When Amazing Minds Come Together

Last week the core staff of OrgCode (Jeff and Tracy) along with the bench players (Mike, Erin, Zach, Kris, Amanda) all spent a couple days in the great city of Toronto figuring out what OrgCode needs to be working on next and how we need to get there. I am not going to get into specifics that will be answered in the coming weeks/moments too much, but allow me to hit some highlights to hopefully intrigue you.

Going Deep

There are many topics communities keep wanting more and more information on how to effectively accomplish, from coordinated entry to actually running reports and maximizing HMIS; improving housing stabilization to how to be an amazing CoC; what it takes to be successful at ending homelessness in rural settings to what it means to be fantastic at outreach or a shelter with a housing focus. These are things where you can expect improved curriculum, a deeper dive into the content, advanced opportunities to learn, and perhaps most importantly, tools you can use to implement.

 

Flexing the Bench Brain Muscle

With smarter minds involved in more projects we can offer better service to communities. While my brain is probably the largest encyclopedia of knowledge regarding all things homelessness and housing on the team, there is considerable expertise that needs to be made available from the bench to enhance what Jeff, Tracy and I do on a regular basis. Expect better training, better research, better reports, and better presence – all with what you have come to expect from OrgCode.

 

Improving as a Company

This one is a bit boring, but let me tell you that it is a huge thing for me. I am not a details guy, nor am I financial guy. I suck at managing communications on a regular basis. And I find myself going down the rabbit holes too often. There is brain power on the team that is going to make it harder for me to do that, while improving being a company.

 

Oh Canada

We have been taking it on the chin for a while in Canada. Even though SPDAT is still the most widely tool used across the country and our training is in demand, Canada remains a small place (about a tenth the size of our neighbours to the south). A VERY small group of people seem to be owning policy development and messaging – and none of these people have done direct service or the broader context to put these things meaningfully into practice. No more of just watching the pain be inflicted upon OrgCode in our home and native land.

 

More Video Content

I have not made a video in a long time. I kept getting critiqued for quality. Whatever. I am going to make more of them. Lots of them. And the quality is likely to be me in a hotel room ranting. Also, get prepared for a character named “Uncle Pete” to make some occasional appearances. The rest on that is top secret.

 

Swag

Turns out a lot of people want stuff that has an OrgCode logo on it. Imagine that. If you have ever wanted your very own “Will SPDAT on the First Date” T-shirt, OrgCode shot glass, “Down with the Fuckery” beer coozie, red pom pom OrgCode winter head gear (“toque” as we say up here), or Trucker Cap, get ready for options.

 

Renewed Optimism and Love

What I do for a living is a gift. That is not lost on me. Expect more love. There will still be provocation. There will still be times when pushing the envelope is necessary. I will still have haters. But after a couple days with genius minds and passionate hearts I am ready to push forward from a place of optimism and love. I needed that.

About Iain De Jong

Iain is a playful nerd, hellbent on ending homelessness, increasing affordable housing, creating vibrant communities, and expanding the knowledge amongst leaders that influence social issues. Having held senior management and professional positions in government, non-profits, and the private sector, Iain has a wealth of experience and has garnered dozens of awards for his work across Canada and internationally. His work has taken him across Canada, the United States, and to Australia. In 2009, Iain joined OrgCode as its President & CEO, and in 2014 assumed full ownership of the firm. In addition to his work with OrgCode, Iain holds a part-time faculty position in the Graduate Urban Planning Programme at York University.


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