Met oude kaarten door een nieuwe wereld navigeren?!

Het zit er weer op, drie dagen lang waren onze Engelse collega’s op werkbezoek in Nederland en samen met leden van CorpoNet beleefden ze een International Learning Experience. Dit lerende experiment omvatte drie zonnige dagen in juni: 21, 22 en 23; de presentaties, lezingen, delen van kennis over en weer vond plaats bij Fashion for Good, Salesforce @The Edge en CIRCL.

Tijdens de drie dagen deelden diverse sprekers hun ideeën: Bas Boorsma, Chief Digital Officer, gemeente Rotterdam; Andrea van der Vaart, Managing Partner, Chaptr2; Sultan Çetin, PhD Candidate @TU Delft; Richard Van der Zee, oprichter en CEO, SKARP; Dirk Huibers, medeoprichter en CEO, Spotr; Frans Leurink, oprichter, GloBLD; Marjolein Crone, Directeur, ASG; Phillippe van Gorp, Commercial Director, Area of People; Antony van Hoeven, Regional Vice President NGO NL, Salesforce; Dennis Berger, Senior projectleider I&A, Havensteder; Janneke de Wagt van Woonzorg, Sven Mannens van DI BLue OnLine, Warner Thijssen van De Key samen met Rene Stamer van GuestCompass, Raymond van Ham van WinVision, Carla Groot-Djakou van Perspectief & Impact samen met Thijs Struijk-Kafchi van Sustainability.games en Joep van de Spoel van M&I/Partners, Jurgen de Ruiter van Trevian, Gijs Pel van Momentummakers en Mirjam Cassee van Chaptr2. Dank aan jullie allemaal.

Hoe hou je de energie en ideeën van dit soort dagen alive and kicking? De organisatie heeft hiervoor het aloude medium van een ansichtkaart ingezet. De deelnemers schreven, hun hoofden tollend van alle inspiratie, een kaart aan zichzelf met daarop een reminder, een uitdaging, een ‘to do’ of wat ze maar wilden. Na een vooralsnog onbekende periode verstuurt de organisatie deze kaarten en kunnen de deelnemers checken of ze nog op disruptieve en innovatieve wijze aan het werk zijn.

In november van dit jaar is er de jaarlijkse DIN Summit, CorpoNet-leden zijn bij deze van harte uitgenodigd.
Henk Korevaar werkt aan een meerdaags programma waarbij ook gehoor gegeven wordt aan deze uitnodiging. Wil je mee? Laat het vooral weten en mail dat naar info@corponet.nl dan houden we je op de hoogte.

Tot slot: Matthew Gardiner, schreef onder de naam ‘orange correspondent’ drie leuke verslagen, hieronder delen we de ‘nette’ passages 😉
Een kort stukje vertaald, voor alle CorpoNetters die er niet bij waren:
[…] En mijn uitgangspunt is om ieder van jullie te vragen een gesprek aan te gaan over hoe inkoop in jouw organisatie werkt. Is de eerste reactie van dat team om te onderzoeken of wat nodig is ook tweedehands, geleend of gehuurd kan worden? Worden eerlijke/duurzame alternatieven volledig onderzocht en geprioriteerd? En ligt de focus op het kopen van duurzame spullen van hoge kwaliteit, of het zo goedkoop mogelijk verkrijgen?
We kennen allemaal het citaat van Albert Einstein: “We kunnen onze problemen niet oplossen met dezelfde denkwijze die we gebruikten toen we ze creëerden.” Of in de DIN-taal kunnen we met onze oude kaarten niet door deze nieuwe wereld navigeren. Dus, in het hele vastgoed van de sector kunnen we:
• Eenvoudig ontwerpen om het verbruik van hulpbronnen te verminderen;
• Flexibel ontwerpen zodat gebouwen kunnen worden hergebruikt met weinig extra verbruik van hulpbronnen, of eenvoudig kunnen worden gedemonteerd;
• Ontwerp voor maximale energie-efficiëntie, niet noodzakelijk voor de laagste kosten;
• Gebruik alternatief materiaal voor “hoge vervuilers” zoals beton;
• Stel eerst de vraag “wat hiervan kunnen we hergebruiken?”, inclusief het beschouwen van vervallen gebouwen als een hulpbron voor urban mining en niet als een oud gebouw dat moet worden vernietigd.

