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Kathryn Knight, 'What Happened Since'

As part of intensive learning strand the Cultural Leadership Programme has enhanced opportunities for cultural leaders to take short periods of time away from their day job to focus exclusively on leadership development.

The Advanced Leadership in the Creative Industries programme was developed in partnership with Ashridge Business School, the UK Design Skills Alliance (led by Creative & Cultural Skills and the Design Council) and the Institute for Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) for senior executives (CEO, MD, VP or Director Level) in the creative industries.

The pilot programme provided the latest thinking in the areas of leadership, strategy, talent management and other crucial aspects of the creative industries context, as well as being delivered in a challenging learning environment, which drew on the participants’ own experiences and current leadership issues.

Kathryn Knight, Publishing Director at Faber Music Ltd, a participant on the programme, provides an insight into the ALCI programme’s impact on those involved, the future aspirations for the programme and the power of a network.


Advanced Leadership in the Creative Industries

I was privileged to be selected as one of 18 senior executives from the UK's advertising, design and music industries to join the Advanced Leadership in the Creative Industries pilot programme in March-July 2009, supported by the Cultural Leadership Programme and delivered by leading business school, Ashridge.

It is no understatement to say that the experience was life-changing!  The modules were carefully, and successfully, devised to stimulate much thought and discussion regarding issues of leading innovation and change that specifically impact the creative environment.  These modules where further stimulated thanks to an impressive range of guest speakers including Greg Dyke, Michael Peters and John Hegarty.

Also an excellent addition to our two-day module residential at Ashridge were the intermodular days (at Universal Music, the design company Holmes & Marchant, and advertising agency M&C Saatchi) during the programme: here, the remit was to be presented with a real business issue specific to each industry, to thrash through some solutions and present to their executive board.   Both the course participants and our hosts found the experience utterly stimulating and were delighted by the tangible outcomes.

Future Aspirations
I wholeheartedly support the continuation of the programme, and would also encourage the continued combination of subsectors within the creative industries. The opportunity to understand and develop tools to define and refine our leadership skills, but also to understand the wider issues affecting our respective industries - and where these issues overlap - was invaluable.

ALCI Network
Most importantly, however, during the programme the participants have developed into a powerful network of 18 close colleagues and friends who will continue to support and encourage each other long into the future.  None of us will ever again feel alone when we are presented with seemingly impossible business challenges in the times ahead: we will be able to turn to our ALCI colleagues for wholly objective advice and support.  

Every one of us was passionate about the industries each represented, and felt keenly the responsibility to develop our leadership skills to help us to drive our respective industries forward.  With the ALCI programme, we have been given many of the tools - and the confidence - to fly.