Involutionary Leadership and Management: The Real Art of Involvement Through Engaging Staff and Tenants


About the Course

Many models of leadership and management were developed decades ago and are getting tired and old. The “top down”, hierarchical approach can be costly, slow and lead to communication problems, conflict and demotivation. Yet newer approaches have emerged that are less well known in social housing. “Involutionary” leadership is all about real involvement and engagement with staff and tenants. The skills of collaboration, empowerment and breaking down the “silo mentality” are just the start. Involutionary leadership and management also involves improving the ability of the organisation to respond quickly, internally and externally, and attempts to ensure high quality delivery of services, not only through traditional formal control, but through shared values, self-discipline and more conscious and mindful approaches to work. Trust becomes key as well as developing a culture of compassion, commitment, consistency and innovation. Involutionary leaders are open, active listeners, approachable and focused on an ongoing enquiry into what the organisation and its tenants really need.

In this ground-breaking course, leaders and managers will be brought right to the “Leading edge” of new thinking and practice in being leaders and managers. The new skill set is about being proactive and emotionally skilled, able to serve the needs of a situation more than behave as a formal controller. Leaders challenge mediocrity, not with orders and threats but with engagement, dialogue, inspiration and vision. Leaders challenge bureaucracy in favour of flow and delivery of value to where it is most needed. They challenge communication blockages and outdated assumptions. They ignite the passion of people in an organisation that can too quickly fall into habit and stress. Managers develop and use the skills of “involvement” ensuring that all voices are heard and that the organisation is able to learn and to share that learning across unneeded boundaries.

Course Approach

This workshop-style course takes a very hands-on and practical look at

  • how we involve staff and tenants in ways that enhance service

  • why people feel detached and ignored in social housing

  • how to nurture commitment and enthusiasm in service delivery

  • the difference between a traditional and a new leader and manager

  • the difference between leaders and managers

  • how to develop a culture of involvement and improve engagement

  • how to manage the interface between “Internal” and “external” in a housing organisation

  • some simple “tools” for improving involvement in solving problems and improving service quality

Participants will explore and try out a range of successful approaches to:

  • managing a meeting in which al participates engage and feel involved

  • developing a vision that creates a sense of shared ownership and commitment

  • designing organisations that are less controlling and hierarchical and are more empowered and engaged

  • create involvement in one-to-one conversations

  • being more “involutionary” in the way we design and implement change

  • increasing the feeling and level of involvement of our tenants and other stakeholders

Course Outcomes

By the end of the workshop participants will have drawn on their own experiences of this particular but vital topic. If your organisation feels over-hierarchical; if your staff and tenants complain about feeling ignored and lack engagement with the service and the organisation, this session will help to identify practical next steps towards a more engaged community. We’ll have practiced some hands-on skills as leaders and managers, identified some personal learning and development opportunities and set some clear actions for improving involvement and engagement.

About the Facilitator

Paul Levy has worked on customer care with over 30 housing associations in recent years, as well as leading workshops all over the world exploring how to ensure customer service is authentic and effective. He is director of CATS3000, a change consultancy based in Brighton, UK. Paul is the author of book Digital Inferno.



About Paul Levy

Paul is a writer, thinker, facilitator, theatre-maker, and conversifier. He is the author of the book, Digital Inferno.
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