A glimpse into Module 3 of the Creative Leadership Program
This story was submitted by a member of the regional arts sector: Leslie Rigot, The Junction Co. We love sharing stories from the sector. If you want to find out how to submit your own stories, take a look at the submit your story page. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Early February 2022, The Junction Co. and Martumili Artists got together in Newman to begin the third module of the Creative Leadership Program, led by Dr. Shona Erskine and facilitated by Regional Arts WA.
Image: Creative Leadership Program participants from The Junction Co. and arts workers from Martumili Artists with Dr Shona Erskine.
“Before participating in this training, I felt that I was somewhat a leader in my area however I didn’t hold the words nor the methods and tools for me to have clear processes within my projects.” – Leslie Rigot, Regional Coordinator at The Junction Co.
This quote sums up some of the ideas that were bubbling in the participants’ minds ahead of the training.
We all have our own representation of what leadership is, but what is Creative Leadership? Module 3 tackles the complexities of Creative Leadership while giving the resources to the participants to reflect on and adjust their own leadership. This training delves much deeper than the first two modules and includes several in-person and online training sessions that take place over a few months.
Dr. Shona Erskine kicked off the in-person training with an introduction to the ecosystem that a leader usually operates in (if you’re curious to know what the meaning behind this is, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for upcoming opportunities to participate in the program). This introduction subtly led to the question “what is the role of a leader?”
Image: The Creative Leadership Program in action. Photo by Leslie Rigot.
Participants had the opportunity to learn and apply together key methods to foster innovation and to tackle different situations within an organisation. Whilst the group exercises allowed for creative abrasion, there were allocated moments for some collective and individual retrospective time.
“A wonderful thing about this Creative Leadership Program is coming together as a team and workshopping ideas in real life situations. We are all leaders in our own way, whether you’re leading an organisation of 100 people or whether you’re leading some volunteers in a project or leading a two-hour workshop, all these ways bring up leaderfulness in someone.” – Maya-Rose Chauhan, The Junction Co. Ceramics Coordinator
With the changes wrought by COVID-19, artists, organisations and communities are grappling with many new complex issues, and creative leadership skills can help us navigate these. At the training, staff of two Aboriginal arts centres used the Module 3 materials to grapple with how to respond to a vulnerable population that needs to access the arts centres built for their use, but who are required to show vaccination certificates as they are shire owned properties. Many of the member artists do not have birth certificates or mobile phones so cannot prove their vaccination status. The materials enabled the participants to consider the complexities of the situation and determine what actions were needed to start to address the situation.
Image: Using the Creative Leadership Program tools to navigate complex issues. Photo by Leslie Rigot.
When asking The Junction Co. team how valuable the course was for them and the organisation, there was only positive feedback.
“The Creative Leadership Module 3 was incredibly insightful. It provided deeper knowledge into being an effective leader whilst engaging our creative sides. The knowledge provided by Shona provided practical and easy to understand tools for us to better ourselves in all aspects of our work. I am excited to incorporate the tools and skills learnt from Module 3 into my everyday work.” – Hui Joo Tan, Exhibitions Coordinator
“Yes, I certainly would recommend Module 3 to others. If you don’t think of yourself as a leader, this training will give you the tools to build up your confidence to eventually become one. And if you’re already a confirmed leader, it is always beneficial to reflect on your leadership skills and allow room for improvement.” – Leslie Rigot, Regional Coordinator
“The Creative Leadership program provides a series of tools for creative practitioners and arts workers to easily comprehend and use in their everyday environments. The challenge for some in dynamic workplaces, is to feel confident in taking this knowledge to the next level and be leaderful in guiding groups of people to achieve a desired outcome. The third module of the Creative Leadership Program tackles this exact problem – building a leader who can manage complex problems.
For The Junction Co., it was a no brainer to have our team participate in the program, no matter the skill or management level. The team collectively learnt the theories behind complex creative leadership, became familiar with terms and concepts to hold more than two opinions in a room, consider communication and boundaries when interacting with groups, what factors in a process will lead to the best outcomes, and in a safe environment, work with peers to put the newly acquired skills in action.
The Junction Co. values professional development for team members, and this program has already seen the team consider how they can improve on their own leaderfulness, how the learnings can be adopted into the way we do business, and the desire to share the learnings beyond the organisation.”
– Katie Evans, Executive Officer
Interested in starting your Creative Leadership journey? Modules 1 and 2 of the Creative Leadership Program next stops are in Karratha and Moora.
Learn more about the Creative Leadership Program, including upcoming dates at regionalartswa.org.au/programs/creative-leadership-program