Our Twitter only recruitment: An update

It’s two months since we announced our Twitter only recruitment so I thought it was time for an update. We’ve been pretty much overwhelmed by the number of people who registered an interest in the Lab.

We had over 14,000 views of the material and are still getting enquiries. The follow up conversations took a lot longer than we thought!

People have questioned me on whether this is actually a more complex way of recruiting than the conventional model.

The answer , undoubtably, is yes.

Just like comms and marketing , recruitment used to be pretty simple. You broadcast your message and waited for the bite. Then you reeled it in.

Social media – and social recruitment – are not about broadcast. They are about the conversation , the slow burn of relationship building. People challenge you. People suggest ideas.

You question whether what you are building is right.

In a conventional recruitment no-one would dare challenge your ideas. They know that expressing dissent is the first sign of a troublemaker.

But in a social recruitment, where chats are conducted away from the shackles of forms and questions and personality tests , the relationship gets democratised.

Welcome to recruiting through the network.

I want to publicly thank everyone who took time to speak to us. Your input has been invaluable in shaping the pipeline of the Lab and the way we go about making the network operate. Thanks to everyone who has shared the material about the recruitment too – your support is incredible.

So what have we learned?

  • A lot of people want to work with us in some capacity but not in a full time role based in the Midlands. Only a few people expressed an interest in full time work for one employer and this has led us to reshape the idea of three roles.
  • There was a lot of interest in doing some work at mutually agreed times and the development of a retainer based – or time limited – relationship.
  • Peoples skills and experience are a lot wider than the rather narrow confines I put around Data, Design and Digital

So the challenge for me over the past few weeks has been to redesign something that makes use of the great talent that is out there in the network.

So what are we doing?

Firstly – we’ve decided we really need a full-time design role – and it’s the one that lends itself least to remote working. So we’re going to advertise this role for two weeks only with interested applicants going through the existing Bromford recruitment approach. You can find details of this role here. People who previously expressed an interest were given an exclusive preview but new applicants are welcomed. Give me a shout if you want to chat about it.

Secondly – we are developing opportunities for people that have a specific expertise that we need coaching in.  These are likely to be commitments of a few days of  time spread over a period between 3 months and a year. These will be available to people regardless of geography. The bulk of the people who expressed an interest first time around fall into this category and will work with me to shape it.

Finally we are developing a way that we can commission the services of people on a one-off basis. So for instance – a problem enters the Lab that we don’t have the skills to host and we need to bring in the network to do it for us. Many people suggested this might be done on a more creative basis than simply employing someone . For instance , we could develop an incentivised challenge to solve a specific problem.

This is an incredibly exciting time for everyone involved in the Lab.

Thanks for your support!

What Uber, Comms Hero and HouseParty tell us about the future of the conference…

(A version of this post originally appeared on 24Dash – go visit them as they’re great!)

Marco Rubio Speech On Innovation At Uber's DC Offices

2pm 11th June: London grinds to a halt.

Cab drivers have downed tools for an hour.

Uber, a smartphone app that offers an easy and cheap taxi booking service, has rolled into the UK. Our taxi drivers, required to do training of between 4-7 years, are understandably outraged at this tech startup rocking up and suggesting services can be delivered in affordable ways that are more tailored to the customer.

The howls of anguish from the striking drivers were heard all across Europe. But far from highlighting the cause of taxi drivers it served only to promote Uber itself- which saw an 850% increase in subscriptions.

The hackney carriage – a tradition dating back to 1654 – faces potential disruption.

Plenty of howls of anguish in Manchester too this week as the annual housing conference rolled into town. This year though the conference had an Uber-like startup to contend with.

HouseParty - an unofficial fringe – had parked its (mini)bus just over the road.

Much like Comms Hero, it would be easy to dismiss HouseParty as a bit of inconsequential fluff. A bunch of malcontents fiddling around with social media and shiny tech whilst Rome burns.

But both formats deserve closer scrutiny. Both have super smart business brains behind them in Asif Choudry and Matt Leach. Both have got the sheer balls to deliver something different in a market starved of original thought. And both show an implicit understanding of their customers.

Comms Hero was developed after speaking to Comms people and asking them what they would design if they could create their ideal event.

HouseParty has evolved through social media connections and captured the imagination of people who would never have thought of attending a housing conference. Additionally it’s been co-designed by Esther Foreman a social entrepreneur who also happens to be – guess what? – a real life housing association tenant.

And they are new and achingly cool. Whereas the annual CIH conference has roots in a tradition starting back in 1931. On that basis it’s unfair to compare and contrast the three. But anyone who has attended them, or followed their social media feeds, will do so.

