outline of the programme
VENUES & Timing
The all-day workshops run on a Friday between 9:30am and 5:00pm except January 2020, which runs on a Thursday. N.B. programme dates and venues will not vary from those shown below, however the content of the workshops is under constant review and may change.
MAY 08, 09, 10
Workshop 1 - Residential - Centre for Management Creativity, High Trenhouse, Malham, North Yorkshire
The art and science of leadership in culture, business and politics - a 360° examination of leadership with exercises and masterclasses taught by the Directors, Nick Winterbotham and Stephen Feber, BCLM Director & Chief Executive, Andrew Lovett, Dawn Yates-Obe and Arnie Skelton.
The MRL method
Self reliance for you and your organisation
Planning your MRL year
Mentoring, coaching and MRL evaluation
Planning your Overseas Study Visit
11:30am Wednesday May 08 to 3:00pm Friday May 10
Malham provides an unrivalled environment for reflection, decompression and engagement with key issues around leadership, for you, your organisation and your relationships.
Workshop 2 - Enterprise in Action - Black Country Living Museum (BCLM), Hobbs and Sons Fish & Chip Shop, and Loaf, social enterprise bakery, Stirchley, West Midlands
You will make bread or cook fish and chips in hands-on sessions.
You will explore the relationships between finance, management and the day-to-day operational realities of making food for sale.
Dee George, long-time manager of Hobbs and Sons, Jennifer Milton, Finance Director of Bletchley Park and Andrew Lovett, BCLM’s Director, will explain how financial and numerical information is used to motivate and develop teams - in individual units and across the Museum.
Examples of highly effective financial and numerical ‘dashboards’ which can be used across organisations, are provided
There is significant emphasis on enterprise in the cultural sector, but how do you go about making genuine surpluses from trading goods and services? This workshop is designed to provide answers. Loaf started out as a small-scale social enterprise and has always remained a collective with a flat management structure. BCLM is a trust which operates as a trading cultural business, with a more traditional hierarchical organisational structure. Though different, they both operate the surplus generating, reinvestment model with a variety of sources of income. Bletchley Park has been outstandingly successful both culturally and commercially, Jennifer will explain how accurate, timely and appropriate information drives this success.
9:30am - 5:00pm
Workshop 3 - The Museum and the City - Manchester Museum of Science and Industry and Manchester Art Gallery, with Sally MacDonald, Director of MSI and Amanda Wallace, Deputy Director of Manchester Art Gallery
You’ll be exploring the power of networks - mapping your own and getting to know more about the others in your MRL year.
Sally will be offering insights into her leadership journey, the development of the museum and the urban developments around the site, which include residential, commercial and cultural.
Amanda will be exploring the relationship between the gallery and the City and its people through the lens of the May 2017 Arena bombing archive, now held at the Art Gallery.
With the changing structure and funding of the public sector there is considerable discussion about the purpose of institutions of material record. What are museums and galleries for? How do they offer civic and cultural leadership? MSI is now very much at the heart of changes south of the City Centre, becoming a key cultural anchor for its mixed use redevelopment. What leadership skills does this require?
In the aftermath in the Arena bombing in 2017 people in Greater Manchester spontaneously created a memorial in St Ann’s Square. The Art Gallery stepped forward and in close cooperation with the City Council and Manchester University, it collected material from the memorial; notes, balloons, teddy bears, football scarves…. You will visit this archive, hear from Amanda, who led the initiative, and discuss how the Gallery has found a renewed purpose. This tragic event tested and affirmed relationships between the Gallery, Manchester City Council and the people of Greater Manchester.
9:30am - 5:00pm
July, AUGUST, September
Overseas Study Visits (OSV)
Travel to museums and cultural organisations - worldwide
For many the OSV is a highlight of their MRL year. We support your trip, help you with selection and introductions. The growing MRL community will be available to you as an invaluable resource in planning your trip.
Workshop 4 - OSV Pecha Kucha presentations - Think Tank, Millennium Point, Birmingham - part of Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT)
Resilience lessons from other countries - cultural, financial, organisational and personal
Development challenge - how the changing landscape in Birmingham affects BMT
A framing question for the OSV is what does the culture of another country allow and what does it prevent? MRLers return to the UK with new eyes; different organisational styles, political and funding regimes offer new perspectives on museums, galleries and heritage organisations here. This is a chance to draw the lessons from your trip for others in the group and also to benefit from their reflections.
9:30am - 5:00pm
Workshop 5 - Governance and Purpose - London Transport Museum
The Board, Chairman and the CEO - case studies of the good, the bad and the ugly, with Michael Day, former Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces and Trustee of the National Trust
How the social and civic purpose of the museum is defined, shaped and led, an international perspective with renowned museum consultant Elaine Heumann Gurian
The long view - reflections from Sam Mullins, Director, London Transport Museum
Michael will teach two case studies, including his experience of Blood Swept Land and Seas of Red, the poppies public art work installed at the Tower of London between July and November 2014. Elaine will offer insights from her international consulting career and her time at the Boston Children’s Museum and the Smithsonian, Washington. Sam will reflect on his 25 years as Director of the Museum, covering some of the many challenges the Museum has learned from.
9:30am - 5:00pm
Workshop 6 - Sea and the City – Midlands Arts Centre (MAC), Birmingham
November 2019 will see our annual get-together for all MRL participants present and past. In 2018 we have two keynote speakers and we expect to invite them back for 2019:
Natalia Cohen – Losing Sight of Shore - Natalia rowed across the Pacific with an all-female rowing team covering nearly 9,000 miles in nine months. She will be talking about the challenges of this extraordinary endeavour and reflecting on the many aspects of leadership required to make it successful.
Andy Street – Andy is Mayor of the West Midlands and is a former CEO of the John Lewis partnership. He will be speaking about his leadership journey in business and politics. He will also be talking about the role of cultural organisations in the economic and social life of cities.
We will be welcomed by Deborah Kermode who is the Chief Executive of MAC and an MRL alumnus; she took part in the programme in the year she moved from the Ikon Gallery to MAC.
9:30am - 5:00pm
Workshop 7 - Creating powerful public experiences - the National Holocaust Centre, Laxton and The National Civil War Centre, Newark
MRL examines the purpose of museums from a number of angles; the National Holocaust Centre and the National Civil War Centre provide links and contrasting explorations of this topic.
In-depth tours of both locations to examine the social, cultural, political dimensions of the museum and cultural centre
Unfortunately, civil wars and ethnic and racial hatred are still an unpleasant reality in our world. These two organisations explore how museum exhibitions and public programmes can engage with difficult subjects. The day will continue the MRL dialogue about relevance in museum practice.
9:30am - 5:00pm
JANUARY 09 (thursday)
Workshop 8 - Leadership in the Arts
Sir Nick Serota, Chair, and Kate Bellamy, Director of Museums, Arts Council England (ACE)
Tristram Hunt, Director, Victoria & Albert Museum
Since its inception in 2013, ACE has been the chief funder of MRL. Black Country Living Museum has shown a lead in the sector by running and developing the leadership programme and ACE has recognised this. The January workshop provides an opportunity for MRL participants to discuss leadership challenges in the