12 principles of collaborative leadership

We’ve been thinking a lot about the power of collaboration in Cornwall over the last few years and how we can use it as a tool to help ensure the future sustainability of museums and galleries.

Most recently as part of our Arts Council funded Change Makers programme (a partnership between Dr Tehmina Goskar Cornwall’s Change Maker, Royal Cornwall Museum and Cornwall Museums Partnership) we have been reflecting on how collaborative working can assist culture change.

We’ve identified 12 principles of collaborative leadership for change:

  1. Changing things in a museum is really difficult and take a long time; it’s lonely
  2. You can’t do it on your own – you have to collaborate with others
  3. Museums are important players in civil society. But they are unusual. They are buildings full of old things and we expect people to part with money to enjoy them. Keep a sense of proportion
  4. Get to know what bubbles underneath the surface of your museum. What baggage is it carrying?
  5. How does the group’s behaviour compare to the individual’s? What relationships are at play?
  6. As a change agent, what’s it like being on the other end of me? What’s it like for others to be on the other end of you? Facilitation skills are really useful
  7. Change doesn’t pan out how you might have planned it; negotiate the outcomes, be flexible, communicate widely and regularly to achieve a collaborative culture
  8. Repetition of a few simple messages is key, especially common values around community, integrity and authenticity
  9. Be confident in challenging the status quo or accepted thinking, but use sparingly
  10. Be prepared for the inner biases and prejudices of others to be projected onto you; don’t accept poor behaviour but you will need to develop a strong stomach
  11. You’ve succeeded when you hear your words quoted back at you, don’t worry about receiving credit
  12. Don’t be the change they seek, be there to lead their change

 

Dr Tehmina Goskar @tehm

Emmie Kell @emmiekell

Trustees’ Gala Lunch keynotes and outcomes

On the 18th of May, Cornwall Museums Partnership hosted its first Trustees’ Gala Lunch in Heartlands, Pool. Over 50 senior decision makers from Cornwall’s heritage sector attended and discussed the vital importance of good leadership to the future of the UK’s museums and galleries. Recent conspicuous failures in governance in the not profit sector headlined by Kids Company, but with some notable difficulties in museums too, have highlighted the need for all Trustees to take leadership seriously. Cornwall Museums Partnership is at the forefront of raising awareness of the need for excellent levels of leadership and governance. The event included two high level speakers: Michael Day, Chief Executive of Royal Historic Palaces, and Paula Sussex, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission.

Attendees discussed the need for ongoing trustee skills development in order to help heritage organisations to survive and thrive in challenging times. Paula Sussex reinforced the critical importance of the Board in a charity’s performance, and Michael Day illustrated the importance of strategic leadership and the critical role Trustees can play in fundraising for their charities. Some of the key outcomes from the event included the importance of having diversity on the board, commitment to board development, the significance of establishing a relationship of trust between the Chair and the CEO, and the need to develop of succession plans.

Good leadership is the key to the future of heritage

Over 50 senior decision makers from Cornwall’s heritage sector gathered last week, to discuss the vital importance of good leadership to the future of the UK’s museums and galleries. Cornwall Museums Partnership, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, hosted its first Trustee’s Gala Lunch, which took place at Heartlands in Pool on Thursday 18th May.

Recent conspicuous failures in governance in the not profit sector headlined by Kids Company, but with some notable difficulties in museums too, have highlighted the need for all Trustees to take leadership seriously. Cornwall Museums Partnership is at the forefront of raising awareness of the need for excellent levels of leadership and governance.

Attendees discussed the need for ongoing trustee skills development in order to help heritage organisations to survive and thrive in challenging times. Opening Keynote speaker Paula Sussex, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, reinforced the critical importance of the Board in a charity’s performance saying “when a board is not performing you are highly likely to start to see failures within the organisation.”

Michael Day, Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces and Chair of the Board at Battersea Arts Centre illustrated the importance of strategic leadership and the critical role Trustees can play in fundraising for their charities. Michael Day explained: “I’m delighted to have been invited by Cornwall Museums Partnership to speak at such an event. Boards need to be focused on the here and now, creating unity of purpose within their institutions. By looking at their drive and their desire for their organisations, the foundations of good governance can begin to form.”

In addition to this, delegates also took part in workshops throughout the day, providing them with the opportunity to influence the future direction of heritage leadership in Cornwall, lead by Sir Ferrers Vyvyan, Chair of Trustees of Cornwall Museums Partnership and Emmie Kell, CEO of Cornwall Museums Partnership. The key outcomes from these workshops will be developed into practical and deliverable key actions as part of Cornwall Museums Partnership’s drive towards excellence in leadership.

Michael Day explained: “I’m delighted to have been invited by Cornwall Museums Partnership to speak at such an event. Boards need to be focused on the here and now, creating unity of purpose within their institutions. By looking at their drive and their desire for their organisations, the foundations of good governance can begin to form.”

The day was closed with an open Q&A session, directed to all the day’s speakers on the various challenges and opportunities museums face on recruiting, retaining and communicating with their trustees. Focus was particularly given to the relationships between CEO’s and Chairs, and how governance should help to build successful and lasting connections within organisations.

Emmie Kell, CEO of Cornwall Museums Partnership said, “The opportunity to have two prestigious keynote speakers such as Paula and Michael here in Cornwall has been a real privilege for the heritage sector. We are delighted that they have been able to share their experience, knowledge and expertise, helping us to ensure a bright future for the UK’s heritage.”

For more information about the leadership and governance support offered by Cornwall Museums Partnership contact Clare Pennington at Cornwall Museums Partnership by emailing clare@cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk or calling 01209 500750.

 

EDITOR’S NOTES

  • The Trustee Gala Lunch was organised and hosted by Cornwall Museums Partnership with support from Heritage Lottery Fund.
  • Cornwall Museums Partnership existing to help museums to work together; helping create a strong voice for heritage in Cornwall.
  • The ‘Manifesto for Leadership Workshop’, was hosted by Sir Ferrers Vyvyan in the morning, Chair of Cornwall Museums Partnership

Trustees’ Gala Lunch

With support from Heritage Lottery Fund, Cornwall Museum’s Partnership are hosting the Trustee’s Gala Lunch on the 18th May at Heartlands. We have secured two amazing and inspirational  keynote speakers for the day – Paula Sussex, the Chief Executive of the Charity Commission and Michael Day, Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces. There’s also the opportunity for Trustees to be involved in the ‘Manifesto for Leadership Workshop’, hosted by Sir Ferrers Vyvyan in the morning, with a lovely lunch provided by the Red River Café at Heartlands, and really get involved with a Q&A panel in the afternoon for all things leadership.

Museums and galleries should all have received 2 invitations for the event, if you don’t think your organisation has, and you’re a Trustee interested in attending please get in touch with Clare Pennington at Cornwall Museums Partnership – clare@cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk t. 01209 500750 before the 13th of May.