Attracting the talent: Chief Executive recruitment for MAT boards in challenging times

Attracting the talent: Chief Executive recruitment for MAT boards in challenging times

Jo Ogilvy is a Partner and Head of the Schools Practice at Saxton Bampfylde. Ahead of Academy Ambassadors third annual board development day, an event sponsored by Saxton Bampfylde, Jo addresses the challenges faced when recruiting senior leaders at multi-academy trusts.

Recruiting a new chief executive for a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) throws up a number of challenges, however, there are some real opportunities as well.  

We operate in a time where there is a fight for talent when recruiting educational leaders with the requisite track record, financial and operational expertise to lead a MAT.  These people often have choices and may prefer, for instance, the chance to build their own MAT rather than join an existing trust.  The role is so varied that it may prove difficult to identify and attract someone with relevant experience across all areas.  It helps to be as open minded as possible about the background of potential candidates, and instead focus on the skills and personal style required.  A board can make up for any gaps their CE may have through the team beneath them and the board's expertise.  There is a real opportunity here, as leaders from outside the sector are keen to join it, seeing MAT leadership as a potentially really exciting and relevant career move – their chance to lead organisations of significant scale, impact and purpose.  Being part of a move to improve children’s life chances can be a highly compelling proposition. 

A business or charity leader will often have skills that are highly relevant to MATs – knowledge of running multi-site operations, strong financial knowledge, an understanding of regulated environments, and the ability to think strategically as well as operationally.  What can be their downfall, however, is a lack of understanding about how schools operate.  Some would argue that this can be learnt quickly and that with the support of a strong director of education, it need not be a problem.  We recognise however that it is a potential stumbling block.  Risk can be mitigated by finding non-educationalists who bring some knowledge of education, perhaps having been a board member of another MAT, or having had executive roles that have crossed over with the sector. If the candidate has a strong cultural fit with an interest in education, this also helps. 

"Being part of a move to improve children’s life chances can be a highly compelling proposition."

If, on the other hand, the board is certain that the trust needs an educationalist, then we can’t emphasise enough how it helps to be open minded about the package and flexible working, as well as being clear about your vision.  The best people will have options and are often well paid, therefore these things really matter.  When appointing an educationalist, it is likely that they will value having strong operations and finance people beneath them. This will give the organisation the necessary depth to ensure strong financial management and will help ensure that any expansion happens in a way that is sustainable and effective.

If thinking creatively about where your next CE comes from, then there is likely to be a real variance with regards to candidates’ current remuneration (and what figure will persuade them to consider the role), and notice periods will also vary.  Being prepared with an interim solution can enable boards to consider those on six months’ notice; it can also be a way to offer someone within the organisation the chance to gain valuable experience.  

There can often be a tension when prioritising what it is a CE needs to do.  This is highly likely to be between a focus on educational vision and raising educational outcomes, and maintaining the trust’s financial and operational performance.  Which comes first?  The CE inevitably impacts where this focus lies, so it is important to think about counter-balance, given the importance of all aspects of MAT leadership.  Some carefully chosen board members might help redress the balance, as might a well-structured and high-quality SLT. 

Other aspects that matter when recruiting a chief executive include possibly less obvious elements such as the person’s empathy with the region in which a Trust is operating, their evident belief in the work that the academies are doing, and their fit with the Trust's culture.  In our experience, it is not only the person’s ability to do the role, but also their empathy for the ethos of the trust and the work done by its people.  It is often critical for success that a new CE acts in a way that establishes credibility and respect from those working in the academies, and the communities they serve.  This will require someone with outstanding people skills, and the ability to communicate (directly or indirectly) with a wide range of stakeholders – from students and parents to staff to RSCs, the Department and regulators.  

"It is often critical for success that a new CE acts in a way that establishes credibility and respect from those working in the academies, and the communities they serve."

When recruiting a chief executive, the board’s understanding of the job to be done, their vision for the trust, and their realism are all critical in running a compelling and successful recruitment campaign.  It can often be a candidate’s market.     


This Blog post was written for Academy Ambassadors Board Development Day, 11 September 2017, sponsored by Saxton Bampfylde.

  

  Contact Jo Ogilvy









TOUGH AT THE TOP - LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES IN TIMES OF CHANGE

TOUGH AT THE TOP - LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES IN TIMES OF CHANGE

By Lisa James, Partner & Gareth Jones, Partner and Occupational Psychologist, Saxton Bampfylde

This is a time of wide-reaching change in the public sector. The sector is grappling with the impact of changes in demand, in technology, and in both commercial and partnership models in public service delivery. The public sector’s traditional partners in both the private and the third sector are themselves contending with changing funding models and changing needs. Delivery increasingly requires new types of partnership models and working. And, finally but significantly, there is a level of political instability which leads to significant medium-term policy uncertainty.

All of this means that we are in a time not only of change, but also of ambiguity. Public-sector leaders are being tasked not only with delivering discrete and definable change programmes, but also with developing and articulating responses to major national or global challenges at a time when both the problems and the tools available to tackle them are unclear and hard to predict.


AN HONEST APPROACH

The demands that groups put on their leaders in times of change and ambiguity are complex and need to be carefully balanced. In the simplest terms, groups who are facing change will tend to look to their leaders for protection. But, crucially, this does not mean that the task of the leader is to defend the status quo at all costs.

The best leaders will introduce what clarity they can, but are also honest and up-front about what cannot be predicted or guaranteed. They take seriously their role in protecting the team from some of the adverse consequences of change (particularly from pressure from above), but must also resist the urge to be paternalistic – engaging their teams in the design and ownership of the change process rather than allowing them to be passive recipients of it.

This is particularly important during periods of ambiguity. Ambiguity can be paralytic, and very often leaders will have no more information about, or control over, medium-term outcomes than their teams do. In this context, clarity about the end goal and the team’s ultimate raison d’etre is all the more important. At the same time, leaders can help their teams to focus on the things that they do have power on, and be clear on the contribution that their day-to-day work is still making.

There will always be some members of a team who embrace change whole-heartedly: who see and are excited by the opportunities, and who have low enough needs for security and stability that ambiguity or personal risk do not faze them. For many, though, any truly radical change will be a challenge to a long-established professional identity, and will force them to restructure their view of themselves.

And, of course, in any time of wide-reaching change, there will still be large numbers of people who are engaged in business as usual activities. These people are often neglected in thinking about change, but their work remains as important as ever, and it is easy for their engagement to fall.

KNOW YOURSELF

This means that emotional intelligence is at a premium during periods of change. Pressure will often make people increasingly task-focussed rather than people-focussed – and leaders who are delivering change are often under immense pressure, whether from time pressure, resource constraints, scrutiny, weight of expectation, or all of the above. It is vital that leaders recognise this tendency in themselves and take steps to mitigate it. Equally valid, though, they might choose to bring in other senior members of the team whose strengths lie in their people focus, or identify people within the team who can help them to take its temperature at key points.

LOOKING INWARD AND OUTWARD

Change, therefore, places great demands on leaders. It requires them to balance the protection and the empowerment of their team, and to balance a clear-eyed focus on what needs to be done with empathy for those affected.

This takes real self-awareness, and resilience under great pressure. The final responsibility, then, that leaders have is to themselves. The uncertainty and personal risk which affect teams often affect their leaders no less. All leaders are conscious that they cannot pass the pressure they feel down to their teams too much: but equally, simply internalising it is not sustainable. If leaders are to have the emotional resource to support others, they also need to finds ways to sustain themselves effectively.

Much has been written in recent years about the role that mindfulness and similar techniques can play in reducing stress. These are undoubtedly helpful as a way to help manage the personal impacts of stress and to maintain perspective. However, these internally-focussed methods should be seen as just one element in a wider tool-kit.

There are some core leadership skills, like prioritisation and delegation, which are essential if leaders are to make their roles sustainable. However, leaders also need to build effective support networks for themselves, to ensure that they can access the advice and support they need outside the immediate team or organisational environment.

External mentors, whether formal or informal, can play an immensely valuable role as sounding-boards and sources of support. Good coaching can help leaders to identify and focus on the personal goals that they want to set for themselves, and to make sure that they gain focussed personal development from a period of change, as well as delivering for their organisations.

Finally, there is an important role that the public sector can play in establishing cross-cutting support and learning groups. These should, ideally, be focussed not on individual policy areas but on challenges or tasks – whether dealing with policy uncertainty, setting up new organisations or closing existing ones down, or implementing major operational change – to help leaders share best practice and support one another. 

CONTACT

LISA JAMES, PARTNER 


GARETH JONES, PARTNER AND OCCUPATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST


INTERVIEW WITH BRONWEN MADDOX, DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE FOR GOVERNMENT

INTERVIEW WITH BRONWEN MADDOX, DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE FOR GOVERNMENT

Bronwen Maddox reflects on how the political landscape is evolving since her inaugural lecture and the focus of priorities for the Institute. She considers the impact of the evolving political mood at home and abroad and what this means for governments.


You gave your inaugural lecture as the Director in January. Since then, the political landscape both in the UK and overseas has continued to evolve quite dramatically. Which events have most struck you, in light of the themes you pulled out in January?

We still have some of the themes very much there. We have countries where the sense of division and public mood is very strong with a roiling and febrile sense of politics.

There is still a picture of older democracies with very divided politics which is putting their institutions under strain. In the United States, we are seeing President Trump testing those institutions continuously. Whether it be attacks on the judiciary, his war of choice with the intelligence agencies, his questions about NATO and approach to international cooperation, these things make modern political challenges like cyberattacks very, very relevant.

Overall, I would say that politics is finding it very hard to accommodate new trends or to fully respond to people’s concerns.


After the results of the elections in France and the Netherlands, do you believe that the ‘unprecedented’ public and political mood is perhaps shifting back to a seemingly more ‘normal’ one?

I am not sure what ‘normal’ is any more. I don’t think people want extremism which is going to turn their countries upside down, but at the same time they do want change and Emmanuel Macron is the best embodiment of that. The unknown politician. Unknown, but on the other hand a centrist, his election was a very firm rejection of Marine Le Pen.

People want change and they want politicians to respond to their concerns. They are probably more short- tempered and cynical about how that response comes than they were in the past.

“POLITICS IS FINDING IT VERY HARD TO ACCOMMODATE NEW TRENDS OR TO FULLY RESPOND TO PEOPLE’S CONCERNS.”

“THE STATE HAS BEEN PUSHED BACK; IT HAS FEWER LEVERS THAN IT HAD IN THE PAST.”


You talked earlier about challenges to established institutions of democracy. Do you believe that the role of government is going to be harder to define over the next 10-15 years than it has been in recent decades? Or do you think a clear, if different, role for the state is likely to have emerged?

I think the role of government is changing anyway due to globalisation and technology. Both of these are making it harder to run a country and government in a conventional way. One example of how it is becoming harder, is the difficulty in collecting corporation tax. It is increasingly challenging, and we are due to have a good debate about how we address that. 
The state has been pushed back; it has fewer levers than it had in the past. People still expect government to be the answer to many problems. I think government needs to define quite carefully which problems it chooses to be the answer to. It then needs to have a conversation much more directly than in the past about how it answers.


You’ve talked before about a number of things which make a government’s role difficult – globalisation, debt, austerity. But the UK Government also has the immense task of delivering Brexit. How can it ensure that other priorities aren’t lost?

There is no denying the Government needs to pare these priorities right back. The government will be judged on Brexit fundamentally. What it needs to do with those other priorities is to set a tone and make it clear that these are other priorities behind Brexit.

At the end of the day, delivering Brexit is an immense stretch for any British Government. Behind Brexit government needs to respond to basic competence questions, like the NHS. However, actually trying to bring through a significant agenda whether it be industrial policy or social mobility on top of Brexit is almost impossible in reality, but they can’t say it.

“I THINK GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO DEFINE QUITE CAREFULLY WHICH PROBLEMS IT CHOOSES TO BE THE ANSWER TO.”


What impact do you think the ‘fake news’ agenda has on the Government and its priorities?

This is a really interesting area. I think the internet has changed things completely. People have access to views in the media in the broader sense, and also to people who believe what they believe. The evolution of the internet offers not only a vivid alternative to mainstream news, but also the opportunity to shape one’s view of the world, even without feeling particularly political. We can live in the world that we want and not come into much contact with those we don’t like or agree with. I think people find an enormous sense of support and legitimisation through that and particularly if they are actively political, or feel that they are. Even if they are not they can choose what they want to hear and what they want to ignore. On the other hand, Britain is a smaller, more tightly knit country than the United States and I think the spaces are smaller so it is more difficult to just avoid what other people are talking about.

At the moment, I think it is an advantage, but I do believe it will become a real challenge for political parties to have a more clear and standout voice. It means that parties have almost become parallel on things when arguing with each other. They are not so much arguing against each other for rival merits which means that it becomes much harder to win something by an argument or a persuasion or by a demonstration of fact.

In the US there are many Trump supporters who simply don’t believe what the news is reporting. This is a dangerous territory and politics is not the only domain for this. Science and the science of health is also where people feel they can pick their own philosophy and plan. I feel very much that this is to be resisted.

“I AM POSITIVE ABOUT THE TECHNICAL POSSIBILITY OF BREXIT. I AM LESS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE NEGOTIATIONS GOING ON. THERE NEEDS TO BE A DEAL.”

In addressing the need to ‘do government differently’, you outlined some key techniques that could be embraced. One of these was the frank message that government needs to acknowledge the problem. Do you see any movement here? Are we getting any better at having the difficult conversations?

Actually, quite a lot better. If you take the health service and social care it seems to me that there has been a really explicit attempt by this government to say ‘we really need to talk about how this is going to be paid for’. There is a reality behind that; healthcare costs are going up about twice as fast as GDP. A government can’t tax its way to supporting the health service forever. The Conservative government under May began that conversation but voters did not like some of the choices in the manifesto.

We will run a project soon about how to make that conversation palatable to people. Not just the stage of austerity and the uncomfortable messages being given to the older democracies about things that are just not affordable anymore.

I don’t know yet if there is receptiveness to it. You just hear that there are more conversations around it. Whether it be around people paying more through inheritance tax, or those who can afford it paying more for social care, or does Alzheimer’s care come under the NHS and how would that work.

Next year is the 70th anniversary since Nye Bevan spearheaded the establishment of the NHS. That comes against a background of conversation about the health service and the need for change. How much people buy into that I am not sure.

We need an honest conversation about the NHS. I do wonder if that will just be a one-way conversation to say: ‘you are simply going to have to pay for stuff. We will protect the least well off but others will have to pay more.’ I think this conversation is certainly beginning.

“WE NEED AN HONEST CONVERSATION ABOUT THE NHS.”


In your lecture you picked three priorities of the Institute’s work to highlight – Whitehall, policy making, and Brexit. Can you give an overview of the progress being made in these three areas?

These are still the three priorities. The focus on Whitehall is very much the internal machinery of government, looking at accountability, transparency and the professionalisation of the civil service. The rules of accountability were drawn up when the Home Office had 28 people. It has clearly moved on from that and we need to look closely at how we make civil servants accountable to ministers, and how to make both of those accountable to Parliament.

Professionalisation of the civil service is increasingly important in the modern world. It may seem banal but the culture of very bright generalists is still embedded in Whitehall. The world is now very specialised and we need professional people within the civil service producing commercial contracts, in HR, finance and in the buying and delivery of digital systems, for example. If we don’t have very specialised people with modern professional skills, they are going to have commercial businesses running rings round them.

On policy making, we will be doing a lot in the coming year. We have done a lot this year on tax policy and how to make it better. We will be looking at making the Budget an annual event, and making it more public. We want to get rid of the ridiculous ‘rabbit out of a hat’ approach, where the Chancellor then spends three weeks clambering back on things he had not foreseen a reaction to. It would be beneficial to move to a point where the budget is debated in public for a year beforehand.

We are doing a big piece of work on infrastructure, and how to proceed with the projects we want and need to, and curtail the spending on ‘white elephant’ projects like Hinkley, which have vast costs attached.

And finally, but importantly, Brexit. This is our fastest paced team. We have done a lot on immigration, clearly stating that we can’t have a brand-new immigration system two years from now. It is not ready, but even so, that is an easier problem than trade.

We published a large trade and customs union paper outlining that this is the hard one.

I am positive about the technical possibility of Brexit. I am less optimistic about the negotiations going on. There needs to be a deal.




BRONWEN MADDOX - BIOGRAPHY

Bronwen Maddox is the Director of the Institute for Government, taking up this role in September 2016.

From 2010-16 Bronwen was Editor and Chief Executive of Prospect, a leading monthly current affairs magazine. Prior to that she was Chief Foreign Commentator, Foreign Editor and US Editor of The Times, supervising its award-winning coverage of September 11, 2001. She was previously at the Financial Times, where she ran award-winning investigations and wrote economics editorials.

Before becoming a journalist, she was an investment analyst in the City and a Director of Kleinwort Benson Securities, where she ran its highly-rated team analysing world media stocks.

She has a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from St John’s College, Oxford. She is a member of the Governing Council of the Ditchley Foundation which fosters transatlantic relations, and a non-executive board member of the Law Commission, the public body which recommends reform of laws in England and Wales.

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INTERVIEW WITH DR. XA STURGIS, DIRECTOR OF THE ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM

INTERVIEW WITH DR. XA STURGIS, DIRECTOR OF THE ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM

Dr. Xa Sturgis discusses what makes a university museum tick; the challenges and opportunities that it affords both the museum and the Higher Education institution it exists within; and how it can change the way education is delivered by opening doors into new worlds.




A museum operating within the Higher Education environment – what does this relationship mean for both institutions?

Part of what it means for a museum is unquestionably a sense of security within a larger organisation. However, with that comes a degree of obligation on the part of the museum that might be different from that of a national, municipal or independent museum. For a university museum the particular areas of obligation are around the focus and emphasis on research and teaching. By that, I mean specifically teaching within a Higher Education context, as all museums see themselves as educational institutions. In a university museum there is more focus on teaching to students, undergraduate and postgraduates, within their institution and beyond.

A lot of university museums were not founded or developed specifically as teaching collections. Many were purely seen as part of a broader cultural focus for the institution. Our Raphael drawings for example, which form the core of our latest exhibition, were given to Oxford in the 1840s in the hope that they would improve the morals of the university students! Increasingly however, we are now looking at our collections and thinking about how we use them in teaching the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum.

In an institution like the University of Oxford which is traditionally very text based this is a challenge, but one that we are rising to. It is an exciting challenge. We want to share how the extraordinary encounter with the many objects amongst these amazing collections can open more windows onto the past or onto ideas than any text book can. We are working hard to suggest different ways of thinking about a wide range of different subjects through these collections - helping to develop possibly more empathetic, more imaginative ways of thinking. 
Looking at the other side about what museums offer universities, they are often the first door through which many people come to a higher education institution. They are an open door to the idea of higher education and the individual university. They are very accessible and museums are astonishingly popular institutions today. They have a broad, engaged public which is of great value to Higher Education institutions.

In Oxford, the university museums are particularly significant and the Ashmolean is one of four exceptional institutions. Collectively we provide different ways into the university, reflecting its intellectual life. We are here to demonstrate how thinking can reveal the world.



How does this impact on the operation and development of the museum?

There are obvious logistical and practical issues that relate to teaching and research. We need study rooms, space to store the objects and of course qualified museum assistants who can retrieve objects and bring them to classrooms.

We are also inviting the academics and lecturers into the museum, sitting them down and supporting them in ways to teach from collections. We are trying to do this across many areas and making links with many faculties including English, migration studies, geography, history and the business school. We are trying hard to support academics and enabling them to be comfortable working with objects rather than using a purely text based approach.

Our own Egyptian curator teaches the Egyptology course he studied when he was a student at Oxford University. However, at that time he sat in the school of archaeology, right next door to the Ashmolean, looking at photocopies of objects that we had in the museum; objects that he didn’t know were next door until he began working here! There is no denying these objects reveal more than a photocopy ever can. They provide a connection to the past and to people, and a window into another world.

We recently received an extremely generous grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation which is specifically dedicated to helping us develop the ways in which we collaborate and support teaching within the university. A key part of this is the development of a new programme called Faculty fellowships, which is geared towards ensuring sustained learning opportunities. This project involves us working very closely with the IT team here to develop better and more sustainable platforms for students to have access to and revise from. Whether it be 3D scans, better imagery or other information, by making all these files available online in addition to allowing hands on teaching sessions in our study rooms will, we believe, greatly enhance the student learning and also the wider teaching experience.

Together with the other museums at the University of Oxford we are also looking to develop a collections study centre; a space where collections from across the University will be accessible for teaching and research. Plans for this centre are currently being developed and we are very lucky to have identified a site right in the heart of the University – two large basements that used to be library stacks under the lawns in front of the Museum of Natural History.

If teaching brings certain operational demands the role of the Museum as a champion of research brings others. This not only involves making our collections accessible to researchers, both physically and virtually, but also revealing the fruits of this research to as wide an audience as possible. Our exhibition programme is critical here and looking at our programme going forward the intention is that it will always, or as frequently as possible, be backed by new research carried out in the University or beyond. Our recent Raphael exhibition is great example of this. The outcome of a Leverhulme-funded research project, it explored the way in which Raphael used the drawing process as a way of thinking and revealed him as a far more experimental and adventurous artist than he is often considered.

One next exhibition - ‘Imagining the Divine: Art and the rise of the world religions – will focus on the late antique period and establishment of the iconography of all world religions. It is an enormous subject and again the subject of a major research project involving Oxford University academics and the British Museum. Oxford is arguably the leading university in the world for the study of the late antique period and it is only right that we should highlight this strength in our exhibition programme.

Exhibitions are the most vital way a museum can communicate what it is. Looking ahead I hope the exhibitions reflect the huge range of our collections but also the range of the intellectual thinking around those collections within the museum, the university and indeed beyond.

What changes, challenges or opportunities are on the horizon for the Ashmolean? How will it continue to evolve in the next 5-10 years?

Thinking again about the Higher Education sector and opportunities arising I would say that the development of academic disciplines and the way in which universities are being encouraged to think about teaching and research is a hugely exciting one for us. There is a real focus on developing an interdisciplinary approach, with a real need to escape from silos of particular well-established academic disciplines. Museums are absolutely some of the best places in which this type of thinking happens almost as a matter of course. Museums by their very nature are interdisciplinary spaces, and I think there is a huge potential for us to play a key role in the development of this kind of thinking and working as well as disseminating the fruits of this working to a wider audience.

Every museum institution will tell you there are financial challenges but again there are particular forces at play in the Higher Education sector, not least because of Brexit. It appears Brexit could hit the sector very hard in terms of research funding, but also about the potential restrictions on access for international students. There is also an impact expected on partnerships, particularly those linked to funding. This creates a challenge for university museums.

The Ashmolean is in a very privileged position of being not only a university museum, but also a great public museum. We do have a mixed funding model which makes us more robust than some, but we are looking to diversify, for example through building a strong institutional endowment fund. Until this point I think it is fair to say that university museums have been somewhat protected from funding cuts, but there is no denying there are storm clouds on the horizon and we need to be ready for this.

Finally, a major challenge, but also a much-needed change, is in the digital arena. If we are to truly be a great teaching and research museum, we must make our collections as accessible in many ways. That needs to be online as well as physically. I will admit we are coming a bit late to the party, although in sunnier moments I tell myself that this is an advantage as we can learn from others. Although we are looking closely and developing ways for mass digitisation in the end there is no escaping the time that collections’ curators need to put into the process of data entry and information checking, which is challenging in a collection of over a million objects.

“THERE IS A REAL FOCUS ON IMPROVING THE INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH. MUSEUMS ARE ABSOLUTELY ONE OF THE BEST PLACES IN WHICH THIS TYPE OF THINKING HAPPENS ALMOST AS A MATTER OF COURSE.”


What skillset or mindset is required at a senior and leadership level within the Higher Education sector at the Ashmolean? Do you consider this to be reflective of that affecting leadership in the wider museums sector?

On the whole I don’t think the skillset differs dramatically to that required of leaders in nationals or independent museums, although I do think that council run museums present rather different leadership challenges.

One of the main challenges of leading a university museum is getting to grips with the larger institution in which we operate; understanding the priorities and objectives of the University in which we sit and, as importantly (but more challengingly), understanding how and where decisions are made within this larger institution and how to influence them. Oxford is particularly, and at times proudly, complex in this regard and even after three years I still have much to learn!

Otherwise, as everywhere, the leadership challenge is about persuading people of your vision and the direction of travel. As just one example the persuading of curatorial staff to devote the necessary time and effort towards digitisation requires motivation and the ability to communicate its importance and the benefits this work will bring.


Are university museums facing similar challenges to generate more commercial revenue or streamline operations compared to others in the wider museums sector?

Yes, of course they are. Some have more of a challenge than others. Commercial revenues depend largely on visitor numbers and the institution’s buildings and surroundings, which might for example make it an attractive wedding or party venue.

Space is always a challenge because you need the space to generate the revenues. To that extent the Ashmolean is in a strong position – it has huge visitor numbers, wonderful spaces, galleries and a rooftop restaurant. Even with those assets, the challenge is always there. We cannot rely on any single source of funding, and commercial revenue always has to be an important slice of one’s revenue cake. For the Ashmolean it definitely is. We are relatively fortunate however, there are other university museums where the challenge is greater, but this does not prevent us from always looking at ways to develop our commercial opportunities further.


How do you continue to keep such a breadth of collections, like that which exists at the Ashmolean, interesting and appealing to current and future visitors?

I think we couldn’t fail to keep this collection interesting. One of the great joys of the Ashmolean is the breadth and exceptional depth of its collections. They allow us to explore all the great themes of human existence and open doors in so many different directions. The excitement of museums is in what they offer, the immediacy of connection to the past, to other individuals, to other concerns. There is no better way of opening a door onto the history of humanity than through museums and their collections.

One area we are developing and considering is in the contemporary arena. We are a universal, as well as a university, museum and so we do need to address modern and contemporary art better and more consistently and seriously than we perhaps have done. To develop this we have just appointed a modern and contemporary curator. This will allow us to shift our thinking about how we address this area, both in terms of our collections and our programming.

“WE ARE A UNIVERSAL, AS WELL AS A UNIVERSITY MUSEUM”


Are there other countries/institutions where museums exist within in an HE setting that you admire, and why?

Yes, there are obviously significant university museums in the US and Europe and it is unquestionably interesting and important to learn from them. The new Harvard Art Museum has a wonderful new and carefully considered building. It has very real strengths in the way it has thought about servicing the work it does with students – beautiful study rooms with ready access to stored collections, galleries devoted to particular taught courses and so on. Similarly, the Yale University Art Museum has developed very interesting ways in which it uses and trains its students to deliver its education programme. Conversely Harvard (and to a lesser extent Yale) very much faces the University rather than the public and I do think something is lost in not actively seeking and developing a broad and wide public. This is around their founding purpose, funding, mindset and more obviously, their geography.

Every university museum is different and the challenges they face are often around their founding purpose. Some have grown specifically from research collections, some have grown from teaching collections, still more from donations of collections with the broad aim of expanding the horizons of their students. They all have slightly different stories and this is often reflected in their individual approaches and priorities today.

The Ashmolean is the oldest surviving purpose-built public museum. Welcoming the public was one of our founding principles. We have obligations to the university of course, but our greatest value to the university is that we are, and will remain, a great public museum.

DR. XA STURGIS - BIOGRAPHY

In October 2014 Dr Alexander Sturgis became the Director of the Ashmolean Museum having had a distinguished career as the Director of the Holburne Museum, Bath, since 2005. Whilst at the Holburne Dr Sturgis oversaw a renovation of the Museum that included a £13 million extension. Prior to becoming the Director of the Holburne Museum Dr Sturgis worked at the National Gallery, London, for 15 years, in various posts including Exhibitions and Programmes Curator from 1999–2005.

Dr Sturgis is an alumnus of University College, Oxford and the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

www.ashmolean.org

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INTERVIEW WITH STEPHAN CHAMBERS DIRECTOR MARSHALL INSTITUTE, LSE

INTERVIEW WITH STEPHAN CHAMBERS DIRECTOR MARSHALL INSTITUTE, LSE

Stephan Chambers talks about the founding principles of the Marshall Institute at LSE, why there is a need for greater channelling of private resources and philanthropic activity to deliver more public benefits, and the role of universities in taking this forward. 

Could you please tell us more about the origins of the Marshall Institute and why and how it began at LSE?

Our two founders, Paul Marshall and Tom Hughes-Hallett, really developed the idea about three years ago. Each had a slightly different perspective on the same set of questions. Both were interested in how we improve the state of the world using private resources – that is time, ideas and money, and private-sector techniques.

Paul was particularly interested in the role of entrepreneurs and what might be classed as ‘venture based’ philanthropic activity and Tom was particularly interested in the role of philanthropy - how foundations, individuals and charities make a difference in the world. Both were struck by how little understood this area is and how peripheral it is to the mainstream research agendas at major universities.

The questioning and considerations which led to the establishment of the Marshall Institute included: ‘What would happen if we thought a bit harder about market failures and state failures? What would happen if we tilted the way we teach really clever people to engage with the world? How would this benefit society if we tilted this teaching and thinking more in favour of creating, measuring and sustaining social purpose as well as financial return?’

They approached LSE, as they considered it to be the world’s best social science institution, with these thoughts and founding questions. The LSE responded with ‘Yes, great! We like that.’ The result was the Marshall Institute.

“IT IS AN EXTRAORDINARY PRIVILEGE TO BE GIVEN A PLATFORM BY AN INSTITUTION LIKE THE LSE AND A DONOR LIKE PAUL MARSHALL TO ESTABLISH THIS INSTITUTE.”


As the inaugural Director can you outline some of your goals, aims and hopes that you have within this role, and more widely for the Institute?

I want the Institute to be the leading group in the world thinking about, teaching about and convening around private investments for public benefit. By private I mean non-state funded, and by public benefit I mean measurable, sustainable return for the world in the form of equity, justice, eradication of poverty, disease, and ultimately improvement in the quality of life for all.

It is an extraordinary privilege to be given a platform by an institution like the LSE and a donor like Paul Marshall to establish this Institute. Being able to bring together groups of very clever people to think really hard about some of the world’s toughest problems and to help advance some of these questions and, eventually, the answers, is a challenge I am delighted to take on.

It is a privilege given to very few people, and this is the second time in my life that I have attempted to do something a bit like this. Most people don’t even get one run at it, so I consider myself to be enormously fortunate to do work at the LSE that builds on work which I carried out at Oxford over the last 20 years.

“WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE TILTED THE WAY WE TEACH REALLY CLEVER PEOPLE TO ENGAGE WITH THE WORLD?”

Can you outline why you believe that philanthropy and social entrepreneurship are such important areas of focus for academic study. Can you provide examples of how the Institute’s work could impact in the UK and beyond?

We live in a world where the state and markets are both manifestly failing. The two big bets for the developed world have proved themselves inadequate to many of the challenges of globalisation and global justice.

The Institute’s core theme ‘private action for public benefit’ reflects the thinking that markets are about capital, risk and innovation for private benefit, and states are about mobilising public resources for public benefit. The question of what private resources for public benefit would look like becomes extremely interesting if you start from the premise that there is market failure and state failure and we need to think differently about how we address this.

Quite honestly, there has to be some way for rejigging the relationship between those two things. We believe this can be done by taking the very best of market thinking, incentives, competition and innovation, and harnessing them to some of the biggest questions we need to answer.

I think if you try to define philanthropy and social entrepreneurship as the allocation of people, ideas and capital at risk and how we can work through that to solve social problems then we have a fairly crucial set of questions that we are asking.


Do you believe that the connection between business and commerce and the Higher Education sector is intrinsic? Have they become more important to each other in recent history, and if so, do you believe this will continue?

I think there are two or three areas to highlight here. One is that universities are attempting to diversify their funding resources so they are more interested in the commercialisation of work that goes on internally within their institutions.

However, the real answer to this question is that the most important threats we currently face are incredibly complicated. They either involve very, very complex levels of technology; engineering; or health innovations; or they are so over-determined as to be not understandable or solvable by single agencies. This does mean that universities are now most definitely places where smart people thinking, researching and teaching in and between disciplines on the hardest topics have become indispensable to acting in the world.

It is impossible to imagine modern financial services without modern finance theory. It is impossible to imagine modern manufacturing without modern engineering. It is impossible to understand modern medicine without the research base which sits underneath it. Ultimately, universities have moved from being places where research is relatively discrete to places where research matters for the state of the world and that has happened very fast.
The Institute has three specific areas of focus – Research, Teaching and Convening. Can you explain a bit about why each of these is important? Is one more important than the others?

One is not more important than the others. You can’t teach without an underlying base of research, as you would not be honouring your students teaching them something which is baseless. You can’t do meaningful research about the world without being in the world.

So, our position is very straightforward. There is a necessary and very virtuous circle between research where people investigate the causes of things, practice or convening together where the causes of things are manifest, and teaching where the results of that interaction between the world and research get crystallised into evidence.

Can you tell us more about the key programmes that have been launched by the Institute, including what and why they are focusing on certain areas?

We believe very strongly that the second half of the 20th century was dominated by the need to produce people who could run large complex international organisations with complicated balance sheets. We believe that the needs of the 21st century are radically different.

We need to produce generations of people who are comfortable with globalisation, across cultures with technology and, in particular, with the question of social return on investment as well as financial return on investment. We are committed to building a graduate programme that will educate the leaders of the future addressing those complex sets of questions. 
We are trying to create a revolution in higher education to deliver this. Very specifically we will launch an executive masters programme in autumn 2018 which is aimed at inspiring and educating mid-career professionals to understand and demonstrate leadership roles in those circumstances.

“WE ARE TRYING TO CREATE A REVOLUTION IN HIGHER EDUCATION TO DELIVER THIS.”



What other countries or institutions are we able to learn more from in the field of social philanthropy and entrepreneurship?

There are distinguished institutions looking at the area of social entrepreneurship and thinking hard about philanthropy. I would make special mention of the work done at Stanford in philanthropy or the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford as inspiring examples of people thinking hard about these questions already.

We have spent too long operating in a system which believes the ‘centre’ knows all the answers, and the customer or the beneficiary does not. Wisdom in these things is normally distributed and certainly doesn’t exist only at the centre.

In society we are seemingly committed to a kind of institutional modesty that says that the answer is almost always better internalised by the people who are dealing with the problem than the people who sit away from the problem.

Anyone or anything that claims to be the only source of the answers can be guaranteed not to have the answers. Collaboration, communication and exploring of solutions through partnership is our founding philosophy.

“QUESTIONS OF PURPOSE, JUSTICE, ALTRUISM, COMMON HUMANITY AND THREAT ARE NOW PROFOUNDLY EMBEDDED IN MOST PEOPLE’S THINKING.”

Are there sectors or particular industries which you and the Institute are looking to for inspiration and opportunities to collaborate with?

It remains to be seen whether we have vertical concentrations, for example in professional services, public health or education. However, it is clearly the case that we will have expertise in generic positions.

We are very interested in risk capital for public benefit and the world of social investment. We are very interested in the shape, direction, practice and governance of large organised philanthropic capital. We are focused on the governance question of public benefit returns and the reporting around double and triple bottom lines. We are also very interested in the philosophical and political economic questions about whether hybrid structures (mutual being a good example) that sit somewhere between a straight market and state solutions work better.

While we are less interested across verticals there may be some sectors with exceptions, for example around data and the use of private data for public benefit.


And finally, you have talked about the changing motivations of executives in leadership positions. Do you think there is a greater influence in this area around the question and meaning of leadership and its relationship with social purpose?

If I had been talking to you 20 years ago, money, status and good opinion of one’s peers would have been the most likely driving factors in the desire and success of leadership. However, today I would predict that close to 100 % of those at senior level would include priorities such as the state of the world, the need for meaning in their own private lives, and something more closely aligned to a philosophical justification for their activities.

What is happening at the Marshall Institute is just one indication that these questions of purpose, justice, altruism, common humanity and threat are now profoundly embedded in most people’s thinking.



STEPHEN CHAMBERS - BIOGRAPHY

Stephan Chambers is the inaugural director of the Marshall Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was previously Chair of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, a co-founder of the Skoll World Forum, Director of International Strategy at Saїd Business School, and Senior Research Fellow at Lincoln College Oxford. He sits on the advisory board of Princeton University Press and is a director of the Britdoc Foundation, the Dartington Trust, the University of the People, and the Dragon School. He writes a regular column on entrepreneurship for the Financial Times. In 2014 he was special advisor to Larry Brilliant and Jeff Skoll at the Skoll Global Threats Fund in California.

He teaches entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, venture capital, and entrepreneurial finance. From 2000 to 2014 he directed Oxford’s MBA, overseeing its rise in international influence and rankings. In addition he was the founding director of Oxford’s Executive MBA and helped to found Oxford’s Man Institute for Quantitative Finance. He also established the University’s advisory board for the National Audit Office and currently serves as a reviewer of NAO reports. He chaired the inaugural ‘Shaping Davos’ panel (on public-private partnerships) at the World Economic Forum in January 2015 and initiated the Global Shapers Oxford collaboration.

Stephan served as Chairman and as an independent director of IWA Publishing from November 2006 to September 2013. From 1985 to 2000 he worked at Blackwell Publishing as, variously, the firm’s philosophy editor, humanities and social sciences publisher, and editorial director. He served on the firm’s board until 2000 and was chief executive of its US operation from 1992 to 1995.


INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTINE RYAN, FORMER CHIEF INSPECTOR, INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS’ INSPECTORATE

INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTINE RYAN, FORMER CHIEF INSPECTOR, INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS’ INSPECTORATE

Christine Ryan who, until April 2017, was the Chief Inspector and CEO of the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), the largest independent inspectorate in the UK and the agency responsible for the inspection of more than 1250 independent primary and secondary schools, educating more than half a million children. We talk to Christine in depth about her time at the ISI and how she believes the sector has, will and must evolve.



Is the UK independent schools’ sector becoming too focused on regulation and compliance and too little on learning and developing young people?
I don’t believe that schools are becoming too focused on regulation and compliance. What has been happening in the past decade or so, is a more conscious engagement with the subject, but this has most definitely not replaced or reduced a focus on teaching and the development of young people.

For some schools within the independent sector, and for that matter some maintained or state schools, a greater focus on regulation and compliance meant a more considerable shift in thinking and approach than for others.

These days it is very much part of the school fabric with all processes and protocols in place. It really is now one cog (an important one of course) within the larger school machine. For the majority of schools, regulation has become part of the general housekeeping and is one element of the approach towards the overall goal of educating and developing children.

Nobody would deny that safeguarding pupils and teachers is paramount. Which areas of compliance do you believe are the most effective to achieve a safe learning environment?
This is a much broader topic than it might first appear. Traditional safeguarding, as we might have called it, has developed so much, particularly in the world of increased digital access. The more ‘typical’ bullying and social exclusion now exists alongside issues such as sexting or cyber bullying, for example.

With any type of safeguarding it really does depend on the school’s starting point and what the overall approach is from each organisation. I do believe, as a fundamental starting point, that regulation is the critical first step in raising awareness to the most effective ways of safeguarding pupils.

The most successful examples are where it is applied on a risk-assessed basis. Defining a fixed set of guidelines, which is great for getting people and organisations up to a minimum level, doesn’t take into account the complexity of certain schools and so makes the flexible risk-based approach even more important.

Safeguarding checks on staff and volunteers are an absolute must, alongside a suite of policies and processes in each school. However, it is how this regulation is applied that can be key. There is not really a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Each school is different. What might work best in a day school in an urban area, may be less effective in a boarding school in a remote location.

I would however stress, that too heavy a reliance on regulation alone can create too much of a reassurance or illusion that nothing can go wrong. Compliance with a regulation is only as good as the moment it is looked at. What we need to remember is that we are all dealing with human beings, who cannot be completely regulated or guaranteed compliant all of the time.

The best protection of all is an active approach to compliance issues. Assessing risk according to context and circumstance and maintaining high levels of awareness from staff, pupils and parents is the optimum way to ensure safeguarding.

“TOO HEAVY A RELIANCE ON REGULATION ALONE CAN CREATE TOO MUCH OF A REASSURANCE OR ILLUSION THAT NOTHING CAN GO WRONG.”

Will there be greater responsibility placed on senior leadership in the future to ensure that governance is appropriately managed and delivered within schools?
I think so. I think it has always been there but not always been front and centre, but the world has moved on. People do expect compliance with law and regulation in all walks of life.

It is, as ever, with the leaders where the buck stops. Implementation of good governance arrangements is happening right across the sector. School leaders are doing what is required of them, not just in policy, but in practice. They absolutely recognise the importance of good governance within their schools and most have put the right systems and processes in place to ensure this and keep a keen oversight in this area.

Do we need to be thinking more creatively about the candidate pool for governors, trustees or senior leadership as the reality of greater challenges and expectations for the role increases?
I definitely believe we need to think more creatively. I know from my interaction with governors over the years that they were much less aware of what was required of them within regulation and compliance. It might not always have been so obvious the level of responsibility and authority that they held. This was an historical issue and a reflection of the fact that the pivotal role of governance hasn’t always been as prominent as it is now.

Traditionally the perceived view was that governors were primarily guardians of finances and resources. The commitment to education, regulation and compliance was often seen as the responsibility of the staff in the school. This was even the view despite the fact that most regulation names trustees and governors as proprietors, and therefore responsible, for the schools.

However, this outlook is shifting considerably. There is much greater awareness of the role than there was in the past. There is also more responsibility in terms of regulation as this area has increased over the years.

Schools are definitely thinking more about those being approached for governor roles. They are looking for a range of expertise, modern skills and an understanding of commercial business practice in many cases. However, what they also need are those who can commit time to the role. New demands on governors can create challenges for the candidate pool. This is an issue which can be magnified even more for schools based in remote or challenged areas where the number of candidates may be small.

I believe that quite simply the governor role is not sold positively enough. It brings huge benefits to individuals as well as schools; the chance to develop children and young people, enhance a local community or area, not to mention the business skills being learned through committee or board experience. Some companies across the UK are starting to directly encourage staff to get involved as governors or trustees in schools as they see the benefits it brings to their businesses. This is also encouraging a greater mix of younger and older representation on governing bodies which I believe works very well.

‘I BELIEVE QUITE SIMPLY THE ROLE OF GOVERNOR IS NOT SOLD POSITIVELY ENOUGH’

What will the new inspection framework mean for the independent sector? How will this benefit pupils, parents and teaching staff? What challenges does it face?
For me, the new framework represents an essential shift. It is the product of extensive consultation, bringing objective inspection squarely into the 21st century.

Since 2000 there has not been a considerable review of the system, and in that time the world has changed radically, and particularly for schools, young people and their parents. With easy access to data and constant communication on an unprecedented scale, it was absolutely necessary to review inspection. We have also gone from having a handful of regulations to over 400 areas of compliance, shifting the balance of inspection activity, so inspections these days are very different from what they were.

Schools in general, but particularly in the independent sector, have a much more mature and sophisticated approach to compliance than they had when routine inspection was first introduced. It was therefore important with the framework that we didn’t just tinker around the edges and paid heed to this change.

We have refocused our thinking to look more squarely at the outcomes for the child. Fundamentally that is what we are all interested in. We have not hugely changed our techniques, but the focus is much more on the impact of the various aspects of school life on the outcomes for their pupils. Providing the evidence to help schools to actively address development areas and build on strengths.

There was a need to highlight that compliance was now part of the housekeeping. Parents, teachers and governing bodies need to be confident and comfortable that housekeeping is being taken care of. It needs to be as simple as ‘yes, you comply’ or ‘no, you don’t’. There isn’t a need for a quality scale for this, it needs to be upfront and explicit. Either you have a licence to operate or you do not.

Beyond the compliance element, there is a much greater focus on areas of school life and how schools are delivering in these areas. This is what parents concentrate on more strongly. The hard data of performance and achievement as well as the softer data on personal development demonstrates how pupils are getting a broad and balanced education.

Educational quality is the key element of the framework. Remembering that the fundamentals of what goes on in schools has not changed so much, it is more about how we evaluate the different aspects of what schools do. We have taken a step back to look at how each of the aspects contributes to the overall outcomes for the pupils.

Within educational quality there are two key areas – achievement and personal development. Achievement is measured in exam and test results; music, sport, and other skills for example. Personal development is much more about how individuals are being educated to make them good members of society, building confidence, able and equipped to progress in life to their areas of interest, and maximise their potential in wider society, making a positive and productive impact to enhance the quality of their lives.

One of the keys to success in the independent sector is that its institutions do not necessarily follow the same methods and structures which are applied in the maintained sector. They are able to have the freedom to teach in the way that works specifically for their students.

We believe that this new framework will recognise this individuality and provide a different, characteristic and tangible picture of each school.

Are secondary and higher education environments working as well together as they could be to support young people as they transition through? Should this be made a priority under the Higher Education and Research bill?
I do think realistically this is less of an issue in the independent sector. However, it does require broader thinking about what the Higher Education sector looks like today. Many pupils, more so even than parents and sometimes teachers, have a greater awareness of alternatives open to them, which might make them think twice about going straight to university from school.

The business sector is spending more money on interacting with 18 year olds than at any point in recent history. The desire for graduates is not the sole focus any more.

Pupils are leading the way here. They are very savvy. Schools and the Higher Education sector need to be much more alive to this issue. It does present great opportunities across many sectors, but also challenges the thinking of secondary and higher education institutions to consider what good really looks like and what young people’s expectations of quality are.

Should there be greater interaction between the Independent and State school networks in the UK? If yes, what in your view are the best ways to do this?
In all honesty, I am not sure that anybody really knows what the level of interaction actually is. There is not enough reliable evidence or analysis to know whether there is enough, or whatever enough might be. In many areas schools work together as part of the wider community (independent and maintained schools together). Many voluntary initiatives are underway, with clear signs of benefits to those involved, but as in all communities and organisations, some are more isolationist and less willing to participate together than others.

It is an area that requires careful thought, and a need to tread lightly. It absolutely should not be done without real and proper evidence that regulated intervention is needed and a clear outline of what it wants to achieve.

Are there other countries whose education systems you admire, and why? Should we be borrowing ideas from others, or do we offer a preferable model in how we deliver education?
I have looked at many education systems not just over time, but across the globe. I would say we should always be alert to ideas, no matter where they are coming from. I have had cause to rethink things at times based on what I have seen going on in other countries.

However, what is very clear to me is that you have to be extremely mindful about cultural context, and that includes of course historical background for how and where each country is in its development and expectations of universal education. I have seen some big errors where certain countries have adopted external models that have been seen to work successfully without sufficient consideration of the different environment. It can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort. My thoughts are that we should always look outside of our own boundaries, be mindful of cultural context, do a clear, evidence-based evaluation and be sure about the criticalities of success.

What are the two biggest challenges for the schools’ sector as it moves forward in the next 5-10 years? What are the two biggest opportunities or positive changes set to take place in the next 5-10 years?
To me the challenges and opportunities are not separate; they are two sides of the same coin. What really stands out for me is technological change. This will mean increased globalisation of the currency of education, knowledge in other words. Whilst this is not new, it is the scale of what is available and the ability to access it quickly that is most significant.

Knowledge, whether we like it or not, is now commoditised on the internet. That is the basic currency of schools and educational establishments. We are already seeing the introduction of virtual schools, and I am in the process of designing an inspection model for this type of organisation. That is a phenomenon which is minute at the moment, but is likely to become much more of a feature. Even if not in the UK yet, certainly in other countries.

Technological change and the multi-faceted way it will impact on schools and on education policy brings huge opportunities, but it also brings real challenges. Obvious ones are data protection and preserving intellectual property. The policy and practice of the best schools will be available and visible to anyone who wants it. This will mean that the boundaries between what distinguishes the best schools in UK, for example, will become increasingly blurred as time goes on. Therefore, the pressure on educational policy and the speed at which it changes is going to be something that needs careful thought by our own government and others. The speed of development requires mechanisms of government and educational institutions to keep up.

Governments will need to ensure decision making processes are able to cope with that. Approaches that assume certain types of structures or organisational arrangements, need to be reviewed. In a rapidly changing world, policy making can appear too slow and relate to some elements that may just not apply going forwards.

Virtual reality, for example, is already used effectively in specialist professional training and is going to become a much more obvious feature in everyday life. That presents its own learning challenges and opportunities that the best schools are going to want to embrace.

We will also need to respond to a growing pressure for the role of education and schools in stimulating and supporting social mobility. This is not just a UK phenomenon, but the UK will feel it internally from its own pressures, and externally from the globalisation of education.

By social mobility I am not just talking about the ‘recognised groups’ but also whichever section of the population is disenfranchised from the opportunities presented by education. It can occur for lots of reasons – it can be social; lack of infrastructure; lack of access to good quality education; or for cultural reasons. That whole issue, because of increased internet communication is increasingly difficult both to hide and to control. Pressure will build exponentially in my view. If we are being honest, there has been very little significant improvement in educational outcomes and life opportunities for certain parts of our own population in more than 40 years.

So, I think there will be, quite rightly, building pressure to tackle this effectively and bring about change. Education is only one part of the solution – it can’t take responsibility for the whole issue but it is an important and integral part of improving life chances for those with the least promising start.

“KNOWLEDGE WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT IS NOW COMMODITISED ON THE INTERNET. THAT IS THE BASIC CURRENCY OF SCHOOLS AND EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENTS.”

As you come to the end of 11 years as Chief Inspector with the ISI, what do you believe are the biggest changes that have taken place in the schools’ sector, and more specifically in the role of the inspectorate during your tenure?
Well, I certainly think one of the overriding shifts has been in the awareness of schools of the whole safeguarding agenda and their part and responsibility within this. This has been a national wake up and was very, very apparent to the ISI.

Coupled with that was the need for change in the way schools are governed. This is not complete yet by any measure in the maintained or independent sectors, but governance is now being increasingly recognised as an active process. Leadership is not just about one person, there is a corporate responsibility for delivery in schools. They are not just for education in a narrow academic sense, but also for the welfare and care of children in their charge. Schools are much more alert to this than a decade ago.

Sitting alongside that is the role of the inspectorate. Both Ofsted and ISI have seen our roles and expectations morph considerably in that time. We are not just agents for evaluating and stimulating through challenge on educational improvement, but also very much involved in the care and welfare agenda.

ISI has developed a stronger relationship with the Department for Education, government ministers and regulators and there is a clearer recognition of the contribution to the overall intelligence and evaluation of the independent sector and the contributions it can make across the broad educational agenda. Independent education is still an integral part of Education UK and this is more widely acknowledged today.

Importantly the exchange of ideas between the maintained and independent sector has strengthened quite significantly over the past decade; including in the way teachers move freely between both sectors, which can only be good thing.

My overriding experience in all that time is that it is very rare to find people working in schools whose intention is anything but the best interests of the children. That is why people go into this line of work. Even when things go wrong it is usually not for want of trying. Intentions are good, by and large. Schools are extremely responsive to the opportunity to learn and improve.

“GOVERNANCE IS NOW BEING INCREASINGLY RECOGNISED AS AN ACTIVE PROCESS”

What are the key things that you will take away from this role?
Ultimately, I have seen that systemic change is much harder for governments to orchestrate than it might appear from the outside – I have definitely learned that! You need courage to challenge the orthodox view and there are so many genuine stakeholders or interests, often competing with one another, that getting real and meaningful change is not as easy as it might appear. That is why being prepared to think imaginatively and creatively, and with a sense of urgency, is so important.

What I believe passionately is that evidence-based and informed decision making, as opposed to opinion-based decision making is critical. As a scientist I have very much appreciated my own training in that.

ABOUT CHRISTINE RYAN

Christine Ryan, until April 2017, was the Chief Inspector and CEO of the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), the largest independent inspectorate in the UK and the agency responsible for the inspection of more than 1250 independent primary and secondary schools, educating more than half a million children. ISI also inspects over 450 private further education colleges and English language schools on behalf of the Home Office and provides inspection and support services in many countries worldwide, including those seeking approval under the Department for Education scheme for British Schools Overseas.

A scientist, Christine is an accomplished teacher, inspector and inspector trainer both in the maintained and independent sectors. She has extensive experience with a range of education, commercial and media organisations in the UK and overseas. An experienced leader at board level, with a particular focus on strategy and policy, Christine is Chair of the national education charity TalentEd and is a Board Member for Ofqual, the government regulator for qualifications and examinations in England. She contributes to a number of scientific and educational publications, and has worked as science and education adviser for a variety of successful television series, including the winner of the Japan Prize for Educational Excellence.


Panorama named a top 'Global 25' executive search firm by Hunt Scanlon Media

Panorama named a top 'Global 25' executive search firm by Hunt Scanlon Media

Panorama, the global partnership of executive search firms, is proud to be named in Hunt Scanlon Media’s Global Top 25. Saxton Bampfylde is a founding member of the 15-member strong partnership, established in 2009.

Hunt Scanlon Media is one of the most respected reference sources for the executive search industry and has been defining the senior talent management sector for over 25 years. Every year Hunt Scanlon presents its annual roundup of leading executive search firms. 

Craig Buffkin, Chairman of Panorama and Founder of US firm Buffkin/Baker commented: “We are delighted to be recognised as one of the top global executive search firms in Hunt Scanlon Media’s ‘Global 25’. The partnership has grown from strength to strength since establishment in 2009. We have a wealth of highly talented and engaged partners who share a common commitment to excellence and shared values and this has played an important part in our success.

“Through our collaboration and combined global networks, we are proud to offer direct access to the most senior executive teams at our fingertips. We look forward to continuing to help our clients identify world-class talent and leadership and add real value to their organisations.” 

About Panorama

Operating across the world's major time zones, Panorama is an international group of 15 independent firms who are leading players in their respective markets. While representing a diverse range of local markets and areas of expertise, Panorama members share a strategic commitment to excellence along with similar values and ethics. Through its global reach, Panorama offers clients an ever-expanding global executive search force with a wide variety of sector expertise.  


INTERVIEW WITH LYNDA THOMAS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF MACMILLAN CANCER SUPPORT

INTERVIEW WITH LYNDA THOMAS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF MACMILLAN CANCER SUPPORT

Lynda Thomas talks about how the social impact sector is moving forward and why working together is the most important goal for the future.

Charities are increasingly helping to shape or influence public service and health and social care policy, particularly through organisations such as the Richmond Group, a coalition of 14 health and social care organisations in the voluntary sector. What impacts is this having? Are charities supported enough to undertake this additional activity?
It’s vital that charities, no matter whether large or small, have the ability, expertise and commitment to undertake influencer engagement. Working with key influencers allows charities to transition beyond helping one beneficiary at a time to effecting massive, long-term and sustainable change for a much wider group of existing or potential beneficiaries. In my mind, Macmillan Cancer Support has a key role to play in this area.

I feel passionately about working in coalition. The power of a collective voice, through that of organisations such as the Richmond Group, is an effective route to talk to government and policy makers about end-of-life care and other health issues.

Increasingly, we see Macmillan beneficiaries living with a whole range of other health issues such as heart disease, diabetes or dementia. In the UK today, there are hundreds of charities supporting the 15 million people who are living with long-term conditions. Working together means that there are not 15 or more organisations approaching policy makers or health officials separately. Working together makes it smoother and easier for the person you are trying to influence as it means we are influencing with one voice. A lot of the issues which affect our beneficiaries also affect those of other charities, so by working together to influence, inform and share we are achieving more. However, for coalitions like the Richmond Group to work, it’s vital that each member leaves its organisational badge at the door and goes in on behalf of the sector.

We recognise we’re a larger charity, and sometimes this can open doors for smaller charities to policy makers when working together. However, we are also learning from others who are smaller but do the influencer work incredibly well. Rethink Mental Illness, which is part of the Richmond Group, is a great example of this.

“FOR COALITIONS LIKE THE RICHMOND GROUP TO WORK IT’S VITAL THAT EACH MEMBER LEAVES ITS ORGANISATIONAL BADGE AT THE DOOR AND GOES IN ON BEHALF OF THE SECTOR.”

Does your approach differ across the devolved nations? 
At Macmillan we absolutely understand the importance of approaching each political and health administration accordingly. However, our influencing work typically focusses on our key issues and this ensures a consistent and clear message across the nations.

When I joined Macmillan, our spotlight was on Westminster, but so much has changed since then. We recognise that the governments and populations across the UK are very different so we have dedicated teams in each devolved country.

In Scotland, for example, health and social care are joined up and we can learn a lot from that. In Northern Ireland, with a population of 1.9 million, we often see some of our most innovative programmes take place. It is an ideal pilot ground as we can achieve scale and deliver impact for every person in the country. The challenge then is how to bring it back to other devolved countries.

In my experience, it has become clear that England has a problem accepting learnings and examples from other devolved nations. It is often the case that we are asked for international examples rather than those undertaken at a national or neighbouring country, which is a big mistake.

England has the biggest population in the UK. That makes it much, much harder than anywhere else to deliver change and improve service so that is where a lot of the problems are at this moment.

As part of the sustainability and transformation plans for NHS England, we are moving to smaller devolved areas in terms of healthcare. I believe now is the time to be focusing on the other countries in the UK and what we can learn from them.

