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The People Theme

A Mission Models Money (MMM) Project


investigating the competencies, qualities and
attributes which will enable creative practitioners
and organisations to thrive in the challenging
environment of the 21st Century

Summary of research undertaken by Roanne Dods and Nadine Andrews for MMM
during 2009-2010
Foreward
"MMM's last phase of work identified several strengths in the arts and cultural
sector that suggest fertile ground in which to grow the competencies, qualities
and attributes for thriving in the challenging environment of the 21st Century.
First, the substance of the arts is intimately connected to meaning making -
making sense of the buzzing confusion of our world. Second, the sector is
generally loosely organised and configured with plenty of room for personal
passion and innovation. Third, the observation of leaders in the sector
suggests that the challenges faced are being met with resilience and innovation
- responses that drive sustainable delivery across both public and private
sectors.

The sector is evidencing good and exemplary practice and MMM's research
enables us to share some key insights into the competencies, qualities and
attributes that help navigate through these challenging times; how they might
be developed and how we might better understand the contexts in which they
flourish.

The Cultural Leadership Programme works to nurture, develop and sustain


world-class, dynamic and diverse leaders, equipped to thrive in this
challenging 21st Century and we are delighted to support MMM in their
continued exploration of this agenda - one which is so relevant to all of us
wherever we live and work."

Hilary Carty
Director
The Cultural Leadership Programme

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“In a world of risk we can judge dangers and opportunities by using the best
evidence at hand to estimate the probability of a particular outcome. But in a
world of uncertainty, we can’t estimate probabilities, because we don’t have
any clear basis for making such a judgement. We are surrounded by unknown
unknowns.”
Thomas Homer Dixon1

“When you see dancers moving on balloons, they are trying to keep their
balance and the whole thing is shifting underneath them all the time. And very
good exercise because it exercises all bits of you…. That is how I feel about
trying to do something, that you are always having to be like that.”
MMM Research respondent

1
Thomas Homer Dickson, The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilisation, 20

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1. PROJECT SUMMARY

1.1 Project Context and Outline


The uncertainty and unpredictability inherent in our messy, complex and constantly
changing 21st century world are challenges that are being felt in the UK’s arts and cultural
sector at every level and in all aspects of work, placing significant new stresses both on
individuals and organisations.

Much is being written about the ‘crisis’ point we stand at: a point between an old world and
a new, a time of radical transformation, and a time in which we see the associated creation
and destruction of models and meaning. But what does this current social and cultural
landscape mean for us as people? What fundamental challenges does it hold? And what new
ways of operating is it asking of us?

What is certain is the uncertainty: the need for all of us to have a significantly higher
tolerance for, and management of, ambiguity, complexity and the associated risks2.

In developing an understanding of the competencies, qualities and attributes (CQAs)


needed to meet these challenges and the contexts in which they flourish, MMM’s People
Theme research seeks to help the UK’s arts and cultural sector to thrive by adapting to
changing conditions and making great work happen in a way that is life-friendly to people
and planet.

Through an online survey and interviews with arts professionals holding many different
kinds of roles (both artistic and managerial), the research team discovered which
competencies respondents saw as important to getting great results in their work and the
extent to which they perceived themselves to possess those competencies. They also gained
knowledge of the personal, professional and wider world contexts that influence how CQA’s
are drawn upon to good effect. These findings are indicative of the arts and cultural sector
as a whole.

The policy and practice implications for the sector are profound: the competencies where
the sample showed significant weakness highlight vital areas of focus for professional and
leadership development and are summarised in more detail in the Findings and
Conclusions section below.

More detail on the research can be found in the full research report which available on
MMM’s website www.missionmodelsmoney.org.uk

1.2 Project Focus


In this context of uncertainty and complexity, the research focused on identifying a
potential set of competencies, qualities and attributes’ (CQAs) best suited to this 21st
century operating environment and investigating their presence in the UK’s professional
arts and cultural sector.

