MAY 6,7,8

Workshop 1 - Residential - Centre for Management Creativity, High Trenhouse, Malham, North Yorkshire

The Programme begins in May in the beautiful North Yorkshire setting of Malham Tarn, 10 miles north of Skipton.  The photograph shows the Tarn and the characteristic limestone escarpment cliffs flanking the northern edge of the body of water.  Circular 'walk and talk' sessions round the Tarn are a valued feature of the residentials at Malham.

Workshop 1 provides an outline of the Programme, an introduction to the MRL philosophy and methods, with a variety of exercises:

  • You

    • Choosing a Mentor for the MRL year

    • Personal coaching - 1 to 1 time with skilled facilitators on the MRL Faculty

    • The Museum of You - personal purpose - reflection

    • The Personal Programme Log - the online Mentornet personal support system

  • Leadership

    • Leadership models in politics, culture and business

    • Case studies, cultural and commercial - the good and the not so good

    • Practice - practical exercises to explore leadership styles and approaches

  • Resilience

    • Personal - getting stronger yet staying open to experience

    • Organisational - the resilience framework - money, systems and people

    • Relational - how network resilience is critical to effective leadership

  • Activities

    • Working in pairs and teams - hands on exercises, problem solving, team leadership

    • Presentation and story telling - the art and science of communication for the leader

    • Walking, talking, thinking and reflecting - understanding and using the learning cycle approach

  • The MRL Year

    • Planning - the year ahead; an outline of the Programme - planning for yourself, your organisation and your networks - your hopes, dreams and expectations

    • Overseas Study Visits, planning and learning from previous MRL Programmes

  • Admin; expenses reclaims, travel, bookings for the MRL year

Stephen Feber, Nick Winterbotham, Andrew Lovett, Arnie Skelton, Dawn Yates-Obe


hands on learning

Workshop 2 - Enterprise in Action - Black Country Living Museum and Loaf social enterprise bakery, Stirchley, West Midlands

There is much talk in the cultural sector about the need for financial sustainability and organisational resilience. This workshop is a practical, hands-on, set of real world experiences designed to focus on entrepreneurship in a social enterprise setting. The day includes a detailed analysis of the way the Black Country Living Museum sustains itself through earned income; it is one of the few largely self financing museums in the UK.

  • Hobbs and Sons fish and chip shop, Black Country Living Museum (BCLM)

    • Hands on making, cooking and eating traditional fish and chips

    • Food and making money

  • Loaf, Stirchley, West Midlands

    • Hands on making and cooking bread

    • In depth discussion about running a social enterprise in the real world

  • Financial management and entrepreneurship lessons from BCLM

    • How the management information systems work

    • How the Museum is self sufficient in revenue

    • How the enterprises are run

    • Business planning toolkit

Stephen FeberNick Winterbotham, Andrew Lovett, Tom Baker


Minds on money

Workshop 3 - Know the Numbers to See the Patterns - Black Country Living Museum

This session is led by Adrian Babbage, who provides an accessible expert guide to the financial and legal structures which support museums in the National, Local Authority and independent sectors. Adrian pays particular attention to explaining financial reports in a clear and simple fashion. The workshop covers:

  • Balance sheets

    • deciphering them

    • assets and liabilities

    • valuation of collections, land and buildings

  • Report and Accounts

    • how they are constructed and misconstructed

    • how to read them

  • Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP 2015) and the Statement of Financial Affairs (SOFA)

  • Working capital

  • Reserves and Reserves Policy

  • The Going Concern test

  • Legal requirements

    • the role of the Board

    • legal responsibilities

    • the role of the Director or CEO

    • the role of the senior management team

  • Not for Profits and standard businesses - compare and contrast - how do social enterprises work?

