A bit like death and taxes, change seems to have been a constant in the world of housing for the last few decades. But what feels completely different in the last 12 months is its sheer scale and significance. Although there is a growing recognition of the imperative to change and that radical upheaval requires a radical response, I have a nagging sense that the policy-makers and think tanks are leading the game in driving our agenda…. leaving us to react and respond to striking headlines and yet another ‘big idea’.
Well, like most people I’d much rather be in the driving seat deciding which route to take, rather than being thrown around in the back and fumbling for a map as we career off some bumpy track to an uncertain destination. So for us, Orbit 2020 is all about understanding the world and embarking on a business transformation to shape our own long-term. This is not about refreshing our current plans, but approaching this project with completely open minds and that’s, frankly, what makes it so exciting.
At the moment, our Board and Executive know we will continue to focus on our enduring ambition of “Building Brighter Futures for People and Communities…” but beyond that, it’s all up for grabs. Thinking the unthinkable and exploring how we deliver that ambition, from financing to organisational structures, will be at the heart of our journey for the next year or so. Much of our focus in these first few months is about looking outwards and into the future, so I’d really welcome any thoughts you have. Although it’s admittedly unlikely that we’ll be producing widgets in 2020 – never say never – but if we do they’ll be damn great widgets!
Paul Tennant, Group Chief Executive