Let me be clear. This isn’t an attack on the CIH, an organisation I have huge respect for and who employ some inspirational people. Neither is it a ringing endorsement of Comms Hero or HouseParty – concepts that are taking their first awkward baby steps into the world.

But the fact is the annual conference , and public sector conferences like it , have to change.

You can’t blame the CIH. The public gets what the public wants. And, if we’re honest, the UK housing public wants an annual sideshow to the real business of getting together and having a chinwag and a few beers.

The conference this year certainly had a unified message: We need more social housing and we need more money. We need more of the same. Impassioned stuff and I, optimistically, hope it’s heard.

But at £525 for a one day non-member ticket you’d expect passion at the very least.

How attractive would this be to people in the top 5 of the digital Power Players list. People like Anne McCrossan, John Popham or Helen Reynolds? Sole traders who could help the sector be much better than it currently is.

How attractive would this be to a tenant?

Comms Hero has undercut its rivals by a good £100. HouseParty offered an innovative ‘pay what you can afford’ option.

Much like ‘affordable’ rents, our conferences need to consider their purpose, pricing and accessibility.

Thom Bartley has made the brilliant point that it’s now cheaper to fly to Amsterdam to see a 3D printed house than to pay to go to a housing conference and hear someone talk about it. We all know that housing has to revisit its purpose but that also involves a restatement of its values.

This is less an issue for the CIH than it is for the sector itself.

In reality neither Comms Hero nor House Party are competitors to traditional conferences – they offer something different. But just like Uber,  Spotify and Netflix they are bringing the question of customer value into the spotlight.

The annual conference, just like black cabs, will be around for a good while yet. But if nothing else the new kids on the block have made us consider “would we do it this way if we started again?”

And that’s always a pretty good question to ask.

The #PowerPlayers14 Awards at #HseParty14

POST UPDATED 25TH JUNE
Winners of people choice awards at House Party:

Social Media Campaign:  Winner: Adrian Capon for #HousingDay. Runners up: Council Home Chat , Real Life Reform

Best Blogger: Winner: Colin Wiles. Runners up: Thom Bartley, Jules Birch

Rising Star: Winner: Michala Rudman. Runners up: Cheryl Tracy, Thom Bartley

Social Superstar England: Winner: Nick Atkin. Runners up: Asif Choudry, Lara Oyedele

Social Superstar Wales: Winner: Brett Sadler. Runners up: Keith Edwards, Michala Rudman

Digital Innovation of the Year: Winner: Jayne Hilditch for MyTVH. Runners up: Muir Group for  digital sign up , Halton Housing for digital deal.

Super Connector of the Year: Winner: Anne McCrossan. Runners up: Nick Atkin, James Caspell

Comms Innovator of Year: Asif Choudry

Digital Innovator of Year: Matt Leach

POST UPDATED 25TH JUNE

After the excitement generated by #PowerPlayers14 we’ve decided to reflect on peoples contribution to digital housing one final time this year at House Party in Manchester on 24th June.

This is a time of huge change in the public sector and the importance of social and digital technology has never been so important.

Despite the success of #powerplayers14 – the housing sector still has a mountain to climb in embracing new ways of working and thinking. Once you open the door to social media you have begun to change the nature of your organisation. There’s no going back.

We are now turning the spotlight away from the list itself and towards the difference that has been made.  These are awards for the people and organisations who are doing something new and making a difference.

The categories for this year are:

Social Media Campaign:  Which campaign has most effectively used digital to promote social housing for social good?

Best Blogger: Which are the posts you just HAVE to read?

Rising Star: Which newcomer (or nearly newcomer…) has made a powerful mark in #ukhousing for their use of digital?

National Social Superstar: We’ll have winners for Wales, England , Scotland and Northern Ireland. Who are they and why?

Digital Innovation of the Year: Which person or organisation has used digital to really make a difference for their customers? What have they done differently?

Super Connector of the Year: Who’s the person who has most effectively used digital to break down barriers between sectors?

Anybody can make a nomination. All you have to do is to state who you are nominating, the category & the reason. You can post your nomination with a comment in the blog or use Twitter with the hashtag #powerplayers14.

This is completely crowdsourced – nominations can be made up to 5.00pm on the 24th June.

Winners will be revealed during the House Party dinner on Tuesday evening from 7.45pm by Paul Taylor and Boris Worrall. Shirley Ayres will also be presenting some special awards.

This being a socially savvy event all awards will be virtual and tweeted out to winners live!

You can follow events via the hashtag #hseparty14.

We look forward to hearing the nominations!

Paul, Shirley and Boris

 

The Top 50 Digital #PowerPlayers14 in #ukhousing

 

dc-comics-superheros-wallpaper

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 published I was surprised and complimented to be included.The list was intended as light hearted fun but the interest generated in who was included and why sparked a very lively debate.