Of particular interest to the research team were the following questions: What were
these CQA’s? How could they be developed? What conditions help their ‘flourishing’

2
The recognition that new ways of working are needed to meet the challenges of complex situations are not
new: the limitations of Newtonian influenced management theory has been talked about as long ago as the
1950s with seminal texts such as ‘The science of "muddling through”’ by C.E. Lindblom. Why they have not
been widely adopted is a question widely debated

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and what implications might this understanding have for creative practitioners and
organisations? Perhaps most importantly, could answers to these questions help people to
‘thrive’, not only within the arts and cultural sector but also beyond?

Research Questions

1. Understanding competencies, qualities and attributes (CQAs)


a) What CQAs are needed for thriving in uncertainty?
b) How can these CQAs be developed in people?

2. Understanding contexts
a) What contexts enable these CQAs to flourish and be used to
good effect?
b) How can personal and work contexts be influenced to co-
create these enabling conditions?

1.3 Project Purpose


In looking at what CQAs are best suited to these times, the research team had two goals:

Firstly they wanted to allow respondents to identify themselves against these CQAs. In so
doing, people would be given a vocabulary to validate this increasingly important, way of
being, leading and thriving.

Secondly, they wanted to look at the conditions that allow people to use these CQAs to best
effect. Understanding this would enable identification of the kinds of operating
environments needed within which people might best develop these CQAs.

The ultimate purpose of undertaking the research was to develop a model for creative
practitioners and organisations to apply within their own circumstances. The model would
help them to both further develop their own CQAs, and also to influence their contexts so as
the CQAs would become more enabling both to themselves and to others. The modelling
stage would be undertaken into a second phase (resources permitting), which would focus
on testing how the CQAs could be developed and how contexts could be influenced to create
enabling conditions.

1.4 A Note on Terms: Thriving, Competencies, Qualities and Attributes


MMM’s research seeks to contribute to the knowledge we need for a future in which we all
can thrive. With this motivation in mind, and for the purposes of creating clarity of meaning
whilst undertaking the research, the team developed a definition of thriving as a way of
being/doing that integrates the key concepts of relevance, resilience and ethical practice:

Thriving
Adapting to changing conditions in a life-friendly way to people and planet in order to
maintain the function of making great work happen.

It is only when all 3 dimensions of relevance, resilience and ethical practice overlap that
thriving in uncertainty is truly realised.

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Figure 1

The research team developed a model (Figure 1 above) to illustrate their view that ‘thriving’
for an individual is not a fixed state: it is an emergent property of the complex interaction of
CQAs and influencing factors in a specific situation; the result of ‘making great work
happen’ refers to any aspect of working life; life-friendly is a term used to mean having a
benign impact on quality of life.

In management theory, ‘Competency’ is understood as a capability that goes beyond


knowledge skills and abilities into values, motivation and characteristics and should lead to
superior performance in the 21st century environment. However, many of those involved in
the research in the early stages had a much more limited understanding of the term and had
negative responses to it as a dry impersonal managerial concept. To counter this, the
research team included the terms qualities and attributes, which they felt emphasised the
holistic breadth of ways of being and doing they were investigating,

The research team distilled seventy-eight such CQAs and organized them into twelve
clusters:

The People Theme CQA clusters


Making sense of changing conditions
Learning
Reality checking
Flexibility to adapt
Finding ways forward
Making things happen
Managing relationships
Leadership
Clear Communication
Resilience
Self awareness
Ethical practice

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This list is not proposed as definitive. The aim was not to create absolutes, but to describe
the types of competencies needed to manage uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity. The
main focus in choosing the CQAs was not on specific professional skills or subject specialist
know-how, but on ways of being and doing that help us in a fast changing, complex and
uncertain world.

