Here in Kent the sun is still shining, there is a cat that remains timid of me, and the food is too plentiful and too delicious to refuse. Hence a definite bloated feeling. But rest assured, I've sent out for Coca Cola and the caffeine is eagerly awaited!
In our learning, it has been an intense couple of days. Lots of supported learning and mutual appreciation. The group growing together rapidly, and an evening in front of the fire. Now we're watching The Great British Bake Off and relaxing (and in typical fashion, I'm typing on my phone as the TV plays!). So, here are some brief lessons from days 2 and 3 of the course.
1: A unified framework for my philosophies. Ije Mwokorie of Wolff Olins talked about the culture of coaching he has fostered in the organisation. His thoughts on how the failings of organisations are often the failing of creating a leadership culture for all struck a chord with me. The way we can manage change and recode systems felt aspirational and something I want to be part of. I increasingly feel driven to be part of an organisation that has a philosophy for how it operates, as well as what it does.
2: A challenge. Fergus O'Conchuir spoke of the role of the artist as a leader. He presented the idea of Fleadership, the nimble, irritating leadership of those who have nothing to answer for but their art.
3: An inspiration. Fergus O'Cunchuir and Marcus Davey on the importance of bringing artistic excellence and community involvement together.
4: The challenges of communicating the value of the arts to ourselves and wider societies. The importance of advocacy, the danger of Instrumentalism - seeing the value of arts only in the benefits it offers to the economy and society - and the many versions of value we have. To seek compromise, or to focus on diversity and multiplicity. And around this session, a realisation that how you say something is as important and what you say. If the arts wants to advocate for itself effextively and genuinely, it needs to find a way to express something of value to politicians and those not interested in the arts, but do so through a medium that celebrates the creativity and communication at the heart of the arts.
5: A warning. A reminder from Vikki Heywood to be selective about opportunities and not be flattered into leadership. She was excellent, full of sound bites of wisdom and exuding a real genuine-ness demonstrated in how she spoke rather than what she said.
6: On Authenticity. Realising that there are tau sides to the authenticity in me. Those skills I have that are innate (and which I may not value in myself as much as I should) and those that are conscious and worked at (which I might value too highly). The challenge for me is giving space for these two sides of my skills to shine, and recognising that for those I lead it doesn't matter where something comes from, but what it enables for them.