or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
I work with a vast variety of socialhousing organisations, small (a few hundred) to managing ten’s of thousand’s of properties. Some are LSVT, ALMO’s, or doing general needs housing, while many manage a mixture of those and also care, support and other areas, such as nurseries.
It’s fair to say we are a pretty tightly regulated and complex sector, although outside looking in, it might look otherwise.
The urge to form groups is something within the sector that continues and will not go away. I have worked with many groups who once joined together have got me involved, inevitably to look at how systems and digital solutions, can be combined. Why would you not?
Groups with good matching component organisations, all general needs, or all care and support perhaps, may regard that as an easy gig when merging to a single set of systems. From a pure ICT viewpoint, I can assure you, it’s been done before many times and that’s not the issue. Where the challenge comes, is if the same objective organisationally is achieved in two parts of the group, very differently with similar results.
This last week I was talking with a great contact, at a site where I have had a lot of involvement in systems and their business change journey. The conversation moved to this particular point. Anyone who reads my blog, knows how super motivated clients and (sometimes) innovative suppliers, catch my attention and really inspire me.
Here’s the situation we were talking about, a very familiar one to many, around arrears management. It’s a work stream with lots of pressure currently on it, from Universal Credit, bedroom tax and other quarters. But what do you do in a group, if composite parts achieve the set and requisite KPIs, but in very different ways. For example, one part of a group might have a crack elite arrears team, a bit like the arrears episode SAS. Another might have more of a free form scheme based resource, that organically tackles arrears. Even worse, what if they all achieve a low % arrears from GAD (Gross Annual Debit).
I am often asked, “which approach is right”? I mean, with strong and persuasive managers, team leaders or directors, it could be like two tribes going to war.
Command and control OR more local autonomy?
That’s a tricky one for me, as where both manage to satisfy the KPI, either could be ‘right’. The challenge is, do we select one of the existing models, or find a third way. This option is the most problematic for the transformation team, as everyone needs to rethink the process.
Achieving the cultural change required is, I believe more challenging that the ICT and systems change. I bet many readers would agree. To bridge the cultural divide takes a healthy dollop of the fluffy comms medicine. This gets the corporate message across and keeps us all on the straight and narrow. I respect comms folk as they are a necessary evil, and they generally successfully oil those cultural organisational wheels for us.
Ignore the cultural change and impact and ultimately, our fancy ICT solutions and transformations will fail. Honest. I speak from experience guv. That’s why I try to make my clients aware of the importance of the cultural change element and do my best, where engaged to guide them through it. The final direction must always be decided by them, because they will be left living with it, for many years to come.
Related Post: What sort of arrears management satisfies its promises?
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Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Two Tribes.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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