I wrote a few weeks ago how Dylan, my eldest son, felt no real ownership of his impending A-Level results – see here. I hadn’t imagined, however, that the algorithm used to determine his grades would generate quite so many iniquitous outcomes.
Media reports suggest that Ofqual, the organization responsible for the system, were aware of its shortcomings, as were government ministers. Certainly, the Education Committee had produced a report in mid-July warning the government that “pupils could miss out on the exam results they deserve this summer as the system for awarding and moderating grades is at risk of inaccuracy and bias.”
Why then would Gavin Williamson, the minister in charge of education, carry on with a system that was doomed to failure?
It’s not for me to defend or otherwise Mr. Williamson, but I have seen other instances where leaders proceed in the face of all evidence to the contrary. During my time at Boots the Chemists, the company invested millions in a dentistry and ‘wellbeing’ services division, despite the performance of initial trials being less than stellar. Similary, Tesco’s rolled out their Fresh & Easy brand across the USA to more than 150 stores despite losing $ millions each week.
In both these instances, a one-eyed view of the goal (Boots – create a positive healthcare business to protect against grocer competition; Tesco – rapidly create a scaled-up US business) together with a leadership team that was willing to adopt a ‘double or quits’ investment approach, was at the heart of the failure.
Perhaps Mr. Williamson’s number one goal of resisting ‘grade inflation’ prevented him from seeing the bigger picture? Who knows, but the truth is that with any new venture or initiative you must be willing to stand back, take a holistic view and let the facts speak for themselves.
Once you do that, the next steps will become far clearer, even if that means taking a completely different course of action.
Or, to slightly misquote Margaret Thatcher, u-turn if you want to.
Off The Record: If You Wanna by The Vaccines
Well, I don’t want to see you with another guy
But the fact is that I may
That’s what all the friends I do not like as much as you say
But if you wanna come back it’s alright, it’s alright
It’s alright if you wanna come back
Do you wanna come back? It’s alright, it’s alright
It’s alright if you wanna come back
What’s Your Post-Covid Business Strategy?
Find out how we’ve helped Mentholatum, the owner of Deep Heat, to re-focus their strategy, identify new growth opportunities and get on the front foot to succeed in the post-covid world https://morgancross.co.uk/clients/client-success-stories/mentholatum-may-2020/
“In just a few short weeks, Stuart helped us to cut through the uncertainty created by the pandemic and create a new, refreshed strategic plan that will enable us to rapidly bounce back from the downturn and accelerate the growth of our sales, market share and profits.”Rob Yateman, Managing Director, Mentholatum UK
Coronavirus White Papers
I have written three white papers to help business leaders respond to the coronavirus pandemic and crisis.
Powering Through the Recession
How to grow profits and lead your markets through the coronavirus economic crisis
Agility For Life
The crisis has led to faster, more agile decision-making and action across businesses. Applying six key principles can help leaders embed these changes to create ‘agility for life’
Succeeding Beyond The Coronavirus Pandemic
If you want to succeed in the post-Covid world, you need to plan and act fast bow to reshape your business to the new realities and opportunities. Succeeding Beyond the Pandemic gives you a clear, 5-step process to reshape your strategy and accelerate your success.
© Stuart Cross 2020. All rights reserved.