I was delighted to be invited by Paul to collaborate on the #powerplayers14 list and we agreed that we needed to widen the criteria. We accept that Klout is an imperfect algorithm so added in scores from PeerIndex. We also invited public nominations. You can read the criteria we used here.

We wanted to create a different kind of list celebrating the diversity of people with an interest in housing who are using social media to connect, inspire and challenge.

We were particularly keen to encourage nominations for people working in and around the sector and we were pleasantly surprised by the diversity. 140 different people were nominated.

Digital technology has democratised access to information and created very different ways of enabling people to connect and share resources, thoughts and opinion. We live in a digitally connected world and in the crowded social space online influence is becoming increasingly important.

Influencers select, share and create content around topics which attract diverse audiences and offer real opportunities to drive action and effect change.

At a time when the housing sector is having to redefine their core mission and purpose, online engagement can amplify voices and offer alternative views to those presented by the mainstream media. Influencers are passionate about their interests and have invested time to grow and develop trust with those following on their social networks.

We all have access to a wide range of social media tools. It’s what individuals do with the tools that is important. Shared experiences on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and  blogs are valuable in earning trust over time.

Possibly the term power players is a bit of a misnomer in this context and a more appropriate term is super connectors. The housing sector is at an early stage of recognising the potential of social media to make new connections which are not limited by sector boundaries. It’s a potential for new collaborations , with the active involvement of customers in the development of new services.

Becoming a social business often requires a cultural mindshift which goes beyond thinking that social media is just a communications channel. People increasingly expect that organisations will not just reach out but also listen to them. The nominations for power players represented a cross section of people who are building connected communities and and modelling how social technologies can creatively help housing associations build new networks.

I believe that we need more opportunities to inspire staff and people who use services from across housing, care, health, charities and social enterprises to collaborate in exploring how to embed digital innovations as an integral part of the support available within every community.

Power players are by nature engagers and connectors who understand that social media is about connecting with people.

If we are battling for hearts and minds we need ambassadors who understand the issues at every level of the housing sector and are able to contribute to debates.

This list represents the new world of housing associations

 

So that’s the list! Congratulations to everyone who was nominated.

A diverse range of people and interests.

There are substantially more CEOs present than last year – a sign of social being taken more seriously?

Notably 7 of the Top 10 are women.

We’d love to get as many of your thoughts, congratulations or disagreements as possible in the comments below.

Do you agree with the list? Any omissions? Who should get special mention at the House Party awards for significant contributions?

Over to you….

Update: If you would like to follow a Twitter List featuring all the final 50 click here. Thanks to Jarrod Williams for this.

Five Things We Learned From Doing A Twitter Only Recruitment

About five or six years ago I applied for another job. It would have been a significant promotion – nearly doubling what I earned at the time.

I went through the usual shenanigans that come with this type of recruitment. The huge application form. The CV. The covering letter. The telephone interview. The online assessment. The endless psychometric tests.

I don’t think I got to speak to a human employed by the actual company until I was at the final stage interviews.

What I remember about the culture was in the five hours I was there no-one offered me a cup of tea. And no-one in the offices laughed.

I never got the job in the end (I had a message left on my voicemail telling me so) so I’ll never know whether I’d have sacrificed my principles for a payslip.

But I know that someone wasted an awful lot of money on recruitment when we could have just started with a social conversation.

Twitter

Two weeks ago we started a new experiment to mark the launch of our Innovation Lab. What if we literally crowdsourced the people we would work with?

What if we only recruited via Twitter?

This is still a work in progress – we are still having conversations. But in the spirit of capturing learning as you go - here’s my top five:

Your networks network for you

The buzz that has been created has been tremendous. Each of the role profiles on Slideshare has been viewed over 2000 times – with combined views of nearly 9000. That’s way above the normal hits we’d get on a conventional recruitment.

But -note to excited recruiters reading this – don’t think that just by tweeting your job openings you’ll get the same results. That interest has been generated by getting the support from people like Dominic Campbell, Immy Kaur, Mervyn Dinnen and Helen Reynolds. And the other 200 people who have tweeted about it. Build up an engaged social support network. You get interaction through building relationships – not broadcasting or posting flashy slide decks.

You can react in real time

Recruiting via social gives you constant feedback. The first stage took place over 10 days meaning we could adapt to feedback and amend the process as we went along. So , for example, I picked up very early on that the inclusion of Klout as an indicator of social influence was putting people off. I was able to remove this from the application criteria and feedback publicly. This helped boost interest as well as build rapport.

Similarly – a conversation about the “geekiness” of the slides led to comments about the lack of interest from women. We were able to amend this and call specifically for more female interest highlighting the flexibility.

