service before you see it collapse in front of your eyes. A recent report says we are trapped in a reactive spending cycle on public … Continue reading How To Design For Better Outcomes

How Much Good Does Your Organisation Really Achieve?


We don’t usually think of achievements in terms of what would have happened otherwise, but we should. What matters is not who does good but whether good is done.” ― William MacAskill, Doing Good Better We all love an uplifting story of a simple innovation that solves a tricky social problem. Anyone who’s been to … Continue reading How Much Good Does Your Organisation Really Achieve?

How Do We Know Our Organisations Are Really Succeeding?


Every day, organisations promise to make the world a better place. How do we know they are really succeeding? The National Health Service we are told is the world’s best healthcare system.  Yet the NHS has a poor record on one fairly important indicator – actually keeping people alive. We often hear that housing associations prevent homelessness , but … Continue reading How Do We Know Our Organisations Are Really Succeeding?

Building Trust and Standing Out in the Digital Age


In many ways the events of 2016 are less a surprise and more the logical outcome of what we already knew. As I wrote early last year – we are in an era of ‘trust deficit’ – where more people distrust institutions than believe in them. When belief in government, business, media and nonprofits dips below 50%, … Continue reading Building Trust and Standing Out in the Digital Age

Designing Out Problems Through Networks


On Monday I attempted my swiftest ever return to work after a trip. My plane from Zanzibar via Kilimanjaro and Doha landed at 6am. I was home by 8:30am, online by 9 and in work by 11.30am. I felt like The Man Who Fell To Earth. I’d had 16 days without any problems. Now – they … Continue reading Designing Out Problems Through Networks

What if Uber did health, housing and social care?


If you’ve been to a conference in the past 12 months – you’ll almost certainly have seen the slide above, or a version of it. Mentioning “disruptive innovation” adds a sprinkle of sophistication to otherwise ordinary presentations. It’s a sit up and take notice slide that says: ‘Better listen, or you could be history.” However – … Continue reading What if Uber did health, housing and social care?

We need more people solving problems – not professionals.


Everyone has a story to tell, everyone has strengths beneath the conceptions that you have of them. But if you’re curious enough, you may just find that the answers you’ve always been looking for are there, often right beside you. – William Lilley Everywhere you look at the beginning of 2015 you will see a crisis. … Continue reading We need more people solving problems – not professionals.

2015: The year we put the social back into housing 


You can have super star status online without any official status offline; you can be a powerful chief executive offline with very little impact online – Victoria Betton  Just over two years ago I pronounced rather grandly that 2012 was the year we went social. The year the UK housing sector embraced new technologies embarking … Continue reading 2015: The year we put the social back into housing 

It’s our job to give customers a story to tell, not tell it for them…


“Guinness is lovely but it will always be the same, a (delicious) black and white drink – simple and unchanging. Subway do nice sandwiches. Lego make little bricks. The work of housing associations, councils, the NHS and other government departments is about our lives: it’s dramatic, it makes a difference to the way we live … Continue reading It’s our job to give customers a story to tell, not tell it for them…

The Top 50 Digital #PowerPlayers14 in #ukhousing


  You want to get to the list don’t you?  Hold on. It’s coming.   Before you look at the Top 50 influencers please read this guest post from Shirley Ayres who kindly agreed to collaborate with me on #powerplayers14. For me…it sums up perfectly what it’s all about…. When the first Power Players 50 list was … Continue reading The Top 50 Digital #PowerPlayers14 in #ukhousing

Top 50 Power Players In #UKHousing 2014 – Your Vote Counts….


A year ago I published The Top 50 Power Players In Housing [Klout Edition] – featuring people working in and around the sector. The idea came to me as I was sipping rum at a beach bar in Jamaica, checking my Klout score and wondering why I hadn’t made the main list in 24 Housing … Continue reading Top 50 Power Players In #UKHousing 2014 – Your Vote Counts….

Don’t Listen To Your Sector: Be More Weird


Had a bit of drama over the past week. I’ll recap it for you as quickly as possible – as most readers of this blog don’t work in the same sector as I do. Essentially Mick Kent, my CEO, wrote a challenging piece setting out why we have embarked upon a different service vision. Bromford are celebrating 50 … Continue reading Don’t Listen To Your Sector: Be More Weird

2013 – Do we need a new operating system?


My first post of 2013 has been slightly delayed due to holiday. I love holidays. Not because they get me away from work but because it’s where I can put work into focus.  The further away I get from Bromford and the UK the greater clarity I get on the things that need to change. It’s … Continue reading 2013 – Do we need a new operating system?