2. BACKGROUND

2.1 History of the research


The genesis of The People Theme research arose in the last phase of MMM’s work. Its 2007
report ‘Towards a healthy arts and cultural ecology’3 concluded that in common with other
parts of the world where not-for-profit organisations are a primary delivery vehicle for
cultural experience, this sector in the UK was facing major structural changes brought on by
technological advances, global interconnectedness and shifting consumer behaviour.

Organisations must adapt to evolving technologies and the different ways the public are
engaging and participating with arts and culture, the competition for leisure time and the
impact of reduced exposure to arts in the education system or risk finding themselves
marginalised.

Navigating this change is no easy matter. Thousands of not-for-profit organisations critical


to both the historical and contemporary cultural canon are over-extended and under-
capitalised.

Often with high fixed costs and inflexible business models many are highly dependent on
annual public sector grants to survive as patterns in attendance and earned and fundraised
income from the private sector change and/or reduce.

This scenario, whilst allowing survival, offers very little scope for fundamental
transformation into more responsive, adaptive, resilient mission-led businesses delivering
cultural excellence to an even wider general public.

The ability to evolve has never been so essential. More and more people across societies are
recognising that the enormous challenges facing humanity and the world today are the
result of a way of thinking whose times have passed. Most people are beginning to recognise
that the side effects of our industrial growth society are unsustainable, both for us and our
planet and that we can no longer afford to protect the ways of the past. Instead, we need to
join in creating a different future: one that allows adaptation to changing conditions in a
life-friendly way to both people and the planet.

Harnessing the restorative and regenerative power of arts and culture in building
humanity’s psychological resilience and designing the transition to a more sustainable
world is, in MMM’s view, an imperative. In order to achieve this, arts and cultural
organisations and the individuals who work in them urgently need to build their own
resilience and design themselves for transition.

Results from MMM’s action research, summarised in ‘Towards a Healthy Arts and Cultural
Ecology’ showed a pitifully inadequate infrastructure for the development of people in the
sector and a range of concerning issues that needed to be taken into account and addressed
as part of the route to achieving greater resilience.

3
Towards a Healthy Ecology of Arts & Culture, MMM, 2007

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Firstly, the skills needed for effective arts leadership today were both complex, numerous
and nigh on intimidating: “They include board development and management, programme
design and administration, strategic planning and financial modeling, public relations and
advocacy, marketing and branding, education, property development, commercial licensing,
capital formation and fundraising, as well as a talent for diplomatically balancing the
interests of diverse constituencies and responding to the changing regulatory
environment.’4

Secondly, the fragmented nature of the sector and the predominance of small organisations
mean that training budgets are generally low, if they exist at all and that whilst the cultural
leadership training initiatives such as the Clore Leadership Programme and the Cultural
Leadership Programme were highly valued, ring-fencing bigger internal budgets to support
people development was a matter of urgency.

Thirdly, efforts need to be made to make pay more competitive with other sectors. ‘Pay was
considered to be the elephant in the room which no one discusses…. We work in a creative
sector: we now need creative solutions to help break out of the financial straitjacket that
constrains it’.

Fourthly, there has been a growing movement away from traditional institutional settings
towards more flexible forms of operation with a resulting increased number of freelancers,
facilitators, producers and networkers as a result. However, much professional
development support continues to be focused on management of traditional non-
profit organisations. Developing greater understanding of the professional development
needs of individuals choosing to work in more networked, fragile, fluid environments and
channeling greater resources into this group would help develop these creative
‘adhocracies’.

In tackling these issues, MMM and others are recognising that transforming the sector by
helping individuals learn how to thrive in challenging conditions requires an understanding
of the ways of being and doing that enable people to make accurate sense of the changes
around them, to adapt and learn, to think critically and creatively, and to work with others
to find positive ways forward to get great results.

With all this information and understanding in mind MMM undertook to raise the
necessary resources to conduct further research on what was termed ‘The People Theme’.