It reduces waste

A couple of people have already dropped out of the process. They’ve been googling me. I’ve been googling them. We’ve had a couple of conversations about the way the Lab will work and we’ve agreed we’ve got different ideas but can perhaps collaborate in another way. Ever been in the first 5 minutes of an 45 minute interview knowing this is wrong for both parties? Yep – a huge waste of everyones time.

A couple of people from HR and legal backgrounds have suggested that we are potentially breaking employment law here as we could discriminate against applicants based upon what we find on Google.

Come on.

We are just trying something different. If you think you’ve got sexist,homophobic,racist,ageist managers I’d suggest you’ve got bigger things to worry about than Twitter. Thanks Jacqui Mortimer for supporting me here – every HR team needs someone like you!

People are shaping our thinking

Already the nature of the conversations , and the wonderful diversity of interest , has led us to start making amends to the way the Lab will work. It’s become less about how people fit into our boxes and more about tearing those boxes apart and building around people. It’s more organic and is evolving day by day.

Who knows. Your next restructure might well be crowdsourced.

It’s 24/7 and global

Imagine the talent you might miss out on because people are on holiday or travelling. That doesn’t happen on social media. Word gets around. I’ve had interest from Europe , the USA and South America. Right now whilst writing this post I’m messaging someone in South East Asia.

I haven’t had a lot of naysayers but probably the biggest misconception is that this approach would only work for these type of roles.

I don’t get that. It’s 2014 and perfectly conceivable that a Housing Association could employ someone based in Indonesia. Geography is less important than broadband speed.

Maybe we need to stop thinking about what our organisations are today and start imagining what they could be.

Hope you find this interesting – I’ll update you soon.  Thanks for the support from everyone – I can’t name check you all!

Be great to hear your views.

 

 

Why the Bromford Innovation Lab is only recruiting via Twitter

twitter-shortcuts

Imagine a future where you don’t have a CV or resume. A future where your talent and achievements are broken down into tweetable chunks. Your professional life , and a good bit of your personal too, is available online for all to see. You are scored according to your worth and the value of your followers. Your score can determine whether you get that job interview – Me , March 2013 – How Social Media Could Get You Your Next Job 

The first and only time I start a post quoting myself. Honest.

Next week marks the launch of the Bromford Innovation Lab – a new venture that we are very excited about.

What makes it different is the way it will work.

It consists of Lab sessions each lasting 12 weeks and run four times a year. During those 12 weeks we’ll be hosting a number of problems and designing multiple solutions to help solve them. And if we can’t design a solution in 12 weeks – it gets shelved. We won’t fear failure – we expect up to 75% of concepts won’t proceed at first attempt.

It’s rapid innovation for a connected age where none of our organisations can keep up with the pace of change.

The Lab is less of a new team and more of a social network formed around problem solving through creativity.

And working differently means attracting people who will thrive in that environment.

The Lab is open to anyone who wants to collaborate with us. We’ll be launching a new website and social networking links over the next few weeks.

But we also have a number of paid opportunities for people who want to work with us more closely.

So today starts a very different way of attracting that talent.

I’ve posted before on the rise of the Social CV and the ground breaking work done by the likes of Vala Afshar in attracting talent.

Social media has made the CV redundant. We are all searchable – and increasing amounts of us are sharing our knowledge online to build our networks and collaborate.

New and powerful connections are being born and the Lab aims to help us maximise the power of these relationships. We want to cast the net far and wide with the Innovation Lab – as well as giving opportunities to colleagues at Bromford.

Welcome to our first Twitter only recruitment.  

Here’s a brief guide to the Lab:

We feel we need three Lab Leads – Digital , Design and Data. These will help us grow our networks in those disciplines and work with us modelling and testing concepts in the Lab. The people profiles are published at the bottom of the post.

We are not publishing salaries for a very specific reason. People might already have another job or business that they wish to retain and just give us a couple of days a week. Or we might consider a match funding arrangement. Or you might want to work full time (the maximum we can offer right now is 12 month fixed term). We are really trying to break the mold in the diversity of talent that the Lab works with.

Obviously we have a fixed budget for these roles but we want to be flexible to what people can offer us.

So firstly we want to begin a conversation with people about whether this is something they are interested in. They might have loads of experience or are at the very early stages of their career.

