Leadership Development for Artist Practitioners
Informed by the insights of leading artists, Method was established to act as a responsive, individually-tailored approach for professional artist practitioners, and offered them the opportunity to develop their leadership effectiveness on their own terms, including through their practice. The core aims of the programme were: to facilitate and release the potential of creative individuals; to explore artistic practice as a form of cultural leadership; and to generate and support dialogue around the role of artist practitioners in relation to leadership agendas within, and beyond the creative and cultural sector.
The pilot programme ran between May and September 2009, during which 21 artist practitioners were supported in their leadership development, using a variety of group and individual approaches including coaching, mentoring, action learning and networking events.
This essay combines cohort and contributor reflections on the components and methodologies used in the process, with conclusions and detailed recommendations for an initiative such as Method moving forwards.
Artist Practitioner Leadership Development
The Independents was conceived to address the needs of freelance practitioners, and offer them the support they need to continue producing high calibre work and fulfil their role as cultural leaders. It was observed that the majority of existing leadership development in the cultural sector focused on the individualís role within a large organisation, yet there was little attention paid to the role of independent professionals, who often work in isolation, yet bring incredible energy and vision to the sector.
BAC addressed this lack of provision through a bespoke learning programme whose aims were: to establish a new network of independent cultural leaders who would be better equipped to sustain a strong independent sector; to provide beneficiaries with inspirational models of independent practice which identify essential leadership qualities; and to legitimise and promote the role of the established freelancer, making a critical contribution to the development of a growing pool of independent cultural leaders in the UK.
This essay summarises and disseminates the key learnings from the Independents, with illustrative case studies of the participant experience, and explores the benefits for the host organisation, giving recommendations on future delivery.