10th Annual UIMPROVE Conference, May 2016

The 10th Annual UIMPROVE Conference was held on 16-17 May 2016 in Sheffield. Below you will find videos of all the speakers and photos from the event.

Keynote Speaker - Jane Cole

Jane is an inspirational leader who took on the role of Managing Director at Blackpool Transport in November 2014. Jane took us through the unique challenges she has faced in modernising key aspects of the business. Jane has risen to these challenges with gusto over the course of the last 18 months and shared some of the lessons she has learned along the way.


David Crome, Great Western Railway

David is a long standing advocate of UIMPROVE, having attended numerous days training with us over the years. He has spoken before at both our UIMPROVE and our Performance Conference in Australia. It was our pleasure to ask him to come once again and share his experience of his trip to the Central Japanese Railways. We now know that he has a sexy voice too!

David took us all through finding the meaning of life, which was working out where we people want to be between consistency and variety. The more variety, the more stress. He reflected on his fantastic trip to Japan and the incredible record in safety and performance they have on the railways there, due to their tireless pursuit of reducing variation and providing a consistent service for their customers.

There was much to be admired about the slick operation being run in Japan but there were some interesting cultural differences to note in particular the staff saluting their managers when they sign on for duty! A stand out for the attendees of the conference was that the Japanese point and say out loud when they have completed tasks as a physical checklist. Since the conference, I am sure we have all incorporated this into our daily lives when locking doors and turning off appliances.


Lesley Dryhurst and Lucy Goldsmith, Weaver Vale Housing Trust

Lesley and Lucy are Facilitators with some 10 years' experience between them, and they both have experience of the role of Facilitator Coordinator at Weaver Vale Housing Trust. Their session is all about the trials and tribulations that come with working for an organisation that has made a long-term commitment to UIMPROVE. Over the years, they have tried many and varied approaches to coordinating and improving their team of Facilitators - and not all of them have worked! Thanks to their honesty, their session is a 'warts and all' insight into the different things they've tried and what they've learned along the way. Lesley and Lucy show us that our mistakes are a useful way of learning what works.


Henry Neave, 12 Days to Deming

It was an honour and a privilege to welcome Henry Neave to this year's conference. Henry was a personal friend of Dr Deming and acted as his assistant during the 4 day seminars he delivered in the UK. Henry is also the author of The Deming Dimension, one of the most comprehensive and engaging texts on the work of the great man himself.

Henry has spent the last few years working on 12 Days to Deming, a learning experience designed for students old and new who want to understand more about the Deming philosophy. In his presentation, Henry fills us in on the history of relationship with Dr Deming, and what motivated him to write 12 Days.


Fiona Wilkie, Plus Dane Housing and Simi Johl, Symphony Housing Group

Until recently, Fiona and Simi worked together at Beechwood Ballantyne Community Housing Association, a subsidiary of Symphony Housing Group. Fiona and Simi took us through a textbook case of using data to improve processes.


Lou Tribus

It's always a joy when Lou accepts our invitation to speak at the UIMPROVE Conference. This year was no exception and we were delighted to join her on a journey exploring the brief history of education in Britain. All that was needed was a little imagination and a sprinkle of Super Power.


Dave Power and Issy Taylor, One Manchester

One Manchester is a Housing Association which approaches Social Innovation with an incredible amount of drive, passion and enthusiasm putting it at the top of their agenda. They make a genuine difference for the communities they serve and we wanted them to come and share their good work at the conference in the hope that it will give others clarity around the topic and inspire them to do likewise.

Dave and Issy took us through what Social Innovation means to them, the links they are securing across Greater Manchester and the difference to communities by providing opportunities, access to education, contacts and exposure to culture. Of particular interest was the fact that getting this right is not about spending loads of money, it's about spotting opportunities and making links.


Andrew Forrest, Great Yarmouth Community Trust

This year was Andrew's third time speaking at the conference and it was a delight to welcome him back this year to deliver a presentation that was as informative, engaging and entertaining as we have come to expect.

Andrew updated us on how he has led Great Yarmouth Community Trust from a focus on survival towards a position of strength and optimism for the future by being truly strategic, by further embedding a planned approach to improvement, and by having a firm grasp of the community's needs and expectations.


Photo gallery


The Aspire Group

Blackpool Transport

Great Western Railway

Henry Neave

Liverpool Housing Trust

MKH Rail

One Manchester

Pure Innovations

Plus Dane and Great
Yarmouth Community Trust

South Yorkshire Housing Association

Symphony Housing Group

Weaver Vale Housing Trust

The winning quiz team


Click to see
photos and videos
from previous years