There is much debate at the moment about standardisation versus autonomy. We find these terms unhelpful and distracting. We would prefer to try to find the optimal balance between consistency and self-determination.
It is fundamentally important to us that we share the same mission and values. All Dixons students and staff should benefit from our best collective practices. And we all benefit from the collective resources, brand and reputation of the Dixons Academies Trust.
So why then do we retain the term autonomy? It is because we believe leadership and personal accountability are founded on ownership and self-direction. A culture of conformity kills innovation and drives away the best staff. And standardisation fails to respond to changing needs and fails to adapt to a changing environment.
We think it is the concept of aligned autonomy that is the foundation of our success so far: we are aligned on our mission, vision and values – these are our non-negotiables. But because we are determined to create a healthy organisation, the people who work for us must also have agency and self-determination.