2.2 Positioning of The People Theme Research


Great minds have been exploring this space since the 1950s. However over the last three
years - and particularly in the year since MMM began The People Theme –there has been a
significant interest in the area, with many other players turning their focus to these issues
and seeking to find new ways to translate the literature into practical application and
understanding.

One might look at the excellent work by Demos with the RSC on collaboration and
distributed leadership5; The Work Foundation’s publication outlining a people-centred
approach to leadership using strong empirical research, entitled ‘Exceeding Expectations’6;
The Young Foundation’s research into youth leadership “Taking the Lead: Youth Leadership

4
Towards a Healthy Ecology of Arts & Culture, MMM, 2007
5
http://www.demos.co.uk/projects/rscensembleworking
6
http://www.theworkfoundation.com/research/publications/publicationdetail.aspx?oItemId=232&parentPageID=102&Pu
bType
8
in Theory and Practice’7; or NEF’s excellent publication on the working week ’21 Hours’
addressing urgent and inter-related problems, centred on issues of wellbeing8. It is clear
that all of this research interest and activity gives the People Theme a new relevance.

In this context, we believe what is different about MMM’s approach is: the use of a values
based definition of ‘thriving’ as an ambition of the research; the attention to the context
within which people work as crucial to any behavioural understanding; and finally, the
focus on the arts and cultural sector as a place to both observe and develop this higher
resilience for complexity and risk.

2.3 Research Partnership


The research was enabled through a broad partnership of individuals and organisations.
The Cultural Leadership Programme, Scottish Arts Council and Arts Council England all
supplied both financial and intellectual resources to the project. The design of the research
has benefited from feedback from a multidisciplinary group focussed around the Institute of
Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths College London, and from a peer
group of arts and cultural practitioners and professionals, and from systems and
organisational learning practitioners.

3. PROCESS

3.1 Methodology
The People Theme research process involved desktop research, quantitative and qualitative
approaches and analysis. It began in January 2009 and concluded in March 2010. The
methods involved were:

3.1.1 Review of literature on the topic of 21st century competencies. This


informed our list of key CQAs, a wide range of intrapersonal and interpersonal
CQAs and ways of making meaning and responding to the external world across
cognitive, social and emotional intelligences. They relate to self awareness and
emotional resilience; sense-making, learning and reality checking; adapting,
finding ways forward and making things happen; and managing relationships,
communication and leadership.
3.1.2 Semi-structured interviews with 8 professionals from the creative
sector to test the relevance of the list of CQAs and find out what else the
interviewees thought were important; and to check the clarity of our
communication and understanding of terms used.
3.1.3 Online exploratory survey to examine the revised list of CQAs and
gather information on personal and work contexts and other influencing factors.
The survey was piloted with 10 arts professionals. As an exploratory survey it
sought to gather data in much greater breadth than a survey that would be used
to test known factors, perhaps meaning it was less likely to be completed by large
numbers of people, than a shorter and simpler survey. Indeed, we received 254
complete responses, slightly lower than our target of 300. Respondents could also
choose to receive personalised reports showing how their responses to possession
of CQAs compared to the mode. This also included their Satisfaction With Life9
7
http://www.youngfoundation.org/youth-today/news/taking-lead-youth-leadership-theory-and-practice
8
http://www.neweconomics.org/publications
9
The Satisfaction with Life Scale by Ed Diener is widely acknowledged in the field of Positive Psychology to be the
most commonly used tool for measuring happiness. We believed this would provide a wider group of comparators for
our data and ensure it was externally recognised

9
score with accompanying explanation. The survey data was analysed using SPSS
and Excel
3.1.4 Interviews with 28 selected survey respondents to explore in more detail
the use of CQAs, and the influencing factors and contexts in situations of
complexity, change and uncertainty. These situations were chosen by
interviewees as personally challenging but that were navigated to successful
outcomes. The focus of this aspect of the methodology was on modelling
excellence.

3.2 Scope and Limitations


The main research report10 presents the key findings to date.