Good luck as you make good shit happen! (aldus Matthew)

DIN on tour- Day 1
From your orange correspondent

Forty people, leaving behind the challenges of rail strikes and airport security queues, gathered in Amsterdam with varying degrees of excitement and expectation.  Many questions: What would we learn?  Who would we meet? And for those of us who made the equivalent trip 3 year’s ago, would anyone fall over and have an unexpected hospital trip?

We didn’t have long to wait. The Fashion for Good museum was an inspired choice of venue as [name] ran through the challenges that industry faced – and how their innovation platform was designed to bring about sustainable change.  From polyester alternatives made from algae, to blockchain technology making the supply chain more transparent Fashion for Good has a network of current and alumni innovators working on solutions to disrupt the textile industry.  I can’t have been alone in wondering where the equivalent platform for housing innovation was?

And then we got into the meat of the afternoon.  Short sharp presentations, different speakers firing out facts, case studies and pithy phrases: all of course in near perfect English and between them covering pretty much the A-Z of the challenges and opportunities created by digitisation and digital transformation.

The recent experience of 8 Dutch organisations, hacked and held to ransom, was an early wake up call.  “It’s not if, but when you are hacked”; “By the time you know you are hacked, your backups will have been corrupted too”.  And it was chilling to hear that, on average, these organisations had found that on average they held 4 pieces of data -eg passports, driver licenses, etc – that were outside the scope of GDPR for every property they managed.    Perhaps no surprise that subsequent sessions majored on how system design, data architecture and data governance needed to be linked together so that any would be hacker was unable to associate data with individuals.

What were the other threads that ran through the afternoon?
– Improved user experience was at the heart of every initiative we heard about.  “The user wants to know the organisation knows and cares about you and operates in their best interests”
– Big Bang / boiling the ocean is out; the future is achieved one step at a time with steady, purposeful incrementalism, with every next step always aligned to an audacious vision of the future.  There was a lot of talk of the three
horizons – of thinking about now, next and beyond
– Data in silos is so last year.  And data quality is not a project in and of itself, but the result of relentless focus on digital craftsmanship, data governance, digital technology and data security.
– Collaboration is key, making the supply chain, other housing organisations (it was for good reason that we heard repeatedly about “stealing for good”) and most importantly with residents part of the process and aiming to create win:win across the whole ecosystem.

And what about some things that were less mainstream, the things that sounded weird and whacky but perhaps were the weak signals coming from the future?  Well top of those for me was the idea that housing organisations needed a digital twin of their residents as well as their real estate.  It’s a bit like Lewis Hamilton’s engineers having a digital model not just of his car so they can perform thousands of “what ifs” around weather, engineering performance and competitor strategies, but also of Sir Lewis himself.  He might even win this year’s championship with that.

Blimey – if this was the taster for the rest of the trip we are in for some thought provoking stuff

 

 

DIN on tour- Day 2
From your orange correspondent
The intrepid band of DIN sisters and brothers woke this morning with more questions.. Where exactly do we have to get to this morning? Is it hot enough to wear shorts? And the inevitable: Did I really get in that late last night? (Answer : I’m afraid so…)
The day was to be held in Salesforce’s magnificent office building – the Edge. Not particularly special to look at, it was claimed to be the greenest building in the world when finished in 2014. It’s also one of the smartest – with 28,000 sensors packed into the fabric producing gigabytes of data on how the Edge and the employees who work there interact. It has a heating system that stores the summer’s warmth in warm water 400 feet underground, releasing the water (and so the heat) back into the offices in winter. Plus, its powered by the sun, has a birds, bats, bees and bugs corridor, a gym that harvests kinetic energy from your workout and sends it back to the grid and a system using rainwater to flush toilets and water the gardens.
Remind me again – how do we build homes?
After a quick recap of our take-aways from yesterday (work in partnership / start small and iterate / be patient, tenacious and resilient / focus on your customer / the importance of data) we got into the day’s presentations – once again quick fire, enlightening, and delivered in near perfect English. So what resonated with me:
• “Facts make urgency” as we heard about how housing for seniors is being transformed in response to the inevitable ageing of the population, a shortage of care staff and the climate crisis.
• It doesn’t have to be a burning platform to create change – evidenced by the burning ambition behind the statement “we can wait for the government to tell us, or we can want to do these things ourselves”
• Today’s rate of change is slow in comparison with tomorrow’s – so the critical skill for an organisation to learn is how to adapt; we truly are in an existential battle where survival is related to how quickly your organisation can change.
• Friction is very often the cause of a disappointing customer experience. And yet, recognizing friction in “the way we do things
round here” is hard to do without fresh eyes being trained on the interactions.
Next up we all contemplated the Metaverse and I think its fair to say there was a wide variety of views about whether we liked what we thought it would be. Are we witnessing the birth of something that whilst as alien to us today as the first TCP/IP enabled internet was in 1983 will go on to be widely used and seemingly essential to modern life? Or are we entering dystopian territory where one bad actor could literally pull the plug on the entire world order?
Notwithstanding a degree of skepticism, a quick exercise threw up a number of social housing use cases including:
• Improving participation for groups excluded by facets of the “real world”,
• Making property viewings or design walk- throughs truly immersive and “family friendly” events
• Building new communities to combat isolation and loneliness
• Creating new revenue streams for landlords, and even
• A new way of doing Board meetings (Amen to that!)
Perhaps a good outcome from contemplating the Metaverse was that it made what we heard about creating Digital Twins of the sector’s property assets look positively normal and mainstream. And with the experience of our Dutch colleagues to learn from, it also started to seem surprisingly practical to achieve – so long as we remember to use a common language.
Get Digital Twins right and maybe the day when my dream – of the self repairing house – isn’t so far off after all.
Last day tomorrow – patience, tenacity and resilience needed as we head to Café 1884.
See you there….