  • We are not accepting CVs or application forms and will select people to talk to exclusively via Twitter. People have to provide online evidence of skills that are in the public realm.
  • Registering an interest will begin on 9th May and end on 18th May.
  • Three specifications will be posted via Twitter at the beginning of the selection period from the account of @paulbromford. These are also posted below.
  • All interested people should apply via Twitter using the account @paulbromford. Interest doesn’t have to be registered publicly and can be sent by direct message (DM). If you want to apply publicly then please use hashtag #bromfordlab
  • Direct messages should point us to sites and useful links that demonstrate your social CV
  • Experience must be demonstrated via web content – i.e. blogs, community involvement, endorsements, news articles and other searchable publications. It is acceptable to group these links together into one site as long as it is public.
  • We will use Google and/or other search engines for publicly available data.
  • We would expect interested parties to be able to demonstrate social influence within their relevant communities. Evidence of being an influencer in the digital , design,  data or social innovation communities is welcomed.
  • During the selection period, we will select people for chats via Google Hangout. In the event of high demand we will use a shortlist criteria based on the fit with the person profile as demonstrated via Social CV.
  • All people will be advised about their progress. All expressions of interest will be logged to ensure we get back to people.
  • Your expression of interest will not be shared publicly unless you make it public.
  • People who want to proceed after the Google Hangout will be given details of a second stage.
  • Although our physical Lab space is based in the Midlands we are open to discussions of remote working.

Here are the profiles:

Digital Lead Profile:

 

Data Lead Profile:

 

Design Lead Profile:

Will identifying talent in this way work? Who knows? Like everything else the Lab does it’s an experiment.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the approach

Social conversations: time to move beyond broadcasting

IMG_0661

Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human – Aristotle

That’s the intellectual stuff out of the way.

Let’s talk about Instagram and social conversations.

People sharing their passions and interests is what social is all about for me. Whether it’s a love of food , dancing , dogs or a desire to change the world, most of us connect better when we see the person behind the brand.

Far from being a modern phenomenon these passions have been shared between people for thousands of years. The fact we are now sharing them through digital media is a change in the tools available to us – not our human behaviour.

Earlier in the year I went on a trip to Vietnam. I didn’t think I tweeted much but it was enough to prompt the following in Inside Housing – the social housing magazine.

Screenshot 2014-05-05 12.48.41

I thought it was pretty funny and shared it online.

The responses were interesting and split three ways.

Some thought it was amusing. It annoyed others who saw the call for ‘disconnecting’ as missing the point of social.

But some people agreed with it - and suggested I keep my holiday updates to myself. They’d followed me for insights on innovation and customer experience – and now they were getting photographs of my breakfast.

I was initially dismissive of this. I even playfully reminded them that social networks are subscription services – if you don’t like a persons updates you can always switch them off.

Indeed a couple of people took me up on this advice and promptly unfollowed me! This , on reflection, was short sighted of me , it’s important to try to understand the expectations of your community.

In ‘It’s complicated – the social lives of networked teens’ , danah boyd explores changing attitudes to digital identity from the point of view of young people.

The book articulates how teens are becoming increasingly sophisticated in adapting their identity according to the audience they are addressing. Or the audience they imagine they are addressing.

Digital communication is different.

In face-to-face communication we carefully assess the context of the interaction in order to decide how we will act, what we will say, and how we present ourselves.

But social media technologies collapse multiple audiences into single contexts. And every blog you write , every photo you share , every message you tweet can be transported anywhere in the world and interpreted in an infinite number of ways.

This excites many of us and scares others.

A girls message left on Facebook with an intended audience of her close friends is sometimes misunderstood , usually by adults, who have no clue as to how it fits into the context of a larger conversation.

This is why many organisations have such an uneasy relationship with social media. They obsess about how their output has to be “on message” and not be capable of being misinterpreted. They are trying to put a set of rules around social media that simply doesn’t work.

As Mark Schaefer has said – internal process is usually optimised for “campaigns,” not “relationships.”

Rewiring our organisations for building relationships through conversations is one of our great challenges.

Clearly many will struggle to adapt to a more connected culture. This need for digital leadership was discussed last week with Mark Brown and Shirley Ayres. The highlights are in this slide deck.

We are moving beyond broadcasting.

And if social media can lead to social good it requires us to build relationships with others who share our passions and interests . These relationships are no longer restrained by physical location , our immediate peer group, our employers, or our sectors.

We have an opportunity to say this is who I am and this is what I want to achieve. A opportunity of following and being followed by people who believe in your cause.

And that conversation may start with what you had for breakfast. And it might annoy a minority of your followers.

I reckon Aristotle would have loved Instagram , our emerging digital intimacy , and our very social conversations.

 

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

Power. Influence. Social Housing Heroes

Power. Influence. Social Housing Heroes

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 Magazine.

More seriously – it was done as an exercise in comparing online and offline influence.

Only 14 of the original Power Players remained in the online list. The democratising effect of social media was apparent. CEOs disappeared almost completely and were replaced by people with less seniority – in the traditional hierarchical sense. There was a higher number of women, more ethnic diversity and at least 3 of the top 10 influencers were under the age of 30.