As already indicated, further research is required to understand how CQAs can be


developed in people and how contexts can be influenced to create enabling conditions.
Resources permitting, this next phase would involve piloting a programme of practical
interventions to develop CQAs and influence personal and work contexts with a small
number of individuals as action research subjects. As more in-depth understanding about
how these CQAs and enabling conditions can be developed in real situations can be gained,
the model can be developed and refined to maximise its robustness and relevance for use in
personal, professional and organisational development.

The People Theme research was not designed to tell us definitively whether the arts and
cultural sector is different to other sectors in terms of these CQAs.

Finally, MMM felt that the arts and cultural sector was a fruitful place to look due to its
inherent relationship with uncertainty. This relationship with uncertainty was not only in
terms of the current operating environment (overextended and undercapitalised and facing
reduced public and private funding as a result of the 2008 global financial collapse) but was
also based on a belief that much of the work of artists and creative people is about finding
and embracing the unknown, through different disciplines, rigours and processes:

4. FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

The People Theme research has generated new awareness and understanding not only
about the types of CQAs needed in the arts and cultural sector for it to thrive in conditions
of ever-increasing complexity, change and uncertainty; but also the personal, work and
wider world contexts that enable these CQAs to flourish and be used to good effect.

It has provided not just evidence of relevance of the research focus, but also a shared
vocabulary for talking about these ways of being and doing. People involved at various
stages of the research, spoke of the resonance that the CQAs had and the associated power
they felt through being able to ‘name’ them. This sense of identification, understanding and
empowerment not only brings legitimacy to this as a way of thinking about our experiences
in a changing world, but also offers potential for a way forward for the sector. Below we
offer highlights from the insight. These are not exhaustive but they offer both tasters and
provocations from the research, which we look forward to jointly building upon.

4.1 Research findings


• The research team believe that the arts and cultural sector has all the CQAs it needs
for thriving within it, but it does not always access them or use them to good effect.

10
See www.missionmodelsmoney.org.uk

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• Unsurprisingly, people within the sector draw on CQAs in different combinations in
different situations, and the ability to do this well is influenced by a variety of factors
not entirely within their control.

• The list of CQAs strongly resonated with the majority of respondents. Not only were
they seen as relevant, but in general the sample felt that they at least possessed and
in some cases excelled in these CQAs. MMM believes that this might allow a degree
of optimism in how the sector might thrive.

• The sample as a whole also has positive results for well-being in relation to state of
mental and physical health, satisfaction with life, experience of ‘flow’11 at work,
feeling ‘in one’s element’12 and engaging in free play13. Those with the highest
perceived possession of the CQAs in our sample also have a significantly higher
incidence of well being.

CQAs that scored highly in comparison to the overall response to other CQAs

• Recognising patterns and making • Motivating oneself


connections between things • Taking responsibility for oneself and
• Appreciating value of diversity for one’s role in what’s happening
• Being passionate and committed to • Using one’s initiative
the things one gets involved with

In looking at these higher scoring CQAs the research team found that:

• There is a high incidence in perceived possession of passion and commitment

• Motivating oneself, taking responsibility for self and one’s role in what’s happening,
and using one’s initiative are connected to a sense of agency which might indicate a
strong emotional maturity in the sector.

• Appreciating the value of diversity is closely associated with being open to new
perspectives & ideas, playing with ideas, thinking & doing things differently14. This
suggests the sector capacity to tackle new problems with new thinking.15

• Recognising patterns & making connections between things plays a fundamental


role in sense making. It is crucial to recognise connectivity in times of turbulence and
change.

