Skip to main content

Volaris Group’s Leadership Development Drives Business Growth

The 4 leadership pillars that are the foundation for Volaris Group’s success

Volaris Group is a world-leading buy and hold acquirer focusing on vertical market technology. With a track record spanning 25 years and with over 200 acquisitions, the organisation ties its long-term success to the long-term success of its people. Recognising emerging talent, and growing people alongside businesses, has become integral to the Volaris Group purpose.

A framework of developing leadership capabilities has been identified and deployed throughout the entire portfolio. In this article, we discuss four key pillars of our developing leaders’ best practices: creating a culture of continual learning; developing business acumen; talent management; and supporting career progression. These practices also underpin our Employee Value Proposition, another success factor for Volaris in attracting and retaining employees.

Creating a culture of learning

Volaris Group Executive Chairman Mark Miller proudly describes the culture of Volaris as a "culture of cultures." Most businesses brought into the portfolio continue to operate as autonomous business units, maintaining their unique identity and culture. Nonetheless, a little bit of the Volaris culture can’t help but rub off and this is especially true when it comes to the core value of ‘learning.'

Volaris 101 Live is a perfect example. Soon after a company joins Volaris, key employees from all departments are encouraged to attend Volaris 101 Live, a cross-discipline, multi-day learning event that provides background and analysis behind Volaris’ best practices. The event challenges attendees to understand the broad range of aspects that impact operating an efficient, growing and profitable software business.

The opportunity to network and foster trusted connections with other like-minded professionals from around the globe is an added benefit of attending Volaris 101 Live. This network creates a foundation for growth because it breaks the ice between business leaders and instils a culture of inter-business enquiry when researching solutions or designing initiatives. There is also an online version of Volaris 101 that all new employees can access.

For businesses that have been in the portfolio a little while, leaders and promising talent are invited to attend a range of in-person events that occur around the globe. These vary from enormous, portfolio-wide conferences with over 1000 attendees to more intimate [SH4] training sessions on specific topics.

For example, the group is currently focusing on artificial intelligence (AI), where leaders gather learnings and ideas beyond their own business. Later in 2024, the largest gathering of leaders and aspiring leaders from across the group will gather for the third Quadrants event.

Volaris Executive Chairman Mark Miller runs a breakout session during Volaris 101 in Brisbane.

Developing business acumen

Under the hood at Volaris Group is an interconnected network of vertical market software experts from all over the world. Leaders and team members from across the portfolio are often in touch to ask for advice on how to take advantage of opportunities or solve business challenges.

Volaris also has a central digital knowledge repository containing the latest businesses resources and insights that anyone within the group can access. This content is carefully curated and kept up to date, delivering an excellent way for business leaders and managers to stay on top of the latest business trends, strategies, methodologies, and operating models.

“Volaris has vast experience building and supporting software development businesses,” says Paul Higgins, General Manager of Softlink Education. “From the group’s online resources to a global network that has experienced every type of challenge and opportunity that a software business can face, there is always an insight or methodology that can be applied. I regularly access the content on our knowledge hub because I know it is best practice without having to research resources myself.”

Each year, leaders across our businesses prepare and present five-year strategic plans that outline their planned growth strategies. They seek input from their team and present their strategy to an audience of Volaris colleagues from across the portfolios. Leaders and their teams define their business’ vision and goals and outline how they’re going to achieve them. This formal process, involving in-person strategy discussions, is designed to develop business acumen which is fundamental to the Volaris strengthen and grow philosophy.

Constellation Software Board Member Lawrence Cunningham delivering a keynote presentation at Quadrants 2022.

Talent management and personal development

Aligned with Volaris’s culture of learning are talent management processes that help employees with personal and professional growth. Annual talent management reviews, which follow a consistent, evidence-backed process, are conducted with the aim to acknowledge individual achievements and identify where effort and attention is required over the coming year through tailored professional development plans. Key to this is a belief in the growth mindset, where people believe that personal attributes and abilities are malleable and can be strengthened through effort.

“I always like to see how people actually grow in what they do, their skills and how they as well develop as people, becoming more confident in what they do,” says William Graf, General Manager, Broadcast M.A.P.

Supporting career progression

Internal talent mobility is an area of great emphasis within Volaris and with this ethos, employees can develop their careers by moving between functions, departments and associated companies within the group. 80 per cent of leaders at Volaris Group have been promoted internally. Being part of a large portfolio of software companies brings with it the advantage of making more career options available to employees while also providing leaders access to a pool of talent that is familiar with operational best practice.

“We are all software companies, and that experience makes moving within the group possible," says Sarah Thompson. “My career growth has been with Softlink, but we’ve seen many colleagues grow by moving to a different organisation within the group.”

Panelists Laurie Schultz, Tran Ly, Leanne Tribe, and Mary Wilson encouraged women in the audience to be open to new opportunities and push past feelings of doubt about readiness or worthiness to become a leader during the Women in Leadership panel at Quadrants 2022.

The Volaris Difference

While technology is the basis for the products each business within the portfolio develops and delivers, success is built on Volaris’s people. The culture that fosters a growth mindset, personal and professional development, and a focus on upskilling and building business acumen begins with leadership. The leaders and managers within Volaris Group companies receive support that is second to none. This is one of the core differentiators of the Volaris Group and one of the reasons why there is such continuity and consistency within the group and its portfolio companies.