Turnaround Triumphs

Turning around a failing organisation is a huge challenge, but when it works the results can be breathtaking. 

Think Manchester City, from a club that never did much to serial champions, with great flair and style.

I was lucky enough to experience my own version of an inspirational turnaround this week.

Not on the showbiz scale of premier league football, but perhaps more impressive, and certainly, in my view, more important. 

I was invited to speak, and present the prizes, at an Awards Evening at Newmarket Academy, near Cambridge. 

It's a school which has had its problems. A few years ago in special measures, but now rated good, and my tip to soon be outstanding. 

So, how did the turnaround come about? Well, it's deceptively simple.

First, a clear decision about what the school was going to be - and critically, one that was bought into by everyone. That's staff, parents, and students. 

These are the values of the school. Here, writ large in the dining hall, but you can find them everywhere, most importantly in the way the students behave.

And look at the kind of effects those principles have had.

This is now a delightful school tradition - messages on some of the windows from staff to encourage the students through their exams. Pure togetherness, teamwork and inspiration. 

I've had the privilege of visiting quite a few schools now, talking about the great futures that can await their students if they work hard and make the most of their talents. 

And I can happily say that Newmarket Academy is up there amongst the very finest I've ever seen. 

Which, I'm delighted to report, has been recognised - 

So, back to how the turnaround happened, with lessons that work from a school, to a small company, to a public sector organisation, to a major conglomerate - 

First, that critical, and shared, decision on what you're going to be. 

But then teamwork. Everyone pulling together to achieve it. 

And what a powerful sense I got of that at Newmarket Academy, with the hall packed full of students, parents and staff, all proud, happy and smiling with what they had achieved together.

But most importantly of all - hard work. 

From the students with their studies, the teachers to teach them, and the parents providing that vital loving support. 

It's been a hard won turnaround for Newmarket Academy. But wow, what an inspirational one.

And what a demonstration of all that can be achieved with vision, teamwork, and hard work.