11
By ‘flow’ we mean times when one is totally engaged, loses track of time, is highly alert and deeply focussed. See
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi 1996
12
A person is ‘in their element’ when the things they love doing and the things they are good at come together. See Ken
Robinson 1009
13
This is where you use your imagination in an unstructured way with no specific outcome in mind
14
SPSS cross tab/correlation shows that a very high proportion of those who answered ‘very much like me’ to diversity
are also ‘very much like’ these other CQAs.
15
Scott E. Page 2007 The Difference

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CQAs that scored less strongly in comparison to the overall response to other CQAs

• Taking time to reflect • Telling compelling stories


• Accepting oneself • Coping with ambiguity
• Working with emergent strategy
• Handling conflict • Spontaneous decision-making
• Challenging others in supportive • Working at the level of detail
ways
• Willingness to hold others to account • Actively caring for nature & the
• Drawing one’s own boundaries & environment
terms of engagement • Communicating using web 2.0 /
social media
• Knowing when to move on Reaching
win-win solutions
• Helping others feel comfortable with
change

In looking at these lower scoring CQAs the research team found that:

• The closely interrelated CQAs of handling conflict, challenging others in supportive


ways, willing to hold others to account, and drawing one’s own boundaries and rules
of engagement are relative weaknesses in our sample. If these are also relative
weaknesses for the sector generally then this could be very concerning.

• Given that the sample is showing strength in recognising patterns, we believe there
would be advantages in developing support structures and confidence to move from
identifying those patterns to being confident with Emergent strategy and spontaneous
decision-making, which was worryingly seen in the research as a relative weakness.

• We were also concerned - and surprised - at the relatively low results for telling stories
that are compelling to others. Being able or equipped to ‘sell’ the work of the arts and
cultural sector externally as well as ‘sell’ a vision internally is absolutely key to
generating support and buy-in.

• Whilst actively caring for nature & the environment seems not to be as relevant to
many in our sample, MMM would argue that we have a responsibility to ensure that
ethical practice is central to our working lives. It may require us to not only have greater
sensitivity to these issues, but also to think more laterally about how to find the
connections with this CQA within our artistic and creative practice.16

• We see knowing when to move on more broadly than succession, for example moving
from each stage of the learning cycle and we believe it to need critical attention.17

4.2 Emerging Themes


The research team believes that confidence is the major factor affecting people’s ability to
draw on the CQAs to good effect; it was cited unprompted by a third of survey respondents
as an influencing factor. In interpreting the data they we found it may play a role in various
ways:

16
Sustainable Ability Research
17
See Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development.

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a) Self-confidence in one’s possession of CQAs or in one’s capability to draw on CQAs
when needed, would have an impact on performance
b) Lack of confidence in the value of one’s work or contribution may account for CQAs
being perceived as more relevant to work than they are critical to one’s sector
thriving
c) The low incidence in possession and relevance of telling compelling stories may be
related to low confidence in the value of the arts and cultural sector to the wider
world (and to low confidence in expressing its value)
d) Keeping the confidence of others through clear and confident communication was
seen as crucial in getting the support needed to be able to continue working in
uncertainty with emergent strategy (though with a clear sense of purpose and
direction). This is also linked to telling compelling stories
e) There is an association in the data between high possession of self-acceptance and
valuing diversity and with drawing one’s own boundaries and rules of engagement.
It could be that self-acceptance helps you feel more confident to be yourself and to
accept others for who they are. The relative weakness in possession and relevance of
self-acceptance would therefore impact on levels of self-confidence
f) Self-confidence was enhanced by knowledge and experience of the subject, being well
prepared, feeling valued and recognized at work, having the support of others and
being trusted and empowered to work in one’s preferred ways
g) There an indication from the interviews that people may have more confidence in
using the types of CQAs we describe in artistic and creative processes than they do in
management decision-making. This could be linked to a lack of confidence (dare we
say inferiority complex) in using the sector’s own resources and so the sector looks to
the external world for reassurance and legitimacy for its methods.

