The Social Housing industry, more so than ever, is under enormous amounts of pressure caused by a number of external influences… Brexit has directly impacted the future security of the supply chain, affecting both product and labour supplies, creating uncertainty and difficulty in planning. Similarly, the COVID pandemic, as well as more recent risks of global conflict, has pushed up energy costs, increasing baseline spend across the industry. Marry these with a rise in inflation and predictions that this will reach double figure heights in the not-so-distant future, and we can start to picture the strain this is putting on the Social Housing industry and the importance of successfully delivering change in housing.
So, what does this mean?
Changes in regulation and policy, such as the Building Safety Act 2022, will require further investment in assets and the housing portfolio. Then there are governance challenges, such as increases in rent, fluctuating salaries and pensions, and rising costs of running the housing organisations.
Overlay this with rapidly changing technology, security, and data requirements, and mix in a dash of environmental and sustainable challenges on the journey to net zero, and it makes for a tough future ahead.
With limited resources and multiple pressure points how can Social Housing Associations determine what to do and when?
Research* shows us that organisations that invest in strategic prioritisation deliver 40% more value. But what does this look like? To help create a picture of this we’ve created a list of top tips for delivering change in housing.
1. Vision and positioning
Create a clear understanding about where you would like to be in your short, medium, and long-term plan. Ensure this is widely shared, agreed and understood amongst stakeholders and that you have executive backing. You will need this when it comes to prioritisation
Capture all the initiatives (planned, inflight and potential) and map these based on business objectives and value. Map the cost, impact and effort required for each initiative, this will flush out which projects are really important, and those that can come further down the line.
3. The risk of not doing it
Try looking through a different lens… Evaluate the projects and understand the impact of not doing it? What is the potential risk and liability?
4. Capacity to lead change
Look at the resources required to deliver the initiatives – internally and through partners – to understand your delivery capacity and constraints. Where do you need extra resource?
5. Capacity to land change
Can the organisation absorb all the change you are planning and is it sequenced and prioritised in the right way? Be aware of change fatigue and identify critical resources.
6. Be brave
Learn to say no to projects. And stick to it.
7. Build in flexibility
Change is inevitable, so make sure you have a clear process and forum for assessing, reviewing, and approving new initiatives.
Change can be challenging, but with the right approach, strategy and team change can yield huge benefits and return on investment. Our top tips provide you with a thinking framework, give it some time and thought and you will stand in good stead for beginning your transformation and becoming more agile.
Our expert team of consultants are on hand and here to help if you have any questions. Contact us here.