Our client is both a national and international institution committed to the principle that the way they see art should reflect the diverse range of audiences and partners, as well as of artistic practice today. Research is the foundation for their work, building up a body of expertise and knowledge that can be shared through programmes and professional networks.
We were asked to help them explore if they should enter the market for Higher Education through an Institute that supports their long term vision, in such a way that the business model generates surplus income to support their objectives as an educational charity.
What we did
To provide inspiration for creating new models we worked together with a core team from across the institution to categorise the various models used globally by institutions in higher education that have a focus on arts and culture . Building on these insights we considered a number of variables to create four clearly different and stretch offerings. The core team then used their imagination to deepen each of these offerings, developing a draft ‘prospectus’ for each to envision the Institute within stretching but plausible extremes of each. To evaluate each ‘prospectus’ for sustainable strategic fit we created a set of measures, enabling the team to rank them on both attractiveness and serviceability. To create clear insight into market attractiveness, we then conducted anonymous interviews with a range of potential students and partner institutions, both confirming a strong interest in studying or working with such an Institute. Scoring each ‘prospectus’ against these measures started to set them apart and unveil the value each could create, resulting in an assessment that told a clear story and started to uncover a viable strategy.
Through this preliminary enquiry, together, we found sufficient evidence to justify taking the next step to develop a detailed business case prior to committing significant resources.