Thursday, 13 March 2008

Coaching and Mentoring - Conference Slide Show

Dave Crisp delivered his workshop on mentoring and coaching at the Board Member conference. It can be viewed here:

Many thanks Dave

Conference Feedback On Future Board Network Meetings

The afternoon of the first day of the Board Member conference was an opportunity to take stock of what value the board member network has added and to consider how to build on this.

A summary of discussions can be downloaded here. It really is good stuff and flags up a whole number of areas where change can take place. A discussion document is being prepared to circulate to all board members in advance of the next round of April meetings.

8th April - Abercynon - off A470
9th April - Swansea
22nd April - North Wales

For more information about booking your place at one of these events contact Jenny Horton at Community Housing Cymru on 02920 557410 or email

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Neil Wooding on Leadership

One of the most popular open space sessions that took place at the Board Members conference was led by Neil Wooding - he sent this article (which can be downloaded here ). It will be sent to all delegates who joined his conversation as part of the conference report.

Neil leads Public Service Management Wales and has offered the support of his team to help Community Housing Cymru to respond to the excellent suggestions that came forward about how to refresh the next round of Board Member Network Meetings. These suggestions will form part of the conference report which will be posted very shortly.

Many thank Neil for this stimulating article and for offering this follow through support.


Sunday, 2 March 2008

Storytelling for change

Stories are the age-old way in which we pass on news, ideas, gossip - but they can also be used to promote action and change. At the conference Louise Harris and Christine Wilson explained how digital storytelling was helping improve public services.
Louise runs the Big Learning Company, and Christine works at the Centre for Research and Innovation in Care Services, University of Glamorgan.
They recently contributed to the first Public Sector Narrative Conference: Storytelling for Change, which was a collaboration between Public Service Management Wales, ENLA and the Wales Centre for Health.
I hope they may contribute to this blog - meanwhile here's some video where they explain the value of storytelling, and how it has a strong tradition in Wales.

Researcher asks for Board member views on governance

At end of the conference Paul Griffiths, who had spoken earlier about his research into governance issues, invited Board members to send him any comments and ideas - or contribute to a conversation on this blog. You can see Paul's earlier contribution here.

Conference & Openspace

This was my first CHC conference and I thoroughly enjoyed taking the time to take to other board members. I hope that more board members sign up to this blog so we can communicate and share experiences, especially as a relatively new board member.

I enjoyed the openspace sessions and I thought the facilitators were very good. I did think about running a session myself (possibly on Supporting People) but lacked the courage in the end - maybe next year's conference!

Sue Essex on the Regulation Review

Sue Essex, a former Assembly Finance Minister, has been appointed by the Deputy Housing Minister to review regulation of the housing association sector. She hinted that the review report - due shortly - might recommend some changes to over-complex regulations. However, she suggested that this might need to be balanced by a closer look at finance and governance. Boards are often "a bit of a well kept secret" and could play a stronger role.

Internet cafes starts some conversations

During the conference we ran a series of sessions in the Internet cafe which provided some help on using blogs and other tools - and just a chance to chat about improving communication .... not too seriously!

Some of those coming to the cafe already had blogs and had plenty of ideas about how these and other social media could help housing association boards improve their communications. Here above are some ideas from Bryan Douglas-Matthews.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Networking - together we can achieve more

My first CHC Conference - and a very useful event for me as a new Independent member on a new Shadow Board - Tai Ceredigion Shadow Board.
I am sure the Stock Transfer organisations already up and running - or nearly so - can help those of us now going down that route - what worked for them; what didn't.
I don't think there's a magic formula, but there will be parallels.
How can we best share that experience and knowledge? How can we build an effective network which will be of continuing benefit to us all?
My thanks to CHC for a well-run and very useful event.

Margaret Pead at CHC's Governance Conference

This is my first attendance at a Great Governance Conference. I am finding it most interesting and informative. We have had two excellent presentations this morning. As a member of Bron Afon Board I found Duncan's session most informative and reminded me of all the hard work that has taken place in order that Bron Afon could actually come into being. We await with baited breath the WAG decision, hopefully on March 31st