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March 14, 2019

Charlotte Turner

On having the confidence to change direction

Charlotte Turner, Head of Organisational Development at Social Bite and one of our Clore Social Emerging Leaders, reflects on her groups journey through their self-selected challenge and on embracing change in response to feedback.

On our first residential, the Centre for Homelessness Impact and IDEO introduced us to the concept of Human Centred Design. As a group of action and solution focused individuals we spent the first hour of the session dreaming up solutions, then having to start the whole process again as this was not the point of the exercise. Frustrated but eager to make a difference and follow the process we eventually agreed upon our first “How Might We”.

How might we better equip the voluntary sector (non-housing related) to respond to homelessness at the point of presentation?

On reflection, what were we thinking? Not only is this a mouthful, but this is also a massive area to focus on. But at least we were beginning with the people we were designing for and not jumping straight to the answer.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we conducted interviews with six service users and five frontline workers. Our findings collectively highlighted the importance of meaningful interactions; asking the right questions, not being turned away and knowing where to go.

During the second synthesis day at IDEO HQ, we narrowed our “How Might We” down and started looking at solutions. By the end of the session we had two possible prototypes ready for testing.

After conducting further interviews and research, we realised our prototypes were not going to work. We all knew inside we had to scrap our solutions and take a new direction, but we were too nervous to be the first to suggest this. Back and forth, around in circles we went, debating what we were doing and the point of it all. Until one brave team member suggested we focus on the most prominent finding of all our research and take a new path.

Poised ready to make a difference, we are excited and confident we are finally on the right track. We have found a HMW that really resonates with all of us and the ideas are flowing much faster now…

How might we inspire public spaces and businesses to commit to creating more welcoming and supportive spaces for those in need?

Watch this space!

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