Spring is here! The season for growth, new beginnings and sewing ideas to cultivate change

We all know that regular maintenance and planning are essential to help your garden to grow and shine – it is not wildly dissimilar when it comes to business.

To help your MAT grow, to its fullest potential, it is important to focus on improvement and growth. This will not only deliver enriched educational outcomes for your pupils but also enhance local community engagement.

To assist MATA readers, we have made some suggestions to offer insights into how a forward-thinking Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) can evolve. Our aim is to inspire growth and foster a culture of continuous improvement, with the ambition to improve existing ‘blooms’ for increased enjoyment by all.
Sustainable growth requires a multifaceted approach. This includes integrating business improvement, organisational change, financial management, people management to deliver performance optimisation, and cultural evolution.

Here are our key tips and advice on growth:

Vision and Strategy

Re-visit your MAT’s strategic roadmap. If you don’t have one, we suggest creating one. Review your plans: Are they still relevant? What might need updating? Is the wider MAT organisation aligned and fully contributing to the vision for growth. A roadmap for growth should consider new opportunities and focus on your MAT differentiation and innovation approach.

Technical Innovation

Technology is reshaping the education industry and helping power growth ambitions. Improving ‘experiences’ for pupils. Teachers, and operational MAT business services alike, all the way to Governors, to ensure modern digital tools are discussed and evaluated. Yes, funding is limited, but it is important to work smarter not harder, where possible - endeavouring to meet the evolving needs of your MAT.

Supporting Culture

Check on the softer side of things, is your MAT fostering a positive culture that values innovation, change, collaboration to drive growth? Are your MAT employees (of any role) encouraged to participate, provide feedback, and contribute ideas for how to improve your MAT? Do you encourage experimentation and a ‘fail-fast’ mindset? Exploration and courage are vital attributes to drive continued growth.

Partnership and Togetherness

In the corporate world external partnerships and alliances bring mutual improvement and growth. So, is your MAT properly collaborating? Are you sharing best practice or new findings? Are your MAT communication methods effective in cultivating a growth mindset to help the organisation growth smoothly and effectively?

Sustainability Drivers

Delivering growth relies on stable cash flow, operating your MAT on a sound financial footing. Balancing revenue / income streams, external funding, cost management / control, and overarching transparency. Monitoring key financial metrics will help support project growth and prioritisation alongside return on investment targets and growth drivers.

Empower Your ‘Superheroes’

To grow, a MAT needs strong leadership and effective governance. Encouraging, trusting, and empowering individuals within your MAT is vital to drive strategic growth. A diverse team with expertise in education, business management, and innovation is better when they unify their financial, operational, and academic ‘superpowers’ to deliver growth programs. Are you properly involving your MAT superheroes today?

Two Ears One Mouth

Engaging pupils, parents, educators with surveys, and the effective use of data analytics will help understand their evolving expectations of your main MAT stakeholders. Listening and providing updates on growth ambitions will help enhance the ‘MAT customer experience’. Aligning expectations with reality while eliminating fear, uncertainty, and doubt – encouraging long-term relationships crucial to drive growth.

Measure Your Growth

Consider developing your own MAT-specific growth targets and monitoring KPIs to help track and communicate progress toward your future ambitions. Reviewing and sharing progression will help inspire people across the MAT and help to identify other areas for improvement.

Learn From Your Competition

They say ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’. So don’t be shy – To stay ahead, evolve, and grow, your MAT needs to stay informed about a multitude of topics including local competition, regulatory changes, accreditations and other emerging trends. Get your team of experts assessing your MAT business model and vision to ensure, mitigate and drive your MAT’s success.

Celebrate Your Success

Growth is not easy. Be kind to your MAT to yourselves. Take the time to acknowledge and respect the effort and achievement when driving and delivering growth. It will never be perfect, but taking time out to report on and promote change and growth will inspire and drive better educational outcomes for all.

Please reach out and speak to de Novo Solutions to review these tips and advice suggestions. We would be delighted to input into your MAT business strategy to help you grow in a responsible, sustainable manner. We are the ‘experience economy’ experts, delivering uniquely different digital transformations with Oracle Cloud and ServiceNow technologies. We look forward to hearing from you soon.