What does UK Housing’s Digital Leadership look like?

Can digital leadership help the future development of Social Housing? That’s the question we wanted to discover the answer to by producing the Connected CEO Study, which is released today.

Ahead of our Connected Housing 2015 initiative, what this study’s set out to do is to look at specifically whether Housing CEOs actively involved in communicating digitally using social media have a head start in formulating effective digital strategies for their businesses. 

Today with data being seen as the ‘new oil’, we would argue the UK Housing sector’s crucial importance is as data owners every bit as much as Housing providers. One of the crucial kpi’s of digital leadership is the development of reliable, accessible data at low cost. The innovation potential of data is that it can reframe the business models so affordability and bottom line business balances better.

Though they are no means the whole picture on digital business planning (we’ll cover that in our 2015 Connected Housing Study), the results of this research give some small insight into the digital skills of Housing CEO’s by looking at social media skills as the starting point.

With a busy last quarter of 2015 coming up and legislation changes in sight that will have a fundamental impact on the way Housing is developed and delivered, together with Universal Credit on the horizon, the challenges Housing organisations have are not insignificant.

We also know from working with other organisations in other sectors how much can be gained by working digitally. Through our work with with Macmillan Cancer Support, as one of the early pioneers of digital business planning, we have a timeline that provides some insights into the possible end results – a £90m charity when we began developing digital business recommendations in 2011, with target of being a £140m charity by 2017, they are now a £190m charity in 2015 two years ahead of schedule and also brand of the year.

CEOs do not need to be socially networked to have a major influence, but going digital is no longer a choice if social Housing wants to stay competitive. We believe Housing can use its own very similar challenges as the ones Macmillan was facing, in terms of restricted funding and the need to develop direct relationships with its users, to produce similar results.

This strikes a positive note on which to enter the last quarter of 2015.

Congratulations to Nick Horne, for being the No 1 Connected CEO of 2015 and also to all the Top 20 Connected CEO’s in the study.