There is a serious point to this. We now have a generation of people working in Housing who have no idea who David Orr and Grania Long are. But they would recognise John Popham and Dominic Campbell. It’s increasingly important that UK Housing leaders embrace digital as a relationship builder rather than a broadcast channel.

I never expected the post to be so popular , it’s the number two ranked piece on this blog and still gets views every day.

I also never planned to do a follow up list , but due to public demand I’m pleased to announce that there will be a 2014 edition published in June!

To freshen it up I’m making three changes based on feedback:

  • Although it will still use the controversial Klout score, there will be some new measures included. So , for example , I’ll be looking if a person has a frequently updated blog or website. The full criteria will be published alongside the list.
  • Politicians are being dumped. You told me you’d prefer a list without elected members – one that concentrated on real people working in and around the sector.
  • For the first time you’ll be able to nominate people you feel have made a significant contribution through their online influence. Who has really shaped things this year? Who ran the best blog? The best social media campaign? Remember this list is reserved for individual people only – you can’t nominate Housing Associations or companies. You can nominate people however you want. You can mention them on Twitter using the hashtag #powerplayers14 , you can DM me or send an email. Ideally though you will add a thread to the bottom of this post. Nominations or suggestions must be made by midnight on Sunday May 11th. 

I’m delighted to say that Shirley Ayres – co-founder of the Connected Care Network is joining me to collaborate on the list. Shirley was the Number 1 ranked influencer on last years list after politicians. So , just like me, Shirley won’t be appearing on this years list!

The list will be announced in June and published on this blog simultaneously with the print publication in 24 Housing Magazine. Thanks to Jon Land who is a great sport for suggesting this. Watch out for news also on how some of this years list could find themselves invited to a special event at House Party on 24th June. Thanks to Matt Leach , who would get my vote for innovation in housing , for this.

So – over to you. Who are the Power Players 2014? Remember – they don’t have to work in housing. Just influence it.

As I’ve said – in an online super-connected world – sectors only exist in our imagination anyway….

UPDATE TO POST

SO HERE WE GO…………………

THE 2014 SHORTLIST (although it’s quite long)

