Ideas and experiences from the group:
- What does leadership mean if you’re an independent producer? Can you work collaboratively with others and is this leadership? What models could work?
- Re-imagining success and leadership beyond the AD of a large building is important.
- ACE funded Transforming Leadership projects should provide some interesting models.
- ‘Octopus’ model of leadership- lots of tentacles- the leader isn’t visible, separate and loud but part of the whole. The tentacles are a network of trusted collaborators or a committee to go out and make things happen
- Quiet leadership
- More organic leadership creating ripples of change rather than autocratic
- Harvard Business Review model of “incomplete leadership” you provide leadership rather than being the leader. You work with others who have the skills you don’t have to create a complete package to lead a project or organisation.
- Leadership that is about empowering, trusting and delegating
- How do you balance accountability and collaboration. Working with collaborators needs the right people and needs more thought as it’s not a structure where everyone knows the rules but if you get it right then you get accountability because people feel empowered and are committed
- Collaborative leadership works best with proximity e.g. in the same office, otherwise decision making can take a long time
- Rising Arts Agency in Bristol have a leadership training programme Be It, which would be interesting to look at
- Being a good leader includes nurturing which isn’t usually seen as a leadership quality but is important
- Spill Festival rolling leadership model. Year 1. Artistic Director and Assistant. Year 2. The assistant becomes the director and is supported by the old AD. Year 3. The old AD steps down and a new assistant comes in
- The role of the board can be critical in all of this. How do you convince them (and funders) of different models? If you have different models in the organisation but the board follows an old structure what does that mean? There’s no space for development on boards- you have to come in with a skill set and what’s being asked of boards can be restrictive e.g. fundraising. If you want to change the organisation you need to think about the purpose and structure of the board. Can you have advisory/ critical friend roles rather than requiring everything from your board so you can shape the board for a more interesting function e.g. being driven by the community your serve etc. Invite people in to observe in board meetings more- not just when about to become a board member but staff, stakeholders, beneficiaries etc. Have a focus for each meeting that makes it an exciting, interesting process to be a board member, not just signing off papers. Revisit what your board is for.
- BAC have project teams rather than departments creating a more flat structure- trading some efficiency and creating some risk for greater collaboration?
- Contact in Manchester have interesting youth leadership models
- Slung Low- ensemble company model that has actually been around for years but as an organisational structure feels like a new revolutionary model. Alan’s blog contains some interesting insights https://alanlaneblog.wordpress.com/
- In a commercial model there’s higher accountability but greater freedom, you just have to make the case and then it’s your responsibility. Boards don’t slow the process up here.
- Are participatory structures of leadership less efficient?
- The arts can teach other sectors about more creative ways of working and other sectors can bring new perspectives to the arts e.g. Marketing manager who is from outside the arts challenges all the perceptions and biases we don’t notice we have otherwise.
- Hannah Cox is creating 100 Projects- a new model to recognise excellence in participatory practice across the UK (in development, email [email protected] for info) in response to 100 most influential arts leaders from The Stage
- Brighton People’s Theatre models
- What if everyone was on the same pay? As a thought experiment and challenging perceptions and structures but also companies have done/ do this
- The spaces we conduct leadership in and base our organisations in are important to changing ways of working and making better working environments. Change the space to change leadership. A child in the office changes interactions immediately. Get rid of strip lighting. More dogs! Make offices more human.