Shadowing week with Lauren
Earlier this year we organised a Shadowing week, where any of our colleagues could ask to shadow someone else to learn more about the different areas of the business. A few of us wrote blogs about our experience joining our team mates whilst they worked.
Lauren: shadowing our Chief Executive
Who I am
I’m Lauren and I work in the Communications Team, spending most of my time planning and creating digital content.
Who I shadowed
I shadowed our CEO, Carol Carter, who was really up for the chance for people across the organisation to get a glimpse of how she does things.
Why I decided to take part
Shadowing opportunities are a really good way of accessing situations and conversations which you usually wouldn’t have. As a graduate who’s new to social housing, what better way is there to get insight into how the sector actually works at the top level than to follow the CEO of a housing association?
What I got up to
I was really pleased to be able to join Carol on two occasions during the week, to listen in on some very interesting meetings. The Euston Town Business Improvement District meeting was first, and not only was it my first board meeting, but it was also Carol’s first time joining them. We were both given a very warm welcome and it was great to hear how businesses are working to improvement the neighbourhood.
Next up: a network meeting with several other housing association CEOs. On the agenda: changes in our environments and what this means for our business models. Listening to the CEOs’ different experiences and approaches was very interesting for me, as a housing newbie!
The Communications Team had a visitor
My team also got a request to be shadowed from… *drum roll please* … Solomon Seyi Aremola, one of our Learning Disability Support Workers! We decided to do something fun for Solomon to see and do whilst shadowing us – we went to visit one of our local residents who has had a walk-in shower put in to her bathroom, to replace her bath, by our Aids and Adaptations Team. As it happens, Solomon has some super video production skills so he did some fantastic filming and I did the interviewing with our resident who very kindly talked to us about how the wet room has changed her life. Great teamwork.
What struck me
Meeting and hearing from people who care about and have an interest in the local area, those who are at the very core of where change happens in our communities was really inspiring. It’s interesting to see how people representing organisations or groups that differ in a lot of ways (sector, geographical area, industry) can come together based on common interests to work towards bringing about positive change and creating something meaningful together.
On another note, CEOs in housing (from my experience) are really friendly, clued up on what’s happening on the ground with their people and residents and there’s an obvious solidarity among housing professionals. It’s also very satisfying to see women around the table where these important conversations are happening, standing up for the interests of the groups they represent.
What I’d say to others
Jump at the chance to shadow other people in your organisation, it's a great opportunity!
It's a great way to learn about what your team mates get up to and it’s a good way to refresh your perspective by standing in someone else’s shoes for the day.
Did you see Tanyel's blog about her shadowing experience? You can also read about how Sheila got on here.