© 2019 MH+A

We've got the credentials to back up our proposition and our chat...

We know that when you engage professional advisors you're looking for people with real experience and expertise in their field.  We only take on assignments that we know we can deliver brilliantly.

Our team has got real, serious, credentials in each of the four areas we work: strategy, transformational change, people / HR and crisis management.

You'll see below that we've successfully delivered some really big, interesting, difficult - and at times unusual - pieces of work.  

So when we say 'we'll handle it'... we will.

MARKET STRATEGY+

We helped a blue chip client develop a strategy and propositions to help them grow market share in a target sector.


We prepared a thorough assessment of market trends, and relevant Government policy to help us identify opportunities; completed a detailed analysis of client behaviour and spend; and assessed our client’s current activity in the sector before proposing new developments and investment.


Of our support, they said, “MH+A brought crucial sector insight and were hugely beneficial.  The incredibly detailed insight they had, the work they did on Government policy and market trends, market sizing and spend was exactly what we

needed.  Their support was invaluable.”

GROWTH STRATEGY+

We helped a high-potential tech business define an ambitious new five-year strategy and transformation plan.

 

We prepared a detailed assessment of market trends and competitors, assessed our client’s offer, operating model and performance - and helped them develop an ambitious new approach to business development and growth.


Of our support, they said, “we’re delighted with the work that MH+A did with us.  They gave us incredibly clear and compelling advice about our market and the steps we needed to take to realise our potential.”

NATIONAL STRATEGY+

Whilst working in Whitehall, Matt prepared Government’s 2007 adult skills white paper, ‘World Class Skills’. 

 

To prepare the white paper and negotiate the comprehensive spending review settlement that would fund it, Matt:

- Led Government’s engagement with the independent Leitch Review of Skills, working with colleagues across four Whitehall departments and the three devolved administrations.

- Oversaw work to model the additional learner participation and funding required to deliver the long-term workforce skills targets proposed by the review.

​- Led joint work and then negotiations with HM Treasury to secure additional funding to support implementation of the actions described in the white paper.

- Drafted, edited and oversaw publication of the white paper itself, commissioning contributions and establishing a cogent, compelling overall position.

Matt’s work on the white paper and spending review was commended by Ministers, senior officials and his interlocutors across Government.

INNOVATION STRATEGY+

Kate implemented Government’s commitment to increase the availability of venture capital funding to high-growth tech businesses through the UK Innovation Investment Fund.

The Fund's creation was in part a recognition of the fact that governments had often got its engagement with venture capital investment in innovation wrong.

Kate ensured that those lessons were learnt - determining new, smart, metrics against which investment opportunities could be judged and managed;  and, requiring substantial private sector match-funding to sit alongside any Government investment. 

She also led communications work in relation to the Fund.

As a result of her and colleagues' work, the Fund surpassed its original targets - securing >£175m of external investment alongside £150m of Government spend.

EXPORT STRATEGY+

Whilst in Whitehall, Kate implemented a Government commitment to increase the value of education exports.

Kate set up a cross-Government unit to support UK business consortia looking to develop international business; to do that, she and her team helped exporting business to develop their international networks, access export finance and overcome operating constraints and other barriers to success.  

 

Thanks to Kate and her colleagues' good work, the unit was credited with supporting over £1bn of additional export deals.  

 

Having proved the concept of a cross-Government, focussed effort to support education exports, Kate persuaded Ministers to sustain their investment in the unit she set up - securing long-term funding and supporting the appointment of a permanent managing director.

COMMERCIAL STRATEGY+

Whilst at PwC, Matt led a piece of commercial due diligence work for a private equity house considering an investment in the public sector supply chain. 

 

They had identified a target business and were in the early stages of due diligence.  He was asked to lead a detailed piece of work to assess the target business' market position, operating model and financial forecasts.

He led a small, expert team through a thorough appraisal of the target business including e.g. interviews with staff, customers and stakeholders; detailed review of operating procedures and performance management arrangements; and, running  alternative scenarios through their commercial model.

He concluded that the target business did not represent a good investment.  As such, he provided investors with an incredibly detailed appraisal of the business, the issues and risks which underpinned his advice.

START-UP AND GROWTH STRATEGY+ 

Matt's role in Capita was to identify substantial new market opportunities given his insight and relationships in Whitehall.  In that capacity, he was convinced that apprenticeship reforms could create huge new opportunities for large learning and development managed service businesses like Capita.

Having completed a market assessment and developed a robust, detailed, business plan he secured board investment to create a new Capita business focussed on emerging talent and apprenticeships - and was parachuted into the relevant business unit as founding managing director.

Over the course of the following year he grew the business into one of the most prominent players in the apprenticeship sector - winning large, inventive, client contracts with Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, DWP and the Cabinet Office. 

To do that he developed a distinctive client proposition; gathered a passionate, committed team; and, built robust, lean and progressive processes to support next generation apprenticeship delivery.  

 

The effect was rapid and substantial growth in revenue, profit and forward potential.  Capita remains one of the leading suppliers of apprenticeships today.

PUBLIC SERVICE TRANSFORMATION+

In autumn 2018 we published a book, ‘Beating the odds, and the system’ on transformation in education organisations – though the lessons and approach we describe are equally relevant to other public service organisations.


