Blog Posts for emerging leaders network

Cross-Generational Leadership: The Future of Effective Arts Leadership

Posted by Aja Roberts, Mar 16, 2016 1 comment

It’s safe to say the arts leadership landscape is changing. Given the external societal changes such as late-career professionals postponing retirement, highly-educated millennials entering the workforce poised to make meaningful contributions, and a more culturally diverse group of emerging leaders, arts organizations must recognize the urgency of these challenges and determine what structural changes or model implementations they will make to reconcile these forces impacting leadership in the arts sector.

In Moving Arts Leadership Forward, it is important for organizations not to remain stagnant. They must understand the state of the arts sector and realize that change is both imminent and inevitable. Working in stagnation will stunt the growth of the arts administration ecosystem, particularly if early- and mid-career leaders are underutilized and arts organizations are left unable to serve their constituents to their full capacity. How will these emerging leaders be able to have real impact within their organizations with limited influence in the workplace?

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The Conceptual Emergency in Arts Leadership

Posted by Gerald D. Yoshitomi, Mar 15, 2016 5 comments

Congratulations and appreciation to our colleagues at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for this thoughtful, action-provoking report, Moving Arts Leadership Forward. It describes A Field at Risk. Or, to use a phrase coined by the International Futures Forum in the U.K., we have a conceptual emergency. Some key concepts from the report:

  • P. 15: Failure to take into account these dramatic changes in the larger landscape could result …in decisions that inadvertently reinforce the status quo, leading to stagnation in the sector.
  • P. 1: The change required is in many ways antithetical to the more traditional form of leadership that our sector currently embraces.
  • P. 10: Most executive leaders express a desire to change organizational culture to be more inclusive of generational expectations, but feel they lack models and the support for doing so.
  • P. 10: Increasing cross-generational leadership across the field would help it better reflect—and maintain relevance in—a continually diversifying environment.
  • P. 14: No longer feasible for one leader alone to manage and respond to the increasingly complex and changing environment.
  • - See more at: http://blog.americansforthearts.org/2016/03/15/the-conceptual-emergency-in-arts-leadership#sthash.U3cCnKit.dpuf
  • P. 15: Failure to take into account these dramatic changes in the larger landscape could result …in decisions that inadvertently reinforce the status quo, leading to stagnation in the sector.
  • P. 1: The change required is in many ways antithetical to the more traditional form of leadership that our sector currently embraces.
  • P. 10: Most executive leaders express a desire to change organizational culture to be more inclusive of generational expectations, but feel they lack models and the support for doing so.
  • P. 10: Increasing cross-generational leadership across the field would help it better reflect—and maintain relevance in—a continually diversifying environment.
  • P. 14: No longer feasible for one leader alone to manage and respond to the increasingly complex and changing environment.
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Sharing Is Caring: If I Truly Care, I Will Practice Shared Decision Making Structures

Posted by Chris Appleton, Mar 15, 2016 1 comment

“Every artist was first an amateur” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

When invited to write a blog response to the Hewlett Foundation report on arts leadership, I jumped at the opportunity. Along with my professional and civic interest in advancing leadership models that work across various lines of social difference, it is a topic around which I have feelings and thoughts.

As a 33-year-old executive director of an organization I co-founded while in college, who has no academic training in arts administration and has only held one job as an adult, I read the Moving Arts Leadership Forward report as timely for my career and interests. I can say with candor and hope that it is my desire to remain as the leader of WonderRoot for decades to come—but I would only dream of this so long as my leadership continues to advance the mission of the organization and the people it seeks to serve.

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Moving Arts Leadership Forward, Response by Mara Walker, Chief Operating Officer, Americans for the Arts

Posted by Mara Walker, Mar 15, 2016 1 comment

It’s not breaking news that America is in the midst of major change due to an aging and diversifying population. And it’s not unusual to be in conversations about how those changes are impacting the leadership of our nation’s nonprofit arts organizations. As the new William and Flora Hewlett Foundation report indicates, economic pressures and shifting demographics have led to cross-generational workplaces that require new strategies for building deeper appreciation for the range of voices and experience that exist within our organizations.

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Preparing the Arts Field for a Future Rushing Towards Us

Posted by Roberta Uno, Mar 15, 2016 8 comments

In the new Hewlett Foundation report, Moving Arts Leadership Forward: A Changing Landscape, John McGuirk, Hewlett’s Program Director for Performing Arts, urges the arts field to reimagine leadership. The report summarizes Hewlett-supported research and previews their new goal to broaden the Foundation’s arts support to embrace cross-generational leadership and advance shared values of diversity and innovation. The findings and recommendations are strategically intended to prepare the field “for a future that is rushing toward us.”

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Distributing & Cultivating Leadership

Posted by Mr. Jeffrey Golde, Mar 14, 2016 1 comment

As the latest report from the Hewlett Foundation points out, “The nonprofit arts sector is at a critical inflection point…” While there is risk in every path we choose to move forward, I believe great opportunity lies in collaboration between an older generation that worked tirelessly to build the current set of organizations and a new, hungry and highly skilled generation of arts administrators, ready to tackle today’s new challenges.

Ultimately we must solve the problem of how a field limited by funds and vertical job mobility, harness and retain talent? The findings suggest a need for a national discussion about redefining the role and meaning of leadership and how it affects the structure of our organizations. Distributed leadership is proposed as one solution to our current risk of losing emerging talent. I would also add cultivating the learnable skills leaders use. With both these ideas at work, I believe we can unlock value buried in the untapped human capital in our field.

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