BrainDump #1: Following In Neil’s Footsteps

I’ve been reading Neil Tamplin’s Braindumps for a while now and inspired by the ethos of “working in the open” I thought I would give it a go…

What I’ve been reading…

“The Importance of Understanding People” by Simon Penny from Bromford Lab —

“Why Should I Be Thinking About Data Maturity?” by Dyfrig Williams

“Grenfell Tower” by @MunicipalDreams


“The Silo Effect” by Gillian Tett — A highly accessible and engaging read full of practical real-life case studies. Will be writing a blog of some of the takeaway points in the next few weeks

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” — so this is a bit of a cheat! I read it a little while ago, but it was too good not to include!

What I’ve been watching…

“London Tower Fire: Britains Shame” — BBC Panorama.

“A Few Ways to Fix a Government” — Charity Wayua

“Poverty Isn’t A Lack of Character; It’s A Lack of Cash” — Rutger Bregman

“This Is What Democracy Looks Like” — Anthony D Romero

What I’ve been working on…

So technically I’ve not been working this week as I’m recovering from an op, but I have been thinking about a few things:

Moving services from reactive to proactive — Due to its nature, sometimes working in housing management can feel relentless, like we’re firefighting and probably not making best use of resources as a result. Over the next few weeks I really want to have a think about how we can create some space within our housing management services, and begin delivering them in a more predictive and proactive manner.

How we use data — This is really linked to the above point and creating “smarter” services. I’ve been having a think about how we can use available internal and external data to deliver services which are accessible and deliver excellent outcomes for our tenants and their communities. If anyone fancies giving me a data masterclass — get in touch!

“Pain Wall” — This summer I will be doing another round of “shadowing days” with my team. This is with the intention of making their jobs easier by understanding the barriers, challenges and inefficiencies they face on a day-to-day basis. I really value this time, however, I’ve been thinking of a way in which officers can incrementally improve services using knowledge from across departments (sometimes you need to be “outside” looking in to spot the obvious and also understand how your team might affect another). I wondered whether the idea of a “Pain Wall” (with a different name!) might help — once a month a team would put a “pain” that they need help resolving on the wall. Other teams then use the wall to help mind-map potential solutions based on their own experiences and expertise — I also wondered whether this might help create interlinkages between teams where they can see how they can help each other out. I might use my peers as Guinea Pigs to see if this would work in practice…

Reflection Time — so I haven’t been in work this week, but as I feel ok in myself I’ve been able to really reflect, read and develop some bits that I think will benefit my team when I return to the office. We digest a lot of information in our day-to-day roles, but sometimes we don’t build in reflection time to join up the dots — I wonder whether giving employees a few days a year to do this would provide companies with a return on that investment? After all it works for Bill Gates…