  • Spotting patterns in the numbers

    • finding the right signals in numerical 'noise'

    • taking the right action

In addition, we provide a worked example of the construction of the Report and Accounts in the MRL Resource Bank, using the Black Country Living Museum as the example.  There are opportunities to tour the BCLM site and ask Andrew Lovett about the financial performance of the Museum and the leadership challenge it represents.  How do you make money in a cultural setting?

Adrian BabbidgeStephen FeberNick Winterbotham, Andrew Lovett


OVERSEAS study visits

Every MRLer undertakes an Overseas Study Visit (OSV). See the 2015-2016 cohorts' destinations by clicking the link below:


cutlural comparison

Workshop 4 - OSV Pecha Kuchas & Development Exercise - Think Tank, Birmingham

  • 'Pecha Kucha' style presentations from each of the participants on the resilience learning from their trips

  • Cultural and organisational comparisons - what is the underlying culture of the organisation and how does this affect what it thinks it can (and can't) do?

  • Site development exercise at Think Tank, Millennium Point, Birmingham - how to develop and existing cultural attraction

Stephen FeberNick Winterbotham, Andrew Lovett

October 9

running cultural organisations

Workshop 5 - Governance, Boards and CEOs - Hampton Court Palace

  • Masterclass with Michael Day CEO Historic Royal Palaces

  • Governance

  • The role of the Board

  • Legal, financial and ethical responsibilities of the Board

  • Board and CEO relations

  • The role of the CEO

  • Governance health checks

  • 3 case studies

    • From the Getty Leadership Institute The Warner Museum

    • From London a real case study of conflicts at the highest level in a museum

    • HRP's experience of the outstandingly successful Poppies exhibition at the Tower of London in 2014

Michael DayStephen FeberNick Winterbotham, Andrew Lovett

November 13

core beliefs

Workshop 6 - Purpose & Ethics - British Museum

  • Masterclass with International museum consultant, Elaine Gurian on leadership, purpose and the ethics in the museum sector

  • See Elaine's papers on Civility and Are Museums Doing Enough?

  • Civility worksheets

Eliane GurianStephen FeberNick Winterbotham, Andrew Lovett

December 4 


Workshop 7 - Networks - The Coventry Transport Museum

  • Growing, measuring and thinking about networks:

    • Personal

    • Organisational

    • Relational


January 14

the art of the leader

Workshop 8 - Leadership in Politics and Art with Gisela Stuart MP and Antony Gormley

  • At Portcullis House and Studio Gormley, Kings Cross

  • Reflections on working with politicians and leading an international art studio and business

Antony Gormley, Gisela Stuart

February 11, 9.30 - 4.45

think like a developer

Workshop 9 - Development Safari - Bletchley Park

  • Site visit to a rapidly growing site of international importance

  • Hands-on workshops and exercise looking at the cultural and commercial development potential of the site with its complexes of buildings of many ages

Stephen FeberNick Winterbotham, Andrew Lovett

March 22, 23 & 24

map of the journey

Workshop 10 - Conclusion - Final residential - Centre for Management Creativity, Malham, North Yorkshire

  • Learning, reflection and personal and organisational 3 year plans

  • Leadership case studies

  • Reflection on the Programme

  • MRL in practice

  • The legacy system - MRL resources available to the cohort

  • Resilient leadership 'asset health check':

    • Behavioural - our responses - reactive, reflective or thoughtful - how have these changed over the MRL year?

    • Cognitive - our thinking and beliefs - how our decisions are informed - reflection on decisions taken during the year and looking ahead to personal and organisational plans

    • Dynamic - our instincts and drives - what really makes us act or not act, especially under stress

    • Analytical - our methods of thinking and knowing - revisiting MRL techniques and methods

    • Developmental - our maturity and how this has changed over the MRL year

    • Biological - our physical state - handling health and life balance issues - personal assets - grown or diminished?

12 noon, Tuesday 22 March - 3 p.m. Thursday 24 March.

Stephen FeberNick Winterbotham, Andrew LovettArnie SkeltonDawn Yates-Obe