This report was commissioned by Arts Council England to better understand the current landscape of leadership in the sector and to survey the support available for leaders to address these pressing challenges.
Like many other sectors, the arts, museums and libraries in England face some significant challenges. Fluctuations in the external environment, financial uncertainty and the need to be relevant to the changing needs and tastes of contemporary society will all require the sector’s leaders to be responsive and open, flexible and innovative.
Leaders need to think differently about developing and retaining talent, particularly in order to enable organisations to become more inclusive and to adapt to changing demographics in an increasingly intergenerational workforce. This is likely to pose a special challenge to hierarchical models of leadership and create new pressures that may exacerbate the already high risk of burnout in the sector, at all levels.
These challenges require innovative, brave and resilient leaders, who work collaboratively and can begin to change organisational cultures to create a new paradigm of leadership.
This report was commissioned by Arts Council England to better understand the current landscape of leadership in the sector and to survey the support available for leaders to address these pressing challenges. We were invited to conduct forward-facing research on how leadership was being developed in the arts, museums and libraries in England, in order to better understand how leadership values and behaviours relate to organisational outcomes, and to find out more about interventions to develop executive leadership skills and their effectiveness.
The findings of this report will inform the Arts Council’s strategy for leadership and workforce development during the period 2020–30. In undertaking this research, we have considered:
• How the environment for leadership in the cultural sector has changed in recent years
• The skills, attributes and behaviours required for leadership in the next ten years
• The ways in which leaders are being developed
• The main outcomes of leadership interventions
• Ways in which leadership development is being evaluated.
The research was commissioned by Arts Council England in February 2018. The research team is comprised of a consortium of Sue Hoyle (independent consultant), and researchers from Culture and the Policy Institute at King’s College London.