The power of simplicity
Thursday 31 December 2015

SimplicityFor a variety of reasons I've recently been pondering about just how complicated the world is. From the tensions in the Middle East, to the effects of global warming and the floods up North this week or the inevitable ongoing impact of austerity on social care. In all of these issues, and most others, there is no single cause and no simple solution. While complexity undoubtedly enriches our lives, it can also confuse and disorientate us, slow us down and worst of all, on occasions, paralyse us.

As I write, we at Brandon are currently in the middle of developing our next five-year strategy, due to be launched in April 2016. We've been seeking feedback from our various stakeholders (people we support, their families, staff, commissioners etc.) to inform this plan. This has presented me with a paradoxical dilemma; while the issues that have been identified are wide-ranging and complex, our stakeholders are asking us to communicate our plans and priorities in very simple terms. On the surface, this fills me with horror! How can we have a plan that is sophisticated enough to effectively address the risks and opportunities that the future will likely bring, that is also infused with clarity and simplicity?

So, where has all this pondering taken me? I believe there is a deeper level that underpins many of the complex issues that surround us. This 'deeper level' contains some of life's fundamental truths, which are both far less complex and far more profound. Bringing Brandon’s next five-year strategy to mind, whatever the detailed path that we need to develop, the deeper underpinning and fundamental truth is that all our activity must result in those we support finding greater freedom in their lives. As we have identified through all the discussions around our purpose and brand over the last year or so, this belief in freedom is what drives Brandon forward. It is why we are here.

I will therefore, make every effort to ensure that the final strategy is both explained and operationalised in as simple terms as possible. This simplicity will enable all of us to work together in the focussed way that truly shared endeavour brings.

There is no doubt that 2016 will be another very complicated and challenging year for social care. However, at Brandon we will do our very best to keep our eyes on the most important things and to harness the power of simplicity!

A VERY happy New Year to one and all.

Lucy Hurst-Brown
Chief Executive