Abigail Scott Paul

@AbigailSPaul
Adrian Capon @AdeCapon
Aileen Evans @Bushbell
Ailin Martinez @ailinmartinez
Alex Blandford @blangry
Alex Marsh @shodanalexm
Alex Noonoo @Goonooa
Alison Dean @alisonhanily
Alison Inman @Alison_Inman
Alistair Somerville @Acuity_Design
Alys Cole-King @AlysColeKIng
Amy Lythgoe @AmyL_BAH
Andy Johnson @andyjatbromford
Andy Orrey @AndyOrrey
Andy Williams @andywilliamsLHT
Angela Lockwood @Angela_NSHG
Anne McCrossan @Annemcx
Asif Choudry @asifchoudry
Barry Marlow @barrymarlow
Ben Black @BenBlack
Ben Marshall @BenM_IM
Boris Worral @borisorbitgroup
Brett Sadler @brettsadler77
Carl Brown @carlbrownIH
Carl Haggarty @carlhaggarty
Caroline King @CKingatHelena
Charlotte Harrison @charlotteh_nhc
Chenoa Parr @chenoaparr
Cheryl Tracy @ctracy861
Chris Bolton @whatsthepont
Chris Goulden @Chris_Goulden
Clare Parslow @ClareParslow
Clare Tickell @claretickell
Colin Wiles @colinwiles
Dan Slee @danslee
Darren Caveney @darrencaveney
David Orr @natfeddavid
Edwina O’Hart @EdwinaOHart
Elisa Faulkner @ems_wales
Gary Orr @gary yarlington
Gavin Smart @gavinsmartCIH
Grania Long @granialongCIH
Grant LeBoff @grantleboff
Hannah Fearn @Hannahfearn
Harry MetCalf @harrym
Helen Barnard @Helen_Barnard
Helen Reynolds @helreynolds
Helena Moore @helenajmoore
Housing Grunt @housing_grunt
Immy Kaur @ImmyKaur
Inti Popat @Intipopat
Jacque Allen @jacqueallen2
Jacqui Grimes @JacquiNHC
Jake Eliot @HousingJake
James Grant @BristolJames
James Pargeter @Jamespargeter
Jamie Baker @jamieofficer
Jamie Davies-Morgan @jamiedmorgan
Jamie Ratcliff @JamatGLA
Janet Hale @pilkingtonhale
Janet Hunter @housingrightsNI
Janet Storar @JREJanet
Jarrod Williams @jarrodwilliams
Jayne Hilditch @jaynehilditch
Jen Barfoot @JASbar
Jennie Donald @Jenny_Donald
Jennie Ferrigno @justjennie45
Jeremy Porteous @HousingLIN
Joe Halewood @SpeyeJoe
John Hocking @john_hocking
John Popham @johnpopham
John Wade @JohnW_Bromford
Jon Land @JonLand24
Jon Leighton @Pokerfiend
Jules Birch @jules_birch
Julia Unwin @juliaunwin
Julie Nicholas @JulieNCIH
Kate Davies @KateDaviesNHHT
Kate Murray @kate_murray
Kate Reynolds @kate_reyn
Kathleen Kelly @JRFKathleen
Keith Edwards @keithedwardscih
Ken Perry @kenperry47
Kevin Williams @kevinw_wulvern
Lara Oyedele @laraoyedele
Lily Dart @lily_dart
Lindsay Graham @LindsayGrahamUK
Lisa Hughes @LisaHug90813883
Lisa Pickard @lyha_LisaP
Lucy Ferman @lucyferman
Martin Wheatley @wheatley_martin
Matt Leach @matt_leach
Matthew Gardiner @TeamTHT
Matthew Smart @iMattSmart
Michala Rudman @michalarudman
Michelle Reid @MichReid2014
Mick Kent @mickkent2
Nearly Legal @nearlylegal
Nick Atkin @NickAtkin_HHT
Nick Duxbury @nickduxbury
Nick Horne @knightsinwhites
Paddy Gray @Paddygray1
Patrick Butler @PatrickJButler
Paul Diggory @pauldiggoryNWH
Paul Smith @asterpaul
Peter Bond @petebond7
Peter Brown @PeterFBrown
Peter Hall @PHHSI
Polly Neate @pollyn1
Rachel Honey-Jones @RHoneyJones
Rachel Morton @RachelJMorton
Rae Watson @RaeWatson_
Richard Crossley @richardinleeds
Richard Sage @bakedidea
Rob G @Simplicity
Rob Jefferson @RobJefferson
Rob Warm @robwarm1
Ross Williams @ross_williams79
Sahil Khan @khan_sahil
Sasha Deepwell @sashadeepwell
Shaun Tymon @shauntymon
Shibley Rahman @legalaware
Steve Cook @StephenCookV2C
Steve Hilditch @SteveHilditch
Steve Meakin @smeakin60
Steve Nestor @stevenestor1
Stuart McDonald @smacdonaldSM
Sue Roberts @sueR10
Tamsin Stirling @tamsinstirling
Tessy Britton @TessyBritton
Thom Bartley @thombartley
Tim Frier @timfrier
Tim Morton @timmorton2
Tim Pinder @pindertim
Toby Lloyd @tobylloyd
Tom Murtha @TomeMurtha
Tony Stacey @TonyStacey
Tracey Wilson @traceyregenda
Vic Rayner @VicRayner
Vicky Bannister @vmbannister
Vicky Green @Vicky_Green1
Victor da Cunha @victor_dacahuna
William Shortall @MerseyNorthBM

Well done everyone – the Final Fifty will follow in a few weeks…

Thanks for voting

Shirley and Paul

Making a Deal: Unlocking Potential In Communities

 There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.

 Ask “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?”

 Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.

Margaret J Wheatley

One of the many challenges for the public sector is that it must start believing in people and communities again.

If you take the Social Housing sector as an example you’ll see it has spent a long time making life as easy as possible for people.

Free telephone calls , a 24 hours repairs service and if you’re on benefits you don’t even have to worry about the rent getting paid – we’ll sort it for you. Neighbour’s dog barking? Leave it with us. 

I exaggerate of course – but only slightly. Huge parts of the public sector have designed services around what people can’t do for themselves rather than nurturing what they can.

Now we have to reverse it.  Not because there’s a lack of money but because it fundamentally disempowers people. It was a lovely, thoughtful thing to do but it leaves people ill-equipped for life in the 21st Century.

And , worst of all, it massively under values the skills and passions that people have.

Last week I spent time with a great group of people from all sectors looking at adopting preventative approaches rather than being reactive.  It’s an initiative of the Wales Audit Office and their partner organisations.

What most impressed me? Here were people actually making change happen , rather than just talking about it.

This is by no means easy. Radically changing your service usually means you’ll encounter disappointment and failure at some point. It’s easier to stick to what you know.

I was asked along to talk about the Deal - which is the most significant and far reaching innovation I’ve worked on at Bromford. And like any innovation – it has its critics.

The Deal starts from the position of believing that people want to move forward in life. And Bromford have begun to reshape their entire service around that belief.

