Blog archive


Max St John

Co-designing a social business with Orbit

I am massively excited that we’ve started working with Orbit, one of the UK’s largest and most progressive housing organisations, to define how they can transform into a social business.

As an organisation with over 100,000 customers, and a mission to improve the social, economic and environmental prospects of people and communities, the project is a huge opportunity for us to create something truly impactful together.

And it is the work that’s most exciting about our partnership. Orbit have already created a vision for 2020 – based on work by leading academics on what its operating environment might look like in seven years time, and through consultation with hundreds of customers and staff.

Now our work together is to collaboratively define what kind of organisation will support that 2020 vision. Orbit wants to become a more collaborative, open, flexible, customer-focused organisation, that delivers great customer experiences in a commercial context, while also delivering on its mission of improving society. Given the changes taking place in society, and the welfare reforms that are about to rock the housing sector, this is both visionary work and highly necessary pre-emptive thinking.

We’ve started by working with staff, and customers, to understand what is happening right now, and following that we’ll be bringing people from across the organisation together to collaboratively design a future vision for how Orbit will be, using participatory leadership practices.

Finally, we’re planning to bring it all to life by co-creating a 12-18 month roadmap to move the organsiation towards its desired state.

Orbit’s vision of what and how it should be in future is deeply aligned to our vision of how business in the 21st century can, and must, change – to be more human, systemic, purposeful and aligned to deliver on much more than just its bottom line.

We’ve already discovered a deep sense of passion and purpose within the organisation, people convinced that they have a duty to positively contribute to people’s lives and to help break social cycles that are stopping individual and communities from thriving.

If the future of business is about a deeper sense of connection, then Orbit and NixonMcInnes could not be better suited to working together.

Watch this space for more news.

This post was filed under Current work, Digital transformation Comments are currently closed.


  1. What a fantastic project. Great work and good luck Maxi!

    Posted 7th March 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink
  2. Sounds great, Max. Will be interesting to read how it progresses :)

    Posted 12th March 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  3. I’m really happy for you guys – it sounds like just the right project. Go for it, make a dent and let us know how you do.

    Posted 13th March 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink