Saturday, 25 September 2010

Learning from the Dragons: Duncan Bannatyne

In my fourth report about what I learned by reading the Dragons' Den book 'Success from Pitch to Profit' , I will share the ideas of Duncan Bannatyne and how they have relevance in education.

Duncan Bannatyne
  • I though this was great advice for leaders: 'I like to work with people whom I can empower by giving them freedom to manage effectively... By delegating to trustworthy employees I am able to take a step back from the frenzy of the day-to-day business and examine the balance sheets, study the bottom line... Because I trust my regional managers and the managers of each health club to run the business, I am free to scrutinise that underperforming club, discover why the profit margin is lower than the rest and then recommend the necessary improvements. Lastly, and crucially for me, though, the art of effective delegation allows me much more time to enjoy the most important part of my life - my family.' It can sometimes be difficult as a leader to delegate, but it is so important. Like Bannatyne says, it allows you to focus on the important details and identify successes and issues within the school. Most importantly it helps to keep a work-life balance, something which I am not very good at doing.
  • His tips for success are:
    • Look after the people - 'I always believe people are the most important aspect to a business, so I look for drive, enthusiasm, knowledge and someone who I can believe I can work with... Leadership is part of this too. People must believe in you and believe in your direction and strategy.' I believe this is great advice - you have to appoint the right people and look after them well so that they succeed for your school and for their career. The proportion of your budget that is spent on staff makes people your most valuable resource - it pays to look after them.
    • Care about your product - In our case, our product is education care for children and it must be of the highest quality.
    • Identify your organisational structure - I believe that a school has to have a clear structure in terms of deployment of staff and also in terms of the curriculum delivered and in terms of policies and protocols. I can imagine that I will be a right stickler for this when I am a headteacher.
    • Look after your suppliers - In our case, our suppliers could refer to two stakeholders - parents and the local community. Look after these people and the reputation of the school will stay strong.
    • Communicate - 'If you do not have the correct procedures and communication lines in place, then it will all fall to pieces...' In school, the importance of keeping everyone in the loop is important. Use of technology will play a significant role in this, but it's also crucial to not forget to talk too!!

    The book Dragons' Den: Success from Pitch to Profit can be purchased here: Dragons' Den: Success, From Pitch to Profit

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