I am lucky enough to have been selected for the Clore Fellowship for 2019/20. The first residential programme took place in the last week of September / first week of October, where the images above were captured.
An important theme emerged for me regarding the need to understand my core values as an artist-as-leader. These values could then serve use as a basis for building a mission statement, vision for success, objectives and so on. This need became evident through a number of sessions, including Hilary Carty’s inspiring talk, Delia Barker’s leadership perspectives, and an Authentic Leadership session run by Dick Robertson, Tim Newall-Watson and Lucy Ball. Fortunately Ellen O’Hara ran a well-timed session to play with various formats for telling our story.
Here are my experiments. Please take them with a large pinch of salt - they are early thoughts (and likely duplicatory). By committing them to the electronic ether, perhaps I make them one step closer to realising.
What is my core - what do I value?
I love being a human, and all that it involves - experiences, relationships, nature, creating, discovering. I want the rest of humankind - living, and those yet to be born - to have their own opportunities for such joy. There are things that threaten that, including climate change, war, disadvantage, discrimination, oppression, technology. There are things which can enable it, including education, functioning democracy, and also technology. I throw myself at these threats and opportunities.
I’m a deep thinker, effective doer and systemic connector. I have an artistic background, 14 years experience working in policy, and a track record of innovative approaches to bring science into decision-making. I’m obsessed by the past, regularly deploy methods to think about the future, and, above all, value being a human, alive, now.
To solve complex policy problems by applying innovative methodologies which include those derived from art, design, science and systems-thinking disciplines.
Vision / 5 year ambition
Policy-makers recognise and utilise practices emanating from the art, design, science and systems-thinking worlds. This is based on an evaluated set of case studies which have solved complex, real-world policy problems to improve lives for people in the UK and abroad.
How I want to work (a ‘Manifesto for Me’?)
Do bigger, better and fewer things.
Embrace a mixed media approach to learning and problem solving, which includes doing, reading, writing, making, reflecting, discussing. Sometimes I will need to go ‘full time’ on a particular mode (e.g. to get a project done or nail a piece of writing), but this will likely be temporary.
Aim for clarity but don’t be afraid of creatively addressing ambiguity. More specifically, treat a problem to be solved positively and proactively, as an exciting puzzle to unlock which is fundamentally part of the creative process - not an enervating demon which I hide away. Unleash my mixed media toolkit (2) on the problem.
Give room to people to be their best selves (focusing on strengths) - behold the power that this could unleash.
Embrace and promote inclusive leadership as a self-evident thing in itself, but also a powerful tool to unlock systems change and creativity.
Work with joy.
Bring together artistic practice and leadership. These can’t be separate, unlinked parts of me. Identify and speak with artist leaders.
Find my own voice; listen generously and respectfully; embrace silence.
Radical self-care improves performance.
Own being a leader.
THINGS TO DO NEXT?
Manifesto for use of art in science and policy?
GROW model for use of art in science and policy? (Goal, Reality, Options, Will)
Answer’s to Hilary Carty’s questions:
What are my aspirations and ambitions for my fellowship?
How am I proposing to challenge myself?
In light of the above: Who would be a good mentor? What would be a good secondment? Should I consider research?