Home Live Art
Towards a shifted culture and a way of working differently…
Home Live Art (HLA) had received Catalyst funding from Arts Council England for research into alternative revenue streams and organisational restructure to increase resilience, innovation and long term sustainability. Within this HLA co-directors commissioned a programme of leadership and organisational coaching with Generate to help re-set HLA culture, redefine their priorities as leaders and to strengthen their partnership to take this forward.
“I couldn’t recommend this coaching enough. HLA has undergone a tremendous developmental journey over the course of 6 monthly sessions. The safe, productive space helped my fellow director and I, after 10 years of co-working, to build fresh invigorated ways to communicate, collaborate and generate our creative ideas.”
The organisation had been through a major change over the past two years and co-directors [Mimi Banks and Jane Greenfield] recognised the importance of taking time out from the ever-constant project oriented work to examine roles, relationship and their personal and organisational aspirations to support the way forward. Catalyst funding enabled them to commission a six month programme of leadership and organisational coaching with Generate’s co-founder, Emma Haughton, to explore the potential to reset HLA culture to better reflect and support them as individuals, strengthen their partnership and redefine their priorities as co-leaders of HLA.
To facilitate this they needed an objective, encouraging, yet challenging presence to take responsibility for the process, freeing them up to explore ideas and options and to give focused time to this, without committing too quickly to decisions.
We worked together with HLA co-directors to create a framework and interventions that enabled them to not only define ‘what’ they needed to do but to better understand their purpose and motivation. Organisationally, they were already enjoying success and were recognised as leading-edge producers of live art presenting in accessible mainstream contexts. As co-leaders they were already good at listening to each other, and were mutually supportive. The tone and style of the coaching interventions were responsive to this, recognising and building on the significant strength and positivity in their relationship, offering insight and challenge where useful and a safe space for them permission to disagree – constructively – and for the more difficult things to be said, and heard.
Working with creative ideas and imagination on the issues and questions ahead enabled them to see what was really going on in the space between and underneath HLA’s project work; to see clearly what they needed to let go of and what their new priorities needed to be.
What difference has it made?
This work laid the foundations of a shifted culture, with increased openness and permission to lay new ideas on the table for consideration. The co-directors are now giving their in-depth R&D projects and processes equal priority alongside their prominent producing programme, including the generation of a completely new creative research project that Jane and Mimi will work on jointly, (historically each co-director has led and managed different projects). HLA has a clearer set of defined priorities enabling directors to be much more strategic about projects that are taken on and projects that are not, ultimately leading towards a more tightly curated and balanced programme of activity. There is a greater level of job satisfaction and enthusiasm, with the potential for personal creative aspirations to be met.
HLA co-leaders understood the need to prioritise their relationship, their own needs and aspirations. They now have a clear direction for the organisation that is clearly linked to their own aspirations. Their newly learned communication skills and increased awareness will continue to serve their relationship and roles as co-leaders; they are better equipped to work with and appreciate ‘difference’ and have found a new way of working that has put them firmly in the creative driving seat.