  • Residents complete an online assessment where they get to talk about their skills and hopes for the future. Many have said that it’s the first time they have ever been asked about aspirations.
  • Goals are being set around what they want to achieve , in their words. They are coached that they can do it , not expected to fail.
  • And the Bromford service is being gradually reshaped as something that propels people forward and builds on what they can do. Rather than keeping them locked in a moment in time.

And it’s not easy. Changing a service that’s been delivered the same way for years is really hard work.

The top messages I wanted to impart were:

Think Big. Start Small. The reason most public sector innovation stalls is people spend so much time thinking , talking and writing reports it becomes too big and scary to tackle. Start doing small stuff as quickly as you can. At the early stages of the Deal we were only offering it to 15 or 20 people a week – genuinely co-creating,  learning and adapting together.

You Will Fail At Some Point. So Fail Fast. Don’t start a really expensive IT project to replace your legacy systems when you haven’t even tested if the service works. Prototype. Test. Break. Rebuild. We developed a micro IT system for about £20,000 to kickstart the Deal. Losing £20,000 is bad. Losing £200,000 is bloody awful.

Take People With You. Involve them in the design. Let them try out new roles and play in a different position. Don’t go through restructures before you know what you’re doing. It kills momentum and by the time you’ve done it you probably need to do it again. But remember that not everyone will go with you. Radical change means some people will want to get off the bus at some point.

Keep The KPI Simple Stupid. Measuring what’s working is really important – but don’t obsess about performance management before you’ve started doing anything. Does if feel like the right thing to do for the customer? Is it hurting your business? If it’s not you’re probably safe to proceed.

The message I took away was the need for us all to be braver. To be unafraid of being laughed at.

Most of us work in sectors that are frighteningly risk averse – that fear the new and the different. That’s why many of us have the same structures, the same policies, the same job titles and even the same IT suppliers. And we go to the same conferences as there’s safety in numbers.

Believing in what people can do means being brave enough to admit that we won’t always be needed.

This is about us all being brave enough to start a conversation that really matters.

Do We Need A Manifesto for Social Change?

A really odd thing happened to me recently.
I agreed with something George Osborne was saying.

OK. I was on holiday and had experienced a bit too much sun. Probably a bit too much alcohol as well.

But something he said resonated with me.

Osborne had stated Europe was falling behind the continents in the south and east - including in innovation. The European share of world patent applications has nearly halved in the last decade.

Back in Vietnam – everything I saw around me confirmed this. The drive. The energy. The agility.

I’m lucky enough to have visited South East Asia three times in the past couple of years. The dynamic mix of optimism, work ethic and community spirit is intoxicating.

It’s connected too. WiFi is genuinely regarded as a utility. Pretty much every residence , every bar , every business is online. Kids with no access at home sit outside stores in pop-up community hubs.  The web coupled with a boom in cheap smartphones and tablets is fuelling a vibrant connected culture.

Certainly there’s a lot of tech innovation in Asia – each country wants its own version of Silicon Valley. But the future is about more than just Flappy Bird 

What’s compelling about Asia is the community driven innovation. There’s a level of grass roots problem solving that I just can’t see in the UK.

And let’s face it. We have a few problems that need solving.

1.8 million on the waiting list for a home in an unloved sector not known for its innovation and creativity

A funding gap of 30 billion for the NHS – the fifth biggest employer in the world

An adult social care system faced with an ageing population that could lead to a shortfall of a quarter of a million carers.

Nearly 1 million unemployed young people – and teenage educational performance lagging behind that of many Asian countries

It’s going to take more than an app to solve this one.

In fact we need social innovation on a scale that we’ve never seen before.

And I mean BIG innovation that can challenge established delivery. After all – it’s no use complaining about the likes of A4e or Atos when we’ve failed to come up with a viable alternative.

One of the problems – of course – is our legacy systems. In Asia they can easily make a 21st Job Centre because they never had the 20th Century model.

In the time we have upgraded they will be onto Job Centre Version 10.2. Probably with robots in it.

By comparison most of our organisations are still running on Internet Explorer 6.

Is there any chance for us?

Yes. But it needs disruptive innovation that transforms sectors , not incremental change that will take 10-15 years. We simply don’t have the time.

What can we do?

  • Walls need to come down between sectors. It would be a failure if we are still debating the same issues at our sector specific conferences in two years time.
  • We need to accelerate the formation of ideas into delivery and fail fast. If our organisations think like they have for the past ten years we will be out of business in five.
  • We need to remove those with vested interests who create barriers and ask for another report before committing to action.
  • We need every organisation to publish a statement of how they are promoting disruptive innovation.

We need a new operating system.

We need a Manifesto for Disruptive Social Change.

Do you agree or disagree?

Note: The Manifesto for Social Change was created at Housing Goes Digital during a crowdsourcing session with delegates. Thanks to Thom Bartley for the great slide deck.

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