Karen is an expert in governance and leadership development. Karen has worked in the voluntary housing sector for 25 years and has supported new governing bodies to set up a number of RSLs across Scotland; has led three diverse RSLs to success as Chief Executive in conjunction with the governing bodies; directly supported a wide range of RSLs’ governing bodies and senior staff as a Consultant; provided governance, strategy and leadership training for governing body members, principal officers and staff; and contributed to national housing policy, strategy and good practice. Karen has Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI).
Karen led Cordale Housing Association, Clyde Valley Housing Association and River Clyde Homes as Chief Executive between 1995 and 2009, successfully delivering on challenging turnaround, growth and set up strategies respectively. Since then, Karen has used her direct experience to support RSLs in comprehensive governance improvement; strategic options appraisal, strategy development and implementation; structure reviews; merger; stock transfer; change management; compliance reviews; and crisis management.
Karen specializes in engaging with governing body members and senior staff to improve governance, develop and implement robust strategies and build and maintain confident leadership. She engages closely with governing bodies and events include participative away days and single focus meetings designed to strengthen ownership of the evolving plans. She designs and delivers events to encourage thoughtful and constructive input from staff and service users and engages other key stakeholders in discussion, presenting draft plans and gathering useful feedback for reflection in the final plans as appropriate. Karen regularly feeds back to the governing body to build their confidence in leading on the comprehensive finalized plans, which she prepares and presents for governing body consideration and approval.
Karen also contributes to national housing strategy, policy and good practice through papers for the Scottish Government including New Climate, New Challenges to help RSLs to adapt strategies to manage critical change; conference presentations and training for Scottish Government, Scottish Housing Regulator, SFHA, EVH, SHARE and CIH on good governance, strategy, leadership and change management; and development and delivery of effective governance tools including the new Know and Show Good Governance development course for governing body members.