To realise these opportunities, Education NZ needs to:
- rapidly step onto its next organisational performance curve beyond ‘establishment and credibility building’ into owning its position as the New Zealand expert agency with a sole focus and purpose to build and grow a sustainable and competitive international education sector for the benefit of all New Zealanders
- strengthen and build on its work to understand the student customer, and develop critical insights into customer preference and experience to benefit growth of the industry
- model interdependent sector leadership and innovation
- develop and implement an operating model to deliver the challenge.
Purpose and Business Strategy
Education NZ is characterised by a culture that is energetic, open, enthusiastic and passionate about the international education opportunities New Zealand can offer global learners. It has made significant progress in the promotion of New Zealand as an education destination in its life to date. It has improved relationships with incumbent education sector providers and developed a number of tools that, based on the increase in international students studying in New Zealand, appear to have contributed to growth in inbound student numbers.
The performance challenge for the organisation is to move beyond establishment and credibility building towards strategic and influential leadership of New Zealand’s international education brand. The leadership of the organisation needs to develop and present a compelling vision and strategy that delivers against the goals of the Leadership Statement for International Education. To achieve this:
- the Board needs to further develop Education NZ’s strategy and associated value proposition across the various areas of its activity and ensure Education NZ’s leadership is empowered and accountable for its delivery
- the leadership team needs to think and act differently to collectively own the strategy and performance of the organisation. It needs to raise its collective performance and provide credible thought leadership both internally and externally. It needs to be clear about how it delivers against Education NZ’s value proposition in relation to all three of the agency’s goals. It needs to be clear on the agency’s strategy and work as one, providing visible leadership to the rest of the organisation
- Education NZ needs to develop a strong and compelling value proposition that provides clarity on the ways in which it can contribute to the achievement of the goals for international education and in doing so benefit learners, providers and wider New Zealand. This will build on its unique interface between the key government agencies, education providers and international students
- Education NZ needs to build upon the existing culture to foster innovation in international education delivery. This will involve developing new ways of partnering with existing and new providers and embracing commercial capabilities to support business innovation amongst its provider partners
- the leadership team needs to demonstrate the smarts and intelligence that make Education NZ the ‘go to organisation’ for anyone who’s thinking about opportunities in international education. Education NZ needs to become the global reference site for good ideas, smart and responsive partnering and excellent execution drawing upon its New Zealand Inc partners for support and facilitation of opportunities
- in line with the recent collective work on education system stewardship, the Education NZ leadership needs to be recognised as New Zealand’s expert repository upon which the wider system can call for insights and intelligence on international education and in doing so deliver against the New Zealand education system aspirations.
Once Education NZ has determined its value proposition, it needs to consider its operating model to ensure it is well positioned to deliver. The model will need to reflect Education NZ’s reality of being a networked delivery agency, with high dependencies on other agencies and delivery partners while maintaining focus on the ultimate customers, namely students.
To achieve this Education NZ needs to embrace an approach that is focused on delivering value to the student and is highly collaborative, innovative and transparent. Education NZ will need to develop clearly differentiated service models in response to its three diverse goals and ensure alignment across its entire business model. The fast changing nature of education delivery means that the operating model must be intelligence rich, embracing disruptive design and partnering models to ensure innovation potential is realised.
The following behaviour shifts sit at the core of the new operating model:
Becoming a highly respected thought leader
- To be more influential Education NZ needs to develop deeper business analytical capability alongside innovative marketing and intelligence insights into the evolving student customer preferences.
Be responsive and change agile
- An organisation’s internal rate of change has to be as fast as the rate of change of its external environment. The education system is changing fast and international education is no exception so it is critical that Education NZ develops its lateral capability ie, its capability to bring the right people together quickly around risks and opportunities. Education NZ has a distinct advantage over larger agencies that will allow it to rapidly respond to shifts in priorities.
Build on its start-up mind-set and culture
- Education NZ has the advantage of being a small, young and a relatively agile agency unencumbered by deep structures and bureaucracy. It can capitalise on this to build a culture of entrepreneurialism where learning, ideas and innovation prosper.
Move from intelligence to insight
- It is critical that Education NZ optimises the benefits that flow from having staff located in offshore markets and create mechanisms that capture knowledge and information to better serve the industry. Staff raised with us that strategy, intelligence and business development need to have closer links to ensure these do not develop in a random way, rather they develop based on customer and market needs mechanisms for capturing and translating information into insights to benefit the wider system as a whole.
Embrace strategic partnering
- Continuing to grow onshore educational delivery (Goal 1) as well as expanding into Goals 2 and 3 will require a willingness and understanding of the benefits of strategic partnering.