 

DIN on tour- Day 3
From your orange correspondent
Day 3 – and from the moment we stepped into the third amazing building of the trip, I got good vibes.
Circl provides the meeting rooms for the nearby ABN Amro bank, but they are pretty unlike any meeting rooms you’ve been too. Built around circularity principles, it reuses the fabric of company uniforms as heat and sound insulation; you only get your coffee if you learn sign language to communicate with a deaf Ukrainian refugee; and the restaurant serves food rescued from being thrown away. As their website says:
“Circl proves that circularity isn’t just a strategic pie- in-the-sky experiment, but a concrete means of accelerating the transition towards a new economic system.”
The sessions had some emotional punch today. From Habitat for Humanity setting the scene with the global stat that some 1.6bn people are inadequately housed, through the realization that post-covid we now faced successive waves of global recession, climate change and the collapse of biodiversity, to my discovery that I was aware and knowledgeable about sustainability challenges, but my personal practice falls rather short as I choose “convenience over responsibility”. Ouch.
People spoke openly about the fears they had for what their children would inherit – but whereas in the UK “that Green crap” seems to be fading from prominence, in the Netherlands the reverse is true. We heard about high citizen expectations, ambitious government regulation, a sense of urgency, and critically, also of belief. It’s my personal take-away – I must do better to create that circular world.
And my start point is to ask each of you to start a discussion about how procurement works in your organisation. Is that team’s first reaction to investigate whether whatever is needed can be secured second hand, or borrowed, or rented? Are fair / sustainable alternatives fully investigated and prioritised? And is the focus on buying long lasting, high quality stuff, or getting it as cheap as possible?
We all know the Albert Einstein quote “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Or in the DIN language we can’t navigate this new world with our old maps. So, across the sector’s real estate can we:
• Design simply to reduce consumption of resources
• Design flexibly so that buildings can be re- purposed with little further resource consumption, or disassembled easily
• Design for maximum energy efficiency not necessarily for lowest cost
• Use alternative material for “high polluters” such as concrete
• Ask first the question “what of this can we re- use?”, including viewing derelict buildings as a resource for urban mining not an old building to be turned to waste.
We were then introduced to a “weapon of mass instruction” – and shown how the huge green skills gap can be filled by the gamification of learning, and through that, encouraged to lose bad habits as well as gaining new good ones.
Finally, Bas Boorsma introduced us to his “eight friends” – ways of thinking we are encouraged to adopt – that will help us make the sustained system shift we need.
1. Embrace the network paradigm
2. Craft a shared language
3. Synthesise
4. Be inclusive
5. Prioritise citizen centered outcomes
6. Be honest – don’t drink your own Cool Aid
7. Keep friends close but your enemies closer
8. Educate, educate, educate
But you know all this – because you’ve got your own copy of his fabulous book!
I have immensely enjoyed your company for the last 3 days – and learned loads from each of you as well as our wonderful speakers. I hope that at least some of you have found some of these write ups useful – even if only to give your bosses back home a flavor of what they – and in a few cases, you (you know who you are!) – have missed. Safe travels.
Remember – as Ian (Wright, Chief Executive DIN, red.) said right at the end: its not what you learn, but how you apply what you’ve learned that really matters. Good luck as you make good shit happen!