A little while back, we were asked to contribute some thinking to an ambitious new international leadership development programme being developed by the British Council in partnership with the Cultural Leadership Programme.
As a consequence, we were then asked to be part of the pilot phase of this new initiative, now called Cultural Leadership International. This first phase involved drawing together over 80 emerging cultural leaders from across Europe, North Africa and the Gulf States and helping them consider what leadership is for them in the cultural sector, in an international context. This programme saw us delivering some intense and challenging workshops in Madrid, Bahrain and Amman, working with some amazing, creative people.
In order to make this challenging project work, we had to re-check all our thinking: we were working with participants, for the majority of whom, English is a second language and who came from a wide range of contexts: independent artist collectives through to state institutions.
Subsequently, we were invited to contribute to the leadership development of a second cohort of Cultural Leadership International participants. This time we were working with 40 artists and cultural leaders from the UK, Saudi Arabia, UAE and various North African countries. We spent four days in Beirut working with this group of managers, entrepreneurs and thinkers, exploring themes of creative leadership, preference and style, influence and personal planning.