Resources 3

The Gathering

Season 2: “Remaking”

Episode 5: Enhancing board oversight to transform cultural impact

Thanks for listening to The Gathering, a podcast for artists and creatives from Arts Lancashire.

This season is all about remaking and remodelling the role and work of artists and creatives in a Covid world, and the practicalities of creating and delivering at a distance.

We talk about working within the new restrictions, where the opportunities are, how to rip up the rule book and why it’s more important than ever to ensure that our artistic practice, our places and spaces, and opportunities to make and participate are consistently inclusive and representative.

In Episode 5 of Series 2, we’re joined by Jonathan Mayes from Clore Leadership’s Governance Alliance and Matt Wilde, Director of Blaze Arts, to explore how the pandemic, and the many issues around social injustice, has impacted on the work of trustees and the relationships between boards and the operational teams of cultural organisations.

It’s never been more important to have good governance, but now that the pressure is on for boards to provide real time responses to the challenges brought by Covid, how does that affect decision making?

As we dive into the nuanced issues facing trustees in this moment, we consider how board structure impacts on attitude to risk and influences strategy and programming. We look at how a more considered approach to board recruitment can ensure more diversity and a better representation of the community it serves. We talk about how the alignment of individual motivations with organisational objectives creates space for all parties to grow and tackle we the age old question of whether board members should be paid and what it might mean if they were.

Jonathan Mayes from Clore Leadership’s Governance Alliance

Matt Wilde, Director of Blaze Arts

Things we talk about in this episode:

  • How Covid has impacted on the work of boards
  • What a good board should look like and feel like
  • How the membership and work of the BLAZE board of trustees is pioneering in putting young people at the heart of its make up
  • What the impact of the younger trustees can be an organisation
  • What support needs to be put in place to help and develop young people in the role of trustee.
  • Whether boards should be voluntary.
  • How boards can develop a more open attitude to risk taking needed to encourage innovation and push an organisation forward.
  • How can boards widen and deepen their pool of trustees, not just in terms of young people, but in terms of recruiting a board with relevant skills and experience that will help organisations meet their objectives in the long term.
  • How we can minimise churn on Boards but still ensure things don’t get stale.
  • How Chairs can instil collective responsibility and ensure more of the board are pulling their weight.
  • What the incentive to sit on a board of a cultural organisation is in the current climate.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Arts Lancashire

Clore Leadership

Cultural Governance Alliance

Blaze Arts

Slung Low