I’ve just finished reading this month’s 24housing magazine which I was interviewed for very recently. In the article, I talked about how important it is to me, and to City West, to create a working environment where we can attract and retain highly talented people. It’s also something I also wrote about in my last blog.

We’ve had some really outstanding achievements over the past six years in terms of performance, and I’m proud of what our staff have accomplished. However, I’m all too aware that we need to continue this high level of performance and service delivery that our customers have come to expect.

Our priority will always be our customers and the neighbourhoods in which we operate. We are here, as registered providers, to deliver a service to some of the poorest and most vulnerable in society. However with Government subsidy dwindling, we have to evolve, innovate and become more commercial in our operations, not only to continue to do what we do best, but to grow and be sustainable.

Put simply, successful businesses recognise they need to improve.

However, business innovation isn’t something that’s immediately associated with the sector. Personally, I think we’ve come a long way but still not as far as we need to. Driving innovation in our services is going to be absolutely key as we look to develop and grow.

We certainly need to be looking at creating greater economies of scale in terms of working with our industry partners, sharing both resources and services with other organisations. We also need to capitalise on the skills we have that go beyond “core housing”, from marketing to finance to ASB services – what’s to stop us from selling this expertise to other organisations outside of the housing sphere?

People are at the heart of our operations, so it’s important that we continue to provide the right training to develop our staff. We have a great deal of talented people already but the rate of change in the sector is likely to lead to a variety of different skills needs and we need to be prepared for this.

In the complex world of housing our challenge is to think about what we need to be and do in the next decade. They say the strongest will survive so as we’re reviewing our business plans, let’s capitalise on the commitment and passion that exists in the sector and ensure we have a workable balance between our social and commercial aspirations.

Tim Doyle, Group Chief Executive at ForViva

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