Mark Lawrence, Web Editor, 24 Housing was at #CommsHero by resource  

This is not a quote from a motivational speaker, but one by the great Paul Taylor from Bromford, who also challenged the Comms Hero delegates to “declare war on mediocrity”.

Daring to fail as a concept had me a little worried, with many registered providers not having the resources to be able to fail and not disrupt people’s lives. And I saw this worry being voiced by a few others around. However, I had faith Asif and his resource team would not just say ‘throw money around and see what happens’. They did not disappoint. The opener from Grant Leboff was as much about preparation as it was about making mistakes. And it wasn’t about making huge mistakes that would lose the company hundreds of thousands. In Helen Reynolds’ session, there was a lot of talk of little mistakes actually being pilots, test drives or prototypes. In communications you can always improve your message.

There was talk about risk, but it was not blind and wild risk. It was calculated and well-thought out. It may have deviated from the norm but it was by no means going to sink the company were it to go wrong. And this is the key for housing.

Daring to fail is a bold title and one many executive boards would look at and think, ‘I’m not going to rock the boat’. But maybe it is about daring to be different, rather than failing. This is the reason housing associations are so far behind in many areas. Communications is just one of them. Most utility companies and services now only operate through email but housing associations are still sending out letters, which is costly for the organisation. Some have dared to be different and changed this and have lowered costs and improved resident engagement as a result.

The event was a great start to a series which will help to challenge and test communications teams across the country. There are two more events, in London on the 16th November and Manchester on the 29th November. A great event for all to go to if you are seeking to improve communications and want advice on how to improve your own ability too. If you want to see if there are still places for tickets.