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How international diversification expanded this UK franchise network

How international diversification expanded this UK franchise network

Code Ninjas doesn't just talk the talk, it makes sure diversity is touched upon and celebrated in its UK operations

Diversification is a word that is often bandied around companies, ultimately for the leaders at the forefront of operations to show little evidence of it actually taking place. And it is this same description that can also get misinterpreted. There are many ways to diversify a company – celebrating inclusivity in every sense of the word, expanding the company culture and having a constant source of contemporary, exciting ideas are all ways of diversifying. International coding franchise for kids, Code Ninjas, is one such brand that ensures diversity is touched upon and celebrated in every respect in its UK operations.

Although the US-born brand has very much established a firm identity for what Code Ninjas is and means to the thousands of children who take part in sessions in the UK, that identity is not defined by its origins. In fact, the success of the brand is largely thanks to franchisees being encouraged to drive their own vision and experiences in tandem with the values of the company. Through integrating an eclectic mix of passionate people who have very different backgrounds at every level of the business, that identity is able to be interpreted and delivered in far more ways than one. While encouraging these individual experiences, cultures and personalities to be celebrated, Code Ninjas prides itself on opening kids to a world beyond their own in exciting, inspiring and creative environments.

Important to the success of the brand is the fact that, fundamentally, the network shares the same passion for its goal of empowering tomorrow’s innovators to thrive in a digital future through fun, immersive environments. In turn, this mission would be impossible to achieve without the diversity employed throughout Code Ninjas. One franchisee who is bringing his experience of operating a business abroad into the delivery of his Code Ninjas location is Lee Richards, of Code Ninjas Epsom.

“Having been both part of a Swedish online gaming business that experienced extremely rapid growth and a teacher in England, I have learnt the value of adaptability and pragmatism,” says Lee. “Taking the best aspects of the combined experiences of working in Sweden with internet-based gaming and subsequently working as an educator in England will inform everything my team and I will do at Code Ninjas Epsom. The combined experience I have gained from pursuing two very different careers is going to ensure that the ninjas at the Epsom Dojo will not only have fun but also become inspired and qualified to nurture their creative sparks in today’s digital world. I’m really excited about having the chance to introduce kids to programming and the unbounded manipulation of technology that becomes accessible through coding.

“The potential we have at Code Ninjas to get kids interacting across continents through the shared language of coding is something that I haven’t seen happening anywhere else. The working environment in the Dojo is fun, productive, and fits the model of work that I found so valuable in Sweden. Kids will have first-hand experience of a non-hierarchical organisation that is focused on solving problems.”

Integrating experiences beyond their ‘home’ culture is something that Grant Smith, the VP of education at Code Ninjas, firmly believes in. From those overseeing the business operations in head office to the passionate people representing the face of the company, there is always ample opportunity to bring something new to the table. As the kids’ coding franchise expands and continues to reach more children where the demand for opportunities in the technology industry grows, those joining the network who can bring fresh ideas and elements of global cultures to the community will continue to inspire similar people to become part of the brand.

“As Code Ninjas continues to focus on the impact that we have the possibility of making on our global community, we consider the emotional driver that inspires all of us – togetherness,” explains Grant. “Fundamentally, Code Ninjas is a place for children to become inspired through technology and to let their creativity flourish. It’s important, therefore, that we deliver on giving children the feeling of being a part of something bigger than themselves, which can only be achieved through diversification and introducing them to cultural concepts beyond coding. Technology has brought the world closer together and continues to do so on a daily basis. So, it’s only natural that a part of who we are involves bringing together a globalised network of people who can inspire further diversification in the next generation of innovators.”

“Society is enriched through the development of responsible technologies. Technological advancement has made human life longer, it’s opening ways of meeting our needs that don’t damage our natural environment, as well as providing astounding forms of entertainment. The more kids that appreciate this, the better chance we have for healthier, cleaner, and more enjoyable lives,” adds Lee.

Five reasons why diversification is key to the success of a brand

1. More cultures are given the platform to be celebrated and recognised
It’s no surprise that this comes first. As a brand whose mission is to inspire the next generation of leaders and innovators, it is our responsibility to ensure as many global cultures as possible are being represented and given equal opportunities to be introduced to children growing up in 2022.

2. Brands integrate alternative and more streamlined operations to their businesses that may be unique to particular countries
A brand that is stuck in its own ways is, of course, a one-dimensional approach to business operations. While said operations may be working, it would be wrong, and could ultimately be a costly mistake, to ignore opportunities to introduce alternative methods from different countries in order to streamline your business.

3. Minority cultures and ethnicities are given more opportunities to become leaders
It’s vital for all minorities and cultures to be given equal opportunities in a globalised business scape. In the same vein as integrating more streamlined operations, giving minorities the platform to express and utilise their expertise will bring new ideas that otherwise may not have been considered by those who have similar educational and cultural backgrounds.

4. Women are placed in more prominent roles
As ethical brands with a responsibility to touch upon all definitions of diversification, it’s important to place passionate, highly qualified women at the forefront of companies. As diversifying seeks to inspire all, women should be equal recipients and be offered the chance to use their expertise and experiences to create a well-rounded and inspiring environment.

5. Weather market storms
At its bare bones, diversification can also be an incredibly smart business move. The pandemic has shown us that, in times of uncertainty, global economies can be unpredictable. So, through diversification and ensuring your brand is touching markets all over the world, you are more likely to remain stable at the worst of times.

The author

Justin Nihiser is the CEO of a coding franchise for kids, Code Ninjas.

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