• It’s time for a systemic conversation

    In the past, organisations might have stated the conditions they are working within as external to themselves; indeed, pointed to them as reasons they might have missed targets or failed to deliver on ambitions. We would have heard, “the problem is there just aren’t talented people from x community who can play at the expert level we need” or “what you don’t understand is how hard it is to get people from x community to apply”. We might have heard, “they (someone, those other people, that other organisation) should invest more (support more, intervene earlier, do something) so that the issue is addressed, or the barriers are removed”. You might have heard yourself in those words.

    Today we are more likely to hear a systemic conversation with an awareness of the causal relationships, the involvement, the complicity even. We are more likely to see organisations choosing to frame one of their strategic goals around systemic change. From: why doesn’t someone do something? To: what could we do that would make a positive difference?

    Read more from Richard Watts in this Arts Professional article here. 

  • A more diverse workforce

    Dan Bates, Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres is one of the leaders on the Change Creation programme. Together with the Ramps on The Moon network, Dan is striving for a step change in the development of a more diverse UK theatre workforce that incorporates D/deaf and disabled individuals. He started off with the question: how do we embed inclusivity and relevance across our organisation, programming and people?

    “We know diversity is essential to our success, so using diversity as a lens, we started with questions about who we are, what we do and how we do things,” says Dan. “Where are we today and where do we want to be?”

    Dan and his team have worked with Change Creation to create a new mission, vision and values, reflected in a new brand. They have made changes to their working practices in areas like recruitment processes (including hiring positive action trainees), improved inductions, daily staff briefings, and inviting staff to observe board meetings. They have also invested time and resources into staff engagement, training and development. This has led a strong and united team who are ambitious for change.

    Dan’s team has also developed a ‘story of change’ specifically focusing on diversity. A story (or theory) of change is a methodology for unpacking the causal relationships between our work and their outputs and ultimate impacts. Creating a story of change enables organisations to understand all the inputs they execute to create an impact, and also helps in the isolation of data and evidence at each step in the chain of effects to get clearer about where refinements might be needed.

    “We’re proud of how far we’ve come. That inspires us to go further.”