University of Oxford

Follow us

The Programme

An intensive week long programme, it is designed to be supportive and developmental but it will create a space that feels emergent and which is provocative and challenging – the intention is to disrupt how participants think, working on conceptual, contextual, organisational and personal levels.

Get a taste of what happened in March 2015...

Sunday 15th March - The disruption begins...

Creating a collaborative ensemble - Piers Ibbotson, CEO, Direct Creativity

Creating an ensemble attitude is the essential pre-cursor for knowledge innovation. Preparing and maintaining groups of this kind depends on developing skills in communication, empathy and the ability to take risks. This session will create the environment for productive and purposeful conversations during the week.

Monday 16th March - The future will not be the same...

The Future will not be the same - Melanie Howard, Chair, Future Foundation

What is the role of the future in better cultural leadership? In this highly interactive session, participants will experiment with concepts and tools to sharpen up their futures thinking, and apply emerging trends directly to the development of their organisation.

What different do you make? - Maurice Davies, Partner, The Museum Consultancy and Senior Research Fellow, Kings College London

Increasingly, cultural organisations and their funders are interested in outcomes (also known as impacts or, simply, the difference they make to people and places). But cultural organisations tend to think more about their inputs (their assets of people, money, buildings, collections, networks and creativity) and their outputs (their shows and events). This session will explore the crucial differences between inputs, outputs and outcomes and will demonstrate that paying more attention to outcomes can transform the way you to think about your organisation and its work. 

Tuesday 17 March - Organisational change and adaptive leadership...

Change and the art of adaptive leadership - Keith Ruddle, Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Leading change in today’s turbulent world often means facing issues that cannot be solved by any one leader. We talk of ‘wicked or adaptive problems’ and leaders – at all levels - may have to find different ways to orchestrate and lead change ‘without the answers’. This workshop will enable participants to learn about the different kind of leadership and the tools we might use to help us do it.

The image of Leadership: Objects, Individuals and Organisations - Jim Harris, Teaching Curator, University Engagement Programme

The ways in which leaders have chosen to be depicted speak not only about the individual but about the societies and institutions they represent.  However, the image of the leader is only one tool for understanding historical modes of organisational culture; the products of those cultures also speak powerfully to the systems from which they came. This session will examine objects and images from the Ashmolean Museum, considering the ways in which they communicate diverse, agile strategies of leadership at both individual and institutional levels.

Wednesday 18 March - Being entrepreneurial in not-for-profit organisations...

The entrepreneurial leader - Richard Evans, Director, Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

Much store is being placed on the museum and cultural sectors becoming more entrepreneurial – in developing new business skills and models, in finding innovative ways of working which lead to new and sustainable income streams.  But what does this really mean for our organisations and leaders? This session will reflect on whether you teach leaders to be entrepreneurial and will explore if organisations need to be entrepreneurial in order to be sustainable and resilient.

Entrepreneurial ways of thinking and behaving: venture sprint - Daniela Papi-Thronton, Deputy Director, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford's Saïd Business School, and Pegram Harrison, Fellow in Entrepreneurship, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Thursday 19 March - Managing up and down...

Effective Governance: working with your Board - Diane Lees, Director-General, Imperial War Museums

How can executive leaders get more from their board?  In this session participants will explore how they can support their boards / governing bodies to be forward thinking and innovative, and how they can be empowered to be more than mechanisms for compliance and restraint. 

Creativity and Innovation: Insights from the Theatre Arts - Piers Ibbotson, CEO, Directing Creativity

This workshop will look at creative project management and the ways in which the balance between creativity and constraint can be used to generate innovation while keeping a project on time and on budget. The approach will be drawn from theatre practice and will use techniques and insights from that context. 

There will be a mix of cognitive input and practical skills coaching that will look at the creative process, the conditions that encourage creativity and the way in which the creativity of individuals can be directed and encouraged to yield useful innovations. There will be some practical exercises that will provide an insight into each individual’s response to working creatively in a team and opportunities to rehearse the behaviours and attitudes that will facilitate creative thinking.

Friday 20 March - The Inspiring leader...

Inspirational Leadership: lessons from Shakespeare - Jonathan Stebbings, Olivier Mythodrama

This session will focus on the practical application of influence within the increasing complexity of organisational life.  It seeks to answer the question: “How am I going to get the things done that I believe are right and should be done?” 

In this highly interactive programme, participants will learn how to build and mobilise a successful coalition, how to identify and use appropriate sources of power and how to best influence others.

This represents just a selection of the overall programme. To discuss further please contact the Programme Director, Lucy Shaw: |

Sign up for our newsletter

Keep in touch

Follow us on Twitter

Email us