"Learning to share what we know; that might matter more than we realise."
Overheard at Clore Leadership's recent Governance Now conference 
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The passing (but telling) remark (see #Clorism above) was made at the recent launch of the Cultural Governance Alliance. It was an energetic occasion, with more than 100 participants from smaller and larger arts organisations keen to hear about the Alliance. Everyone wanted to listen and learn: to explore how we can collaborate to figure out how to lead cultural organisations better, whether as employees or as trustees.

An old-style model of a working life suggested that after developing a career in a particular area of the arts one might become an experienced (or senior) figure … and only when retired would one’s knowledge be drawn on in the form of membership of a board. My own experience has been different. While still young I was invited onto an advisory group for one of the former regional arts associations and then joined the Regional Committee of the Arts Council, and since then have served on a wide range of committees from the board of a small marine welfare charity to a local primary school fundraising committee through to serving as a governor of Middlesex University, and more recently becoming a trustee of the National Trust and being privileged to be Chair of Clore Leadership. I have learned much from every one of these roles (and from the experienced people around me) whether about collective responsibility, engendering trust or the importance of celebrating the achievements of great staff at all levels.

Whether others have learned from me I can’t say, but aiming for a range of experience and a diverse mix of backgrounds on boards contributes to good governance. As pointed out by many (from Arts Council England to various professional associations) this is one of the best ways to encourage good creative governance through a balance of perspectives – and therefore crucial to thinking about strategic matters and assessing risk. Clore Leadership is offering a governance day on Thursday 28th February, at the National Gallery, related to this very topic. 

Other Clore Leadership news includes the appointment of Carol Lake, Managing Director & Head of Global Philanthropy for International Markets, JP Morgan, as a Trustee. With many years experience contributing as a board member to arts organisations including the Theatre Royal Stratford East, The Young Vic and Sadlers Wells, I am delighted that Carol is now contributing to the Board’s work.  

I hope you will find this issue of Lead On engaging, and here are links to various materials - thinking about leadership across the generations.

Wishing you the very best for leadership and good governance in the year ahead


Sandy Nairne, Chair, Clore Leadership Programme

Brain fuel

Room 13 is a social enterprise with an international network of student-run creative studios around the world. It's a hugely influential model of artistic teaching and youth leadership that start started in Scotland in 1994. Check out the range of case studies and research in their archive.

Taking the lead: youth leadership in theory and practice, a seminal report by the Young Foundation and The Youth of Today.

When worlds collide: does 'reverse mentoring' work?

Putting young people at the heart of decision-making: the Roundhouse's Youth Governance Guide.


Spotlight on: Graham Devlin and Dylan Haskins' unusual approach to mentoring 

Should we focus our efforts on designing mentoring programmes that ignore age and rank and are instead based on skills, interests and personality? We sat down with leading arts consultant Graham Devlin and Clore Fellow and BBC Executive Producer Dylan Haskins to talk about the rationale and benefits of turning mentoring on its head. 

Videos from Clore Emerging Futures 2018: Leadership, Culture & Big Ideas 

Young, gifted and innovative: what could young people as decision-makers look like in your organisation? What are the top lessons from taking the big leap and setting up something on your own? Euella Jackson and Jennie Cashman Wilson present their learning in 5-minute Lightning Talks.

Writer Nikesh Shukla on inclusion is hard and other myths.

Brave Conversations: The Key to Resilience. Sarah Cartwright's Leadership Hack on building the strength and confidence you need to stand up for yourself and speak out.

Programmes & Events

Clore Leadership Board Development Programme presents: Achieving and Retaining a Diverse Board. A dynamic 1-day training full of practical tips and approaches towards addressing one of the top prioritied for cultural Boards. Speakers joining us include: Sue Woodford-Hollick OBE, Tony Heaton OBE, Matthew Xia, Sarah Weir OBE and Joanna Moriarty

Thursday, 28 February 2019.
Deadline for applications is 6 December 2018. 

More details >>

Join the Cultural Governance Alliance to help promote and evolve good governance in the cultural sector

Ongoing and free to join

More details >>

REMIX Summit London 2019: Culture, Technology, Entrepreneurship

17-18 January 2019

More details >>

Photography: Richard Tymon, Emerging Futures, Clore Leadership 2018
Creative & Cultural Skills Awards

The annual Creative & Cultural Skills Awards shine a light on the individuals and organisations that have shown an outstanding commitment to skill development and learning in the creative industries. Nominations for the 2019 Awards are open until 25 January. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony on 1 April in Cardiff.


Director, Liverpool Biennial 

Founded in 1998, Liverpool Biennial - the UK’s contemporary art biennial, has commissioned over 340 new artworks and presented work by more than 480 artists from around the world. Following the recent appointment of its current Director as Executive Director of Queens Museum in New York, we are seeking her successor who will build on the achievements of the last 20 years. We are looking for an experienced, resilient and confident leader with a compelling vision to inspire, move and challenge audiences locally, nationally and internationally, and who will nurture a fast paced, high-performing, innovative and supportive working culture. With an expert knowledge of international contemporary art, you will have a proven track record of directing national and international projects with multiple artists, curating exhibitions, commissioning public art works, and increasing public engagement whilst sustaining integrated learning programmes. 

Artistic Director, Mercury Theatre

The Mercury Theatre Colchester is seeking new artistic leadership. Each year, we welcome over 130,000 people to our critically acclaimed Made in Colchester productions and lively visiting programme. We are now looking for an imaginative and proven theatre maker to work in partnership with Steve Mannix our Executive Director, steering the venue’s artistic programme in the wake of our major capital redevelopment. The successful candidate will have a compelling artistic vision for the Mercury, which is an artistic hub at the centre of cultural life in Colchester, North Essex and East Anglia. The Mercury is a significant player in the national theatre ecology In June 2019, we break ground on a £9.6 million refurbishment of the theatre, creating a 547 seat auditorium, 99 seat studio, extended front of house facilities, and onsite rehearsal and creative learning space. The Artistic Director’s inaugural season in 2020 will announce our return to this transformed venue. We invite applications from directors or producers who have the vision, skills and experience to lead the theatre alongside the Executive Director. 


Share Your Views

Fill out our 3-question poll on intergenerational leadership here.

Results are in from our previous edition's poll on leadership and place: 75% of participants are connected to their local area and attend or host professional networks or meet-ups. 50% have a relationship with your local authority. The most valuable outcomes of the 'placemaking' agenda include improving civic/community life and bringing communities together followed closely by celebrating local culture and heritage. 
Lead On is edited by Petia Tzanova. Click 'reply' if you have comments, enquiries or suggestions for future editions. 

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