CANVAS – Housing Edition 2019

By Hannah Scarisbrick

Hannah Scarisbrick

Consulting Team

Hannah has over 15 years’ experience in search and works on Chair, Non-Executive, CEO and Director level searches and on board reviews. She works a lot with our clients in housing and property as well as with a broader range of organisations across different sectors. She has an MA in English from the University of St Andrews.

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Our latest edition of CANVAS for the Housing Sector is out now – featuring interviews with Gina Amoh, Chief Executive of Inquilab Housing Association and Betsy Bassis, Non-Executive Director of L&Q and CEO of NHS Blood and Transplant.

Read CANVAS – Housing 2019


Edition Overview

In our work with a range of large and small housing associations – as well as private sector property businesses – we have had the opportunity to see at first hand a range of approaches to delivering landlord services, building new homes and supporting communities.

Much has been said about how the social housing sector specifically is diversifying, and yet we have been struck, through our work with a range of organisations, by what still binds housing associations together. As the housing sector moves forward and plays a bigger and broader role in addressing a range of needs at national and local levels, it is challenged to ensure that preserving, regenerating and creating thriving communities remains at the heart of the work. Organisational culture plays a critical role in meeting that challenge and few sectors are as reflective as this one about the relationship between organisational culture and the experience of the individuals and communities with which they engage. Many housing associations are putting real resource behind auditing and changing attitudes and behaviours at every level, in order to improve and deepen the relationships they have with residents as well as their network of external partners.

That said, there is still a lot of work to be done and we observe a real appetite within the sector – as well as a call from organisations like Shelter and the National Housing Federation – to ensure that customers come first and that their voices are heard. Against that background it is clear that leaders who role model and create inclusive, responsible, connected cultures will deliver a much more progressive result for their own immediate communities and systemically those they become a wider part of.

With a career’s worth of insight, we are delighted to have had the chance to talk to Gina Amoh, Chief Executive of Inquilab Housing Association and Chair of BME London. Talking about what makes the housing sector tick, the importance of establishing and maintaining a true culture and how a more inclusive approach will bring a positive impact in the future, Gina gives us an optimistic look ahead.

Stepping across sectors, we were also very lucky to have interviewed Betsy Bassis both in her non-executive capacity at L&Q and at an interesting point in her executive career as she left her role as Chief Operating Officer at DEFRA to join NHS Blood and Transplant as Chief Executive. With her extensive senior cross-sectoral experience, Betsy shares her learnings, observations and aspirations for the housing sector. She advocates for leaders to look beyond their walls to make a positive impact inside their own organisation and the sector more broadly.

In this edition, Mike McManamon, a Partner in our Leadership Services practice, also shares his thoughts about how to maintain team dynamics and a positive culture across the senior executive function.

We would be delighted to hear any views you have in the themes in this edition.

Hannah Scarisbrick, Head of Housing Practice

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