Self-confidence is at the forefront of a growing body of thinking about organisational


behaviour18. The research team considered whether the findings indicate a systemic issue of
under-confidence in the arts and cultural sector. The Role of other Influencing Factors for
the use of CQAs is represented in the overview diagram, which was a useful thinking aid
when developing this research (see Appendix A)

4.3 Policy Implications and Opportunities for the Sector


MMM believes that the findings from The People Theme research - even at this early stage -
hold both promise and opportunity for a range of key players in the arts and cultural
ecology, including those responsible for policy and development, public and private
funding, and, most importantly, creative practitioners and organisations themselves.

This promise is founded on the belief that developing our understanding of how the sector
may be unique in growing people with 21st century CQAs could help evolve how creative
practice is valued, organised and financed.

Opportunity because, as primary reflectors and generators of the values that make up our
society, the arts and cultural sector are in a unique position to offer leadership as we begin
to face up to the profound threats of global resource scarcity and global heating. These new
realities are already beginning to influence changes in our current economic structures,
changes that many believe will lead to the emergence of a ‘post-industrial growth society’
underpinned by new political and social values. MMM’s view is that growing the cultural
and creative vitality of our communities will encourage this values-shift to take root, which
may in turn enable us to better recognise the limits of our finite planet and enable all life to
flourish.

18
Hollenbeck & Hall 2004

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If the real task of cultural leadership is to help evolve our culture 19, for creative
practitioners and organisations to be able to fulfill this role, more and different kinds of
support for ‘people development’ are needed. Never has that task been more urgent.

Recognising that MMM’s research thus far presents data from only a snapshot in time and
that further research needs to be undertaken both in order to develop larger and more
comparative datasets, MMM makes the following practical propositions:

4.3.1 Changes in Concepts and Definitions


Policy and strategy across the arts and cultural ecology must:
• recognises the limited nature of the concept of skills and adopt MMM’s more holistic
concept of CQAs
• adopt MMM’s definition for thriving

4.3.2 Changes in Approach


• Policy-making around people development in the sector must take an asset-based
approach which builds on the arts and cultural communities capacities and assets
• Existing leadership development initiatives in the sector must consider how their
approaches might help address the identified relative weaknesses
• The importance of context in enabling CQAs to flourish must be better recognised
across the sector resulting in more emphasis being placed on creating enabling
environments in which the CQAs can develop

4.3.3 Further research


Further research will be undertaken which will:
• Enable the production of a model or models that help equip people working in the
arts and cultural sector to thrive, describing
o How the CQAs can be developed in people
o How the contexts people operate in can be influenced to create conditions that
enable these CQAs to be used to make great work happen in win-win ways
• Understand the full implications of MMM’s definition of thriving on creative
practitioners and organisations and propose ways of ensuring that creative practice
in the sector is not threatening to the planet
• Develop comparisons with other sectors which might enable greater understanding
as to whether the art and cultural sector is in any way unique in growing or
developing people with 21st century CQAs

Finally MMM sees this moment of cultural under-confidence in the sector as an


unsurprising and unavoidable consequence of turbulence and change, but would like to see
attention being paid to the development of CQAs around the importance of applying
techniques of emergent strategy and decision-making to this reality. We believe this would
build upon the innate aptitude of the sector towards pattern-making and creative
connectivity in turbulent times, but transform this into a more structured and impactful
leadership capacity.

19
Rising to the Occasion, Graham Leicester 2007

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“The changes in which we will be called upon to participate in the future will
be both deeply personal and inherently systemic.”
Peter Senge20

“I am very thrilled about the result but the journey was ugly. You have got to
look at the hard moments. The hard moments when you are telling a whole
company that we are going to change. You are telling the artistic director that
his time has run out. But that is not so unusual, that happens sometimes. So it
was taking people on a very difficult journey, which you knew was going to be
difficult from day one, but you never quite know what the difficulties are on
the route.”
MMM Research respondent

Designed by GP Wolffe
Published in 2010 by MMM
www.missionmodelsmoney.org.uk

20
The Necessary Revolution, Peter Senge et al 2008

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16