In the book, we talk about the importance of leaders engaging authentically with staff to define and realise their organisation's purpose; the role that organisational values can and should play in shaping behaviour and driving performance improvement; the need for a clear blueprint that colleagues can use to translate strategic intent into operational action.

We also discuss the importance of project management and the use of data to drive precise improvement action.  

Finally we touch on the role and impact of transformation on the leader themselves - calling on Matt's own experience.

Download a copy here.

ORGANISATIONAL TRANSFORMATION+

In his most recent CEO role, Matt led the transformation of a c£40m, 10,000-student education group.


In three years, Matt and his team improved EBITDA by >£7m, launched an award-winning business which grew commercial income by >40% and transformed the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.


At inspection, Ofsted commended Matt and his team’s ‘inspirational leadership', the ‘outstanding’ provision they had developed for students with additional support needs and the ‘rapid’ progress they had delivered. 

 

As part of the turnaround , Matt also oversaw the closure of two failing schools, negotiated a series of high-value asset disposals and renegotiated the terms of a critical joint venture which operated in Saudi Arabia.

EDUCATION TRANSFORMATION+

As a Whitehall Civil Servant, Kate worked on the London Challenge programme - a major and hugely successful effort to transform schools across the capital.

Leading a team of five advisors and a managing a budget of £45m p.a., Kate helped raise standards in the lowest performing schools in London by, for example, experienced former school leaders acting as advisers to support schools; provision of additional funding which advisers could use for discrete interventions; and the forensic use of data to drive improvement.

As a result, London schools’ Key Stage 4 results went from being among the worst to the best in the country; London came to have the smallest attainment gap in the country for pupils in receipt of free school meals; and, by 2010, Ofsted rated 30 per cent of London schools as Outstanding.

The legacy of the programme is still visible. At the end of 2016/17, 91% of London secondary schools were rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted; the highest of any region in the country.

PEOPLE+ AND TRANSFORMATION

In 2017 Steve worked with a major multinational facilities management company to lead the HR element of a transformation programme designed to turn around the fortunes of what was an under-performing c£500m turnover business.


Steve worked with colleagues to interrogate the business’ cost base to identify opportunities for improvement and change; led the development of organisational structures and ways of working that would support future profitability and performance; and, designed and led a redundancy programme which reduced payroll costs by 12%.


The CFO said of Steve, “he is a straight talking, ethical and highly commercial HR professional.  He provided us with robust advice and then worked pragmatically with the business to drive significant change”.

HR+ FUNCTION TRANSFORMATION+

Steve was engaged as interim HR director for Arriva Bus – a c£1bn turnover company with more than 13,000 staff.  At that time, both revenue and profitability were under acute pressure.  Through the assignment, Steve:

 

- Was an active member of the senior executive team, supporting the development of an insightful, focused new strategy for the business – and distilling its HR implications;

 

- Worked with senior colleagues across the business to identify and execute business changes that would drive revenue and its management – including e.g. the combination of marketing and commercial teams into a single, more effective, function;

 

- Worked with the CFO to create a programme management function to drive the transformation across the whole business;

 

- Led and transformed the HR function, focusing regional HR directors and their teams on delivery of people services which directly enabled business performance - and generating annualised savings of c£600k by reducing driver turnover;

 

- Led the HR aspects of changes in the finance shared services function with the closure of regional offices generating annualised savings worth c£650k.

Through the assignment, Steve significantly improved the credibility and performance of the HR function before handing over to the incoming permanent appointee.

INVESTING IN YOUNG PEOPLE+

We worked with colleagues across Whitehall to design,  Commission and oversee mobilisation of a new degree apprenticeship that has opened up professional services careers to a wide, diverse pool of talented young people.

We:

- Supported the development of a new apprenticeship standard and end point assessment plan;

 

- Prepared a detailed programme specification and worked with Crown Commercial Services colleagues to run an open procurement process; and, 

 

- Worked with our client’s chosen supplier to mobilise and design the detail of the programme.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

At the beginning of 2019 we were engaged to deliver leadership and organisational transformation training to a group of twenty new college principals in Ghana. 

 

We prepared learning resources and activities to support a week-long workshop for participants as part of a wider and longer term package of support for them in their roles.

Matt then spent the week in Accra, delivering sessions and working with individual principal to reflect on how they could translate their learning into organisational action. 

 

Matt’s contribution was commended both by participants and our client, who said, “MH+A’s contribution was insightful and incredibly relevant to participants’ current work in their new chief exec roles...

 

...Matt’s delivery was engaging, impactful and accessible.  I know how much colleagues enjoyed their time with Matt – and are looking forward to working with him again in the future.”
 

​We have since been commissioned to do further work to help our client implement their reform agenda and support organisational leaders.

WORKING UNDER REAL PRESSURE

Kate enjoys a rare perspective on the machinery of Government having worked as private secretary to two Secretaries of State - in DfES and DIUS.

 

Kate was the PS for further, and higher education and skills policy - acting as the point of contact between the Minister and their Department, representing both in dialogue with Number 10, other government departments and external bodies.

In the role, Kate worked with very senior officials, politicians and their advisors to e.g. brief the Prime Minister, support Ministers with major policy announcements, on overseas

visits, and in Parliament.

In the role, Kate worked under intense pressure and at pace for a sustained period - working with and through colleagues to deliver progress and manage the many tricky situations

which crop up in any Minister's office.