HBF Future Talent Conference 2023

02 March - 03 March, 2023

FTC set

HBF Future Talent Conference 2023 - 2nd & 3rd March 2023

It is sometimes best to “stand back and do things differently” in your career, according to Colin Cole, ceo of Lioncourt Homes.

Speaking at HBF’s Future Talent Conference in Bedfordshire, bringing together trainees, graduates and apprentices, Lioncourt’s boss told delegates of his career and business choices, including the decision to leave a senior role in Persimmon to begin his own housebuilding business.

Cole said that during the 2008/9 recession, when Lioncourt Homes was a new business, he was able to increase home sales by improving the specification of his homes while other housebuilders were reducing their spend.

“We came out [of the recession] in a cash positive position. We took a larger share of the market, selling when others weren’t,” Cole said to the audience. “Fewer were in such a positive cash position.”

He added: “Sometimes it’s best to stand back and do things differently. If you follow the pack, you get the same result as everyone else.”

Also speaking at the conference, Helen Moore, group director of Orbit Homes, advised delegates on becoming successful future leaders. She emphasised the importance of being “your authentic self”, setting goals “and taking control of your career”.

What should motivate, she said, was “what excites you to get out of bed in the morning”. She talked about her evolving passions throughout her career: desiring to bring quality homes to communities, create diverse communities and, in her current role in the housebuilding arm of a housing association, bring social purpose to housing.

“What makes a great leader comes down at the start to passion,” Moore stressed. “If you’re passionate about what you do, you can become an inspirational leader.” This included “the vision you create and getting your team alongside you to deliver the vision”.

Moore also highlighted the lack of diversity that still persisted within the sector. She told the young delegates: “As a future leader, you can refuse the fact that the sector isn’t as welcoming as it could be” to a wider range of people.

Cole and Moore also took questions from the audience in a panel discussion alongside Sophie Coyle, partner relations and sector manager (homes) of the Supply Chain Sustainability School. On sustainability priorities, Coyle said climate change and the carbon challenge were the “biggest issues, especially embodied carbon”.

But she stressed that with these focuses, “we have to make sure we don’t have tunnel vision – we need to think of people”.

The Future Talent Conference, taking place over two days, also included a keynote speech from Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills. Delegates also attended interactive workshops covering strategic site finding, modern methods of construction and improving the build quality of new homes. 

The presentations will be available shortly to download.. 


Lucian Cook & Lydia McLaren - Savills Download Presentation
Colin Cole, LionCourt Homes Download Presentation
Helen Moore, Orbit Homes Download Presentation
Sam Stafford - Strategic Site Finding, HBF Download Presentation
Emma Toms, NHQB Download Presentation
Steve Cole, Make UK Modular Download Presentation


Helen Moore
Helen Moore
Group Director, Orbit Homes
Colin Cole
Colin Cole
CEO, Lioncourt Homes
Neil Jefferson - HBF
Neil Jefferson
Sam Stafford
Sam Stafford
Planning Director, HBF
Emma Toms
Emma Toms
Interim Chief Executive, New Homes Quality Board
Lucian Cook
Lucian Cook
Head of Residential Research, Savills
Lydia McLaren
Lydia McLaren
Research Analyst, Savills
sophie coyle new
Sophie Coyle
Partner Relations and Sector Manager (Homes), Supply Chain Sustainability School
Steve Cole
Steve Cole
Director, Make UK Modular


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