Brett Sadler

Innovative thinking in #ukhousing

Stevejobs

I have been reading Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography over the past few months. It’s a fascinating read and although Steve Jobs character is hard to like a lot of the time, I really like his approach to business, constant innovation and striving for the best. There are a lot of Jobs quotes I like, but this one in particular jumps out:

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”

It has got me thinking. Where is the truly innovative thinking in #ukhousing ? I’m talking about truly innovative thinking, that stretches the currently accepted norms and could truly move the sector forwards?

What strikes me most is the backdrop for Steve Jobs’ success; it’s not just about his drive and innovation, but the team of really talented people he brought together and worked with. So, following this thought through, it stands to reason that one of the keys for innovative success is to build an ‘A Class’ team (to use another Job’s quote).

How many ‘#ukhousing organisation’s truly create an ‘A Class’ team around innovative thinking? One where they sweat the detail, but under a truly challenging vision of the future? To borrow an idea from another favorite innovation organisation of mine – Google – their ‘big ideas: 10x thinking’ approach to work is also a great way to push the boundaries of what’s possible. Its by thinking big that you get big innovations.

So much of this goes back to getting the right building blocks in place in an organistion – the right culture, the right leadership and building an ‘A Class’ team.

So, going back to the Steve Jobs quote, would you consider yourself an innovative leader or a follower? Are you truly pushing the boundaries wherever possible?

 

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4 thoughts on “Innovative thinking in #ukhousing

  1. Hi Brett! Have you read Richard Sage’s idea for a Housing Association Skunkworks to try and disrupt ourselves? https://medium.com/@BakedIdea/the-housing-association-skunkworks-bf92740d98d8#.kcmoqtlf6

    • Hello Neil. No I hadn’t, but I have now! Completely agree – we need more measured (and bigger) disruption to create any real change. Seems there are at least a few of us that agree?

      • I think it’s tricky to fundamentally re-think what we do and how we do it from the *inside* of our HA’s. Most of us are not really geared up for testing and prototyping new concepts (nevermind really whacky, left field ones).

        That’s why Richard’s skunkworks proposal is interesting. It’s a separate entity charged with finding a new way to deliver housing – free from the constraints of how our organisations currently think & operate.

        As much as we might try and rock our own boats – we’ve got a whole load of assumptions and biases about what we can and can’t do and that probably stops us from coming up with those ’10x’ ideas that are truly revolutionary – the ones that might ultimately make us obsolete!

      • I do agree, but still think HA’s can innovate if they get the ‘special sauce’ ingredients right. I feel another blog post coming on!

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