I worked for over a decade in front line & service improvement roles in social housing (LAs & RSLs) before leaving to set-up my own consultancy to explore better method. I have carried out service improvement projects, carried out work on HA mergers, and sat on RSL governance boards.
Over the years we have had improvement regimes that have not improved services to residents. There have been lots of plausible ideas which have had little impact.
Look at all of the 'Best Practice' - improvement plans, policies & procedures, process mapping, call monitoring, customer segmentation, targets, benchmarking, customer surveys. All of these have maintained the mediocrity.
Better method must begin by studying the organisation systemically. In 2009 I set-up The Systems Thinking Review, an online magazine with stories about systems thinking to help organisations.
BA (Hons), MA (York), MSc (Cardiff)
Comment on: Digital revolution
A joint survey (presumably commissioned and paid for by Capita) as a way of buying advertising that looks less like advertising in Inside Housing?
I mean, anyone would think that Capita had some Housing Management IT to sell ....
... oh I see. It does.
Comment on: Swan in HCA cash probe
I would be betting that Extrinsic motivation in the form of targets and bonuses are at play.
There's probably a target for the amount of development cash and homes built and bonuses are tied into the delivery of that.
Comment on: CIH to launch website for care providers
The Audit Commission is dead, long live the new bright CiH Audit Commission TM (especially the money-making side of the business where the CiH uses its position to refer to its own consultancy and CiH owned businesses - HouseMark).
On the CiH website it says
'As the professional body for housing it is our job to help housing professionals - we only exist to help you and your organisation be fantastic.'
One of the major problems with inspection is that it makes services inspectable rather than good. When the first care service shows that it has won the stars and blobs but failed its service users, will the service users be able to sue the CiH? Plus the CiH is choosing method instead of leaving the field open to innovation.
I wonder if the CiH understand what the definition of a cartel is?
Comment on: Axing Audit Commission could affect management
The Audit Commission ensured that housing management repairs services were good?
I think not.
It isn't unusual to find repairs services that scored very highly in the Audit Commission inspection regime with particularly poor service to service users. In fact, it is my assertion that the Audit Commission 'drove' poor services into the social housing sector through its 'compliance' regime. The response time targets for responsive repairs, the 'best' practice commissioning through Schedule of Rates, 'best' practice time slots for repairs, all that costly, time-consuming and pointless benchmarking etc.
It isn't unusual when studying these highly scored Audit Commission services to find repairs that met the targets and other PIs but hid huge volumes of waste and failure. 10 repairs to fix a leaking tap. 3 years and 20 visits to fix a plumbing problem. These are common problems in many repairs contractors. Each individual issue costing little on the SOR but coating huge amounts to actually solve the problem BECAUSE they were following Audit Commission 'best' practice and industrialised copying through benchmarking.
The majority of housing boards can't see true performance of their services because they still receive conventional and traditional information about volumes and targets. These mask true performance. When you study these services from the tenants perspective the waste comes to millions of pounds per annum.
The removal of the Audit Commission's compliance regime should help organisations re-focus back onto the residents, the reason why we are all here. In some organisations now they get a repair exactly when they want one (not time slots), they get many of their repairs finished on the same day in one-visit (no repeats of failures) and at a massively reduced cost. Performance measures are different and there are no targets or Schedule of Rates.
No repairs charter. No inspection. No schedule of rate. No detailed policy and procedure. No Audit Commission. wow.
Comment on: Computer says no
John Seddon correctly predicted the failure of DfT, RCUK and South West One shared services.
In 2004 Seddon confidently predicted the demise of the NHS patient record system. So confident in fact, that Brian Bollen wrote a blog about the prediction. It went on to cost £12bn!
Brian Bollen's blog 'UK NHS IT Fiasco: Predicted In January 2004' September 23, 2011
I wonder if somebody will listen this time ....
Howard Clark has not added any discussions yet.
Posted in: use of psycometric testingin recruitment
The use of Psychometric testing is an assumption about the role that staff play in organizational performance. It suggests that by weeding out the bad people, in some way you will get the hard-working people left over. Hard working normally means compliant, able to follow instructions, work hard etc.
Organizations focused upon systems thinking understand that the majority of performance is actually down to how the system has been designed and only a small part of performance is down to the individual. The split is normally perceived to be 95% system 5% people. These organizations also know that to focus upon the 5% (instead of improving systems design) can exacerbate and make staff performance worse. In effect it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you treat workers like performance is down to them, then they begin to engage in behaviors that don’t improve performance.
In systems thinking organizations, the focus upon improving performance actually kicks-off a positive re-enforcing cycle. The system gets better at giving service users what they want (through better design). Service users get happy and this shows through to staff. Staff then give more because all human beings want to do is help people (we are intrinsically purposive creatures). Systems design effectively turns all staff into people who want to contribute. No psychometric testing needed.
The Systems Thinking Review