Regulation continues to be introduced in the charity sector. Does this create more challenges, or are there opportunities to be found? How is this shaping the charitable landscape? 
Overall, we welcome the regulation and the greater level of scrutiny which has taken place over the past two years, particularly in the fundraising space.

At Macmillan, we have taken a long hard look at our fundraising practices and streamlined them to be clearly in line with donor choice so that they have an optimal experience with us.

We have a brilliant fundraising portfolio and I do believe that we are ethical. However, what the increased regulation has given us is the mandate to have honest conversations between the Board, the executive and fundraising teams, asking ‘what are we really about?’ We have personally spoken to 3,000 donors to get feedback on how they see us and our practices. We are committed to developing long term relationships with donors, and this is enforced through our fundraising promise.

We do have a good relationship with the Charity Commission. We have worked hard to make it reciprocal, bringing the team in to our organisation to see what a fundraising practice in a large charity really looks like. In turn, they have helped our people understand more about regulation. This has been a very positive experience across Macmillan.

The regulation has brought about a positive impact to the executive team, making us work closer together and be very clear about what we are doing, how we are fundraising and where the money is going. It has also enhanced the relationship with the Board, bringing the operational and governance functions closer together. The Board cannot run the charity, but its members now have a much better understanding of how we raise money and how we operate, and will also be much more involved in key decisions about how we fundraise into the future.

Regulation is here; we can’t and shouldn’t fight it. We do, and will, work with the regulator and make sure that we do all we can to be open. We are in a much better place than we were two years ago. That can only be a good thing.

Do regulation challenges make it harder to bring in new appointments, trustees and boards?
They have definitely put trustees and chairs of charities in a slightly different space, but it hasn’t impacted the level of interest in the roles. Well, certainly not with Macmillan Cancer Support.

With more responsibility and a potential for these roles to be much more public or media facing, we do need to be much more explicit about the job description. We do need to discuss clearly any challenges or reputational issues facing each organisation. This is quite a change, certainly from five years ago.

The benefits that can be achieved from supportive Chairs and trustees is invaluable. Our chair, Julia Palca, has been hugely positive and open in her support, and this has enhanced our overall approach and integration of regulation considerably.

“INCREASED REGULATION HAS GIVEN US THE MANDATE TO HAVE HONEST CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN THE BOARD, THE EXECUTIVE AND FUNDRAISING TEAMS, ASKING ‘WHAT ARE WE REALLY ABOUT?’”

How has scandal and media speculation affected the charitable sector? What changes has this brought about at an operational, fundraising and cultural level and how do you move on from this?
This has not been a positive experience for the sector. It really upsets me that the public do not trust charities the way it used to, as overall the sector has such a positive and tangible bearing on people’s lives. However, I can only really address the impacts and effects it has had from Macmillan’s perspective.

It was a shock at first and it took us a while to come to terms with the fact that people had started asking questions and doubting some of what we were doing. We took a decision early on that public perception and trust in Macmillan were key to us. With 99 percent of Macmillan’s income coming from the British public, we really can’t exist without that trust. We have worked hard to start regaining it, and are very clear that long-term trust is more important than short-term fundraising.

We needed to make sure that we were not seen as defensive and that we were taking on board what people were saying. Equally, we cannot be seen to be saying ‘we don’t need to fundraise’ anymore as clearly that is not true. We continuously need to think about how we ask. The reality is that people don’t just give, so we do still need to ask.

At an operational level, we have analysed the long-term values and risks of every single one of our fundraising channels and products. We have established a new executive committee for fundraising and marketing whose sole job is to look at this issue and review on a regular basis. We are working hard to give trustees and donors the confidence that we are behaving the way we should. This emphasises that we have carried out the due diligence. It feels good. It feels like the right thing to have done.

From a cultural point of view, we have moved to a place where we are certain that we are putting our donors and beneficiaries first, and this simply must be the way we operate. Macmillan staff are passionate about supporting beneficiaries so we’ve all had to look at what the impact has been on beneficiaries when we get it wrong. It has been quite a journey internally but one that we were all committed to.

The reality of our fundraising is that it is a closely-connected cycle as for every £4 we spend £3 has come from someone who has had a Macmillan service. Putting the needs of beneficiaries and donors at the heart of what we do has been vital and has enabled us to continue to fundraise successfully. This is maybe easier for healthcare charities, as people have greater affiliation or correlation with fundraising and the services being delivered.

If I ask myself ‘do I worry about fundraising?’ my response is always this: ‘What I really worry about is services. Provided we have excellence in services, our fundraising will come.’

How have you seen Macmillan change since you have been involved with the charity and now in your role as CEO?
There has been a seismic change in the organisation since I started 16 years ago. Back then it was a sleepy, slightly apologetic organisation, which did excellent things, but didn’t talk about them very much. We certainly didn’t ask people for money in a systemic way, nor did we have a consistent approach towards campaigns or influencer activity.

I started as part of the media team and with my job share, Hilary Cross, we set up the campaigning team and then went on to establish a fundraising team. I certainly don’t want to discredit anyone who was here all those years ago, it was just more the way it was across the sector.

Today, a career in an organisation like Macmillan is professional from the word go as the sector is becoming unbelievably professionalised. Fundraising is a great example of this. Previously this was done on a bit of a wing and prayer; now this is a great career to get into.

I think we have moved from a world where we hoped and thought that we did great things to one in which we have to constantly prove we do great things with tangible benefits for people affected by cancer.

Obviously, we are now a much larger organisation and that brings opportunities and challenges. We have perhaps diversified to the point that we need to think about a refocus. In the charity sector we have a tendency to say yes, but we are getting to a point where we need to focus on the things that we must do and consider those things that maybe we aren’t able to do.

“TODAY, A CAREER IN AN ORGANISATION LIKE MACMILLAN IS PROFESSIONAL FROM THE WORD GO AS THE SECTOR IS BECOMING UNBELIEVABLY PROFESSIONALISED”

What is next for Macmillan Cancer Support?
Ultimately it is establishing how we can be the organisation that really makes a fundamental difference to people affected by cancer.

There is not enough money in health at a time when the number of people affected by cancer is increasing. We are working in a very cash-constrained market and this will get harder. If we were a supermarket we would be saying ‘the doors are going to open and the customers are about to flood in’.

We really need to think about innovation in the Third Sector. We need to focus harder than ever on how we work collaboratively with other charities and the health service. Most people who have cancer in this country will have two, three, four, sometimes five other long-term conditions. The more we can work together to offer joint services, the better we can be for patients.

Service innovation and fundraising are key. We have to put aside our individual views and think about the bigger picture. An example of how we are working together to innovate is in our new graduate programme with the British Heart Foundation. We are in the second year of this programme which we hope will equip new graduates with a range of skills across both organisations. It means we have achieved a successful pilot project between our two organisations. Why wouldn’t we want to do that?

At the core of it all we need to make sure that what we are doing matters. I always feel like I am the custodian of my donor’s money. We owe it to them to ensure that we are using it in the best way in all we do.

ABOUT LYNDA THOMAS

Lynda was appointed Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support in March 2015. She joined the organisation 16 years ago as joint Head of Media and has played a significant role in transforming Macmillan into one of the UK’s most trusted charities. During her first ten years in the organisation, she was promoted to Board level as joint Director of External Affairs and helped develop the campaigning arm, as well as launching and maintaining the multi award-winning brand. In 2011, Lynda became Director of Fundraising, overseeing the launch of successful new fundraising products and a significant growth in income. In 2014 she was named Fundraising Magazine’s second most influential fundraiser in the UK.

Lynda started out her career in communications over 20 years ago, spending the first eight in consumer PR. She then moved to the Third Sector where she took on a voluntary role at NCH Action for Children that led to a job in the PR and Marketing team. After two years, she moved to the NSPCC as Media Manager, during which time she was part of the Full Stop Campaign launch, before joining Macmillan.


New Partner News - Mary Few joins Edinburgh Office as Partner

New Partner News - Mary Few joins Edinburgh Office as Partner

Global executive search and leadership advisory firm Saxton Bampfylde is delighted to announce the appointment of Mary Few as Partner.

Mary joined the Edinburgh team of the employee-owned business in April.

Originally from Aberdeenshire, Mary has recently returned from three years in Burma, where she set up and ran the operations for West Indochina, a leading search business in Myanmar. Prior to that Mary worked for a City executive search firm, specialising in insurance search.

Peta Hay, Managing Director for Saxton Bampfylde in Scotland commented: “We are very delighted to welcome Mary to the Scottish team, as we expand our connections and network right across the country.

“The market in Scotland continues to demand the very highest calibre of senior candidates from an increasingly wider pool at a national and international level. Having Mary on board to help enhance our search capabilities and service offering is a very positive move for us as we continue to grow the business.”

Stephen Bampfylde, founder and Chairman of Saxton Bampfylde said of Mary’s appointment: “Mary’s track record speaks for itself. We are delighted to have her on board as she returns home to Scotland with her family. With her experience at a national and international level. We believe she will bring a very interesting perspective to search in the Scottish market.”

Saxton Bampfylde has been working across many sectors in Scotland and globally for the past 30 years and opened its first dedicated Scottish operation in 2014. Most recently the team successfully placed leadership roles for Standard Life, George Heriot's School, Scottish Government, National Trust for Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland and University of Aberdeen.


INTERVIEW WITH TIM WATES, DIRECTOR OF WATES GROUP

INTERVIEW WITH TIM WATES, DIRECTOR OF WATES GROUP

As the Wates Group enters its fifth generation of family ownership, Tim Wates discusses how and why the business has prospered for 120 years.


WITH ONLY ABOUT 20 PER CENT OF UK FAMILY BUSINESSES MAKING IT TO THIRD GENERATION, THE WATES GROUP IS NOW FOURTH GENERATION. WHAT IS THE KEY TO MAKING SUCCESSION PLANNING WORK? WHAT HAVE BEEN THE CHALLENGES AND LESSONS LEARNED?

Good luck has certainly played its part along the way. However, one thing that I believe is fundamental to the success and continuation of Wates Group is the passion which the family has always had for the business and continues to have to this day.

When considering the next generation the philosophy has always been to only pass ownership to those who were interested, genuinely, in the business. We’ve been able to do this by being a good business, profitable and with positive investments. We have always offered a fair deal for those children or inheritors who didn’t want to be involved. Running a tightly owned business with committed, engaged family members has been key to success and longevity.

The family has also had the good fortune to have interested, talented and motivated next generations to hand over to. We have a tradition of large families, and for that we are grateful. In the next generation we have some who are very interested and gaining a passion for the business. That is fantastic to see, and I hope that they will have the chance to flourish in the business, and find it rewarding and motivational.

For those who aren’t interested, there is no pressure on them. We try to make it fair, if not equal, in the way they are compensated if not keen to be involved.

Left to right: Andy Wates, James Wates, Tim Wates, Charlie Wates and Jonny Wates

“OVER 120 YEARS’ OF BUSINESS THE WATES GROUP HAS STUCK TO, AND BEEN PASSIONATE ABOUT, ITS SECTOR – THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT.”

As a business set up in 1897 what has been the key to success for 120 years? 
I believe, quite simply, we have had to be a good business to survive. Good in the sense that it is well run, but also in the sense that we operate in a sector which is in demand and resilient. We also believe that it is very important to be ‘good’ in the way we approach working with our communities and business partners, and understand the longstanding beneficial relationship. 
Over 120 years’ of business the Wates Group has stuck to, and been passionate about, its sector – the built environment. It is a strong sector with longevity. It doesn’t get destroyed or usurped completely by technology. It is also very UK oriented, which has given us a strong focus for growth.

Is a family business considered more of a strength in negotiations with partners, investors, suppliers or a potential risk? 
I think it is fair to say that it is a bit of a mix, but usually reputation and experience speak for themselves. Some suggest that family businesses have more committed and reliable leaders, and some suggest that they are less professional.

In the end I think it balances out, but the proof has to be in what you have achieved and delivered, and reflected in how you are measured by those you are negotiating with. At Wates we have worked hard to find the right balance between retaining the values and ethos of four generations of family ownership, with the governance and rigour of a professional executive.

‘‘‘DIG IT UP, OR TEND TO IT; DON’T JUST IGNORE IT’ IS THE APPROACH THAT WE TAKE AS A BUSINESS.”

Family politics can prove challenging at the best of times. What advice would you give to others in managing this from your experience at the Wates Group? 
I think that John L Ward, the famous business academic coins it best, likening family businesses to ‘gardens’. They need continual maintenance in order to flourish and bloom.

There is a common cause in a family business, and if problems, like weeds, break out then they need to be dealt with, dug up and not let to overgrow. ‘Dig it up, or tend to it; don’t just ignore it’ is the approach that we take as a business.

When looking to the next generation you have to make sure that those who are handing the baton, or trowel, on to are capable of operating and flourishing within the family business dynamic.

At the end of the day, it is all about a common cause and you all have to work really hard to deliver that. Communication is fundamental in making it a success.

It is not all roses and flowers, but the garden can be a great place to be much of the time.

You worked in the City before joining the family business. Would you encourage the next generation of family business owners to think about other careers to provide more experience?
Ultimately we would like our children and family members to flourish, find what is best for them and gain self-confidence. What we believe works best for the generations coming through is to gain experience, knowledge and insight elsewhere. Also, somewhere that doesn’t have the same family name. That is something we believe is in our children’s best interests, but also brings opportunities and new vision and experience to the firm.

Whatever their experience we can bring them in and train them up and show them how we do business. We will absolutely value the skills they bring and try our best to find the right part of the business for them so they can flourish and innovate in that role.

We don’t have rigid rules about the path that they take into the business, we need to be flexible. We have guiding principles, and we hope that these will bring about the best for the next and future generations to come.

“WHAT WE BELIEVE WORKS BEST FOR THE GENERATIONS COMING THROUGH IS TO GAIN EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE AND INSIGHT ELSEWHERE.”

In a family business going back generations, the commitment to a more diverse workforce and certainly leadership team may be more difficult to achieve. How do you look to address this at Wates’ Group? 
Well, biology has played its part. In previous generations of Wates’ it was very male dominated. Couple that with restrictions on women being shareholders in the founding generations, and our diversity was almost non-existent.

However, and this is a very positive thing for the business, there are a lot more women in the next generation. We do have a way to go in terms of a more gender diverse ownership, but there is no doubt that this will come in the next generation, and I am delighted to say that.

As an organisation, Wates is committed to improving diversity and inclusion, and we have senior female representation at both Group Board and Executive Committee level. However, we, as with other companies throughout the sector suffer from a lack of diversity, which we have to address to ensure the long-term sustainability of our industry. We are working hard to do this in our business, and with partners in the industry.

Family business makes up 87 per cent of all private sector businesses in the UK and therefore have a good collective overview of the political, economic and social landscape. What do you believe are the biggest challenges and biggest opportunities for UK business in the next 5-10 years?
The key challenge currently, and for the immediate to medium term future, is Brexit. It is, to us, a real concern. As a business we were publicly not in favour of it, but we now have accepted it as reality and we are ensuring that we have the processes and measures in place to provide resilience going forward.

There will be challenges, few are denying that, but what is absolutely critical is how government approaches it. It is vital that government remembers business and its fundamental significance. Business in this country, be it privately, publicly, family or employee owned, is at the heartbeat and drives the economy. Business voices need to be heard across markets and regions.

Sustainability is real and a major issue of focus. Climate change, population movement and population growth are huge factors that will provide businesses, political organisations, not-for-profits and others with significant challenges, but also some very real and positive opportunities.

Finally for business, as in most areas of life, technology is having more of an impact than almost anything else. It is moving so quickly and changing the goal posts continually. However, this absolutely brings with it new and equally exciting and mind-boggling challenges and opportunities along the way.

Dynamism and diversification are seen by many as key to business survival. Is this easier or harder to achieve for family business? 
No matter what your business ownership model, dynamism is always important for survival. Sometimes this can be harder for family businesses to achieve. Without access to stock market capital for new projects, a family business has to be much better at self-generating income. This can be a hugely positive incentive to encourage dynamism and ability to support that income generation. However, it can sometimes create a situation where a business just bobbles along, enough to survive into the next generation, but not to flourish. The best family businesses are some of the most dynamic organisations out there and demonstrate across many sectors how successful they can be.

In your experience do you believe that other business models in UK can learn lessons from family businesses? 
There are some key things that I have learnt in my career in a family business that I believe can also be important for other ownership models.

Firstly, there is a greater emphasis on taking a medium to long term view, looking ahead to the next generation and how to create longevity. We have a greater emphasis on creating more patient capital.

Secondly, another observation is the way in which family businesses embed themselves in industries and localities. With a far greater presence in trade organisations and business groups, they tend to push forward a whole range of issues fundamental to building links between business and communities.

I think these are areas that large businesses could learn and benefit from.

Sustainability of communities large and small – this shines through the Group’s business model, but also its charitable work. Why is this so important? How has this evolved?
We have a very strong feeling in our family that good business is good for society. We truly believe that. Family business, when run well, is an extremely important thread in the rich tapestry of UK life.

When you look at the topic of sustainability today it is a licence to operate. You cannot be a large business in our, or many other industries, without a proper and professional corporate approach to sustainability.

It is not a topic or way of operating that is new to Wates, however. We have a long history of sustainability and philanthropy within the company. My grandfather and great uncles built entire university buildings, giving millions of pounds to their local communities.

We continue the tradition of philanthropy today and it remains a core part of the company’s values. The Wates’ corporate foundation has provided approximately £12million to charitable causes over the past 8-10 years, and much of that focused in the communities where we and our staff operate and live. We look at it as a privilege to be able to support large and small projects through donations, match funding and pay as you earn.

Sustainability is clearly endemic throughout the whole business. We believe we are doing it well, but we do know there are areas in which we ‘could do better’. We pay a lot of attention to this, look at how our competitors and others are doing. It is a very real and ongoing focus for the business.

Are there are other family businesses that you particularly admire? If so, who are they and what is it you admire most?
There are a couple of examples in the UK. Firstly, Warburtons, the bakers. It is apparent through all areas of the business the strength of family values, and how this has remained not only part of the brand, but at the heart of operations. It operates in a very tough market, but the family maintains a high level of investment in their bakeries, staff and brand innovation.

The other is Pentland, the name behind many world class sports, outdoor and fashion clothing brands. As a third generation business, they remain committed to family values, continue to innovate, grow and invest wisely.

Internationally there is one example that really sticks out to me - Ayala, based in the Philippines. Formed 180 years ago, it has succeeded through seven generations. With market capitalisation it accounts for almost 20% of the Philippine Stock Exchange. Fundamental to its success is good harmonious family governance, which combines huge business success with a firm commitment to social responsibility through the Ayala Foundation.

TIM WATES BIOGRAPHY

Tim started his career at Cazenove & Co. in the City, prior to joining the Wates Group. He leads on housing for the Family and is Chairman of the Wates Family Council – the Family Shareholder forum. He is a UKTI Business Ambassador, Chairman of the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and a Non-Executive Director of Tampopo and Pedder Property. Tim is a Trustee of various Wates Family charities and a Trustee Director of the Clink Charity. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and a Deputy Lieutenant for Surrey.

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