Why you can’t afford not to Nominate your emerging talent for the Marketing Academy, by Adam Henderson

While at a recent and absolutely brilliant Merlin lecture by Richard Jolly, I met some potential future scholars who said that they really wanted to be part of the Academy and felt they had the potential, which was great to hear, but unfortunately they had concerns that their bosses were a little reluctant to give them the time to commit to the Academy fully. I suppose it does make some sense… I mean, in order to be nominated for the Academy, the nominee will be young, bright, motivated, ambitious and talented, which in turn makes them a valuable asset to their company and integral to how it runs.

However, if you are thinking but are unsure about nominating a potential scholar to commit to 20 days of the year for learning and development as part of the Marketing Academy, below are 6 reasons why it will be the best thing you ever do, not only for your nominee, but your company, your wider team and yourself.

1. Be a true leader yourself

The definition of leadership that the Academy has instilled since day one is that ‘a true leader leaves their mark of outstanding leadership not just by their own leadership but by how many leaders they develop along the way’, so you can demonstrate true leadership ability and be integral to creating the leaders of the future by nominating

2. Keep your best talent

Look at any recruitment study and you often find that in the modern environment, the best people are attracted to the companies that offer the best training and development opportunities, not necessarily the biggest pay packet. The effect of Generation Y coming into the workplace has meant many of the top companies have ensured workplace flexibility and training is at the heart of the programme. No one wants their star performer moving companies just because they offer more training, so by nominating a rising star to have access to the world class training and networks the Academy brings will in return receive an increased level of loyalty and motivation as you have actively invested in their future development, ensuring you retain your best talent

3. Bring vital knowledge into your company to facilitate growth

I have seen, read and experienced many times that the modern workplace no longer allows a lifetime career in one company and instead seeks talent that has had a broad breath of experience in order to bring in new perspectives to their organization to ensure future growth. For example, at British Airways, they dramatically improved customer satisfaction around their attitude to queuing by adopting an idea from Disney to ‘snake’ the queues back on themselves, making them look shorter and install info screens to keep customers informed. A simple idea adopted due to insight and awareness of how another company solved a similar problem, proved invaluable and this is one of many cases of the benefits this broad insight gives. If you nominate a successful scholar, they will be meeting and learning from some of the best the industry and country have to offer and they will quickly build up a powerful network and level of insight. This new wealth of knowledge will be brought back into your company and can be implemented via their newly acquired leadership skills. Being part of the Academy allows the best of both worlds – having an employee gain a broad breadth of industry insight and experience yet they remain working for you and sharing this with those around them, adding to the growth and development of your company and not someone else’s

4. Increase the whole team’s performance

The scholar will bring back into the workplace new skills learnt around leadership, influencing and developing others that will positively affect the entire team. The stats speak for themselves as a motivated workforce with strong leadership is many times more productive than those that aren’t, so the combined contribution to your newly energized team will more than compensate for the days out of the office by your scholar

5. Gain a ready-made leader for your company & save on recruitment

When it comes to promotion time, it has been very evident this year that many of the scholars have been promoted within their own company, and even more so for the Alumni. Good leaders who nominate their young talent to be a scholar have realised that this is an investment not only in the individual but the company too, as by the end of the scholarship they have someone who was already really competent, that has been trained and nurtured to reach that next level, meaning they are the obvious choice take a more senior role. Also, if the scholar has applied the Academy’s leadership philosophy and developed future leaders below them, then there will already be someone to step into their big shoes that they leave behind, meaning you now have a strong and experienced team and only need to recruit at the most junior levels which come with a lot less risk and cost to recruit, saving you a lot of precious time and money in recruitment

6. Do what the best do

If you look at the best companies and most successful leaders, they all build time into their busy schedule to stop, reflect and learn, giving them access to their true potential. Google is the most famous for this and the evidence shows that a number of Google’s new products were developed by employees in this ‘Learning time’, leading to true innovation and new income streams. ‘Breakthroughs happen when people attend to their professional curiosities and set aside time for deliberate learning’ so why not do this for your staff and your company, as who knows where it could take you?


The truly successful companies in this time of austerity will be those that continue to invest in their people, who will then in return invest themselves as individuals in growing the company. Therefore, when considering whether to nominate your best talent to be a potential scholar for 2012, it is not a case of can you afford to lose them for 20 days a year, but more a case of can you afford not to nominate them?

Click here to Nominate now


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The Scholarship – a 9 month, free, part time program for 30 of the UK’s fastest rising stars in Marketing, Advertising, Media and Communications.

The Fellowship – Equips CMOs and Marketing Directors with the tools, knowledge and insight to make the move onto Boards and into General Management / MD / CEO roles.

12 month full paid Marketing Apprenticeship for young adults who because of challenging backgrounds, lack qualifications or poor life choices are normally overlooked for this kind of work experience