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SOD it: organisational change the Techniquest way

Matt Kennedy, policy and public affairs manager at CIH Cymru, writes up Techniquest chief executive Lesley Kirkpatrick’s session on organisational change and how they faced up to some challenges that housing providers will find familiar.

See it. Own it. Do it. The “SOD it” principle highlights the way in which Lesley Kirkpatrick; the Chief Executive of Techniquest empowers her staff to do things differently. The organisation faces considerable challenges in continuing to engage the public and re-affirm its position as a charity in the eyes of many. No doubt Techniquest is somewhere many of us have fond memories of spending interactive, vibrant and fun days out.

Lesley spoke to delegates at TAI about the fun and serious side of Techniquest as it changes the way it delivers services in the face of losing its Welsh Government funding, which will come to an end in five years’ time (and reduce year on year within that period).

She explains that Techniquest is setting out to be the UK’s leading science discovery centre, which she admits is a big aspiration and one that will be characterised by a long term programme of change and re-focus. For Lesley collaboration is at the heart of what the organisation will be about, old and new partners it seems will be pushing at an open door.

She reflected on the importance of remaining current to the audiences coming through those doors, which in Techniquest’s case means having an ability to offer something for everyone, making an experience that feels personal, and current to people’s lives. Whilst also inspiring younger generations to become interested in, and aspite towards a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

Lesley’s reflections will no doubt resonate for many staff, working at all-levels within the housing sector. Speaking about the importance of taking pride in “wins” when things seem gloomy or difficult and empowering staff to fully use their expertise are factor which are all the more relevant for housing professionals.

The “SOD it” principle is apt considering the theme of this year’s TAI is “Time to Deliver”. At a time when housing supply, welfare reform, and homelessness are exercising the abilities of professionals to meet people’s needs it seems that the SOD it principle does and should continue to characterise the proactive, innovative and meaningful work of housing professionals across Wales.

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