In order to thrive in today’s challenging environment, arts organisations need to develop a higher tolerance for complexity, uncertainty and not knowing; this state can only be developed through experience. This paper argues that cultural leaders should support transformation in a way that looks forward rather than back.
One consequence of the emergency is a crisis of effectiveness. Today’s world brings new and unprecedented challenges. It also requires us to adapt to change faster than is comfortable, or in many cases possible. Radical interconnectedness means everything impacts on everything else. Actions can have as many unintended consequences as intended consequences.
Attempts to connect and reconnect silos of specialist knowledge and expertise in order to grasp this new complexity merely add to the problem, and introduce new costs of coordination. Problems are often ill-defined, ill-structured social messes. Planning seems futile and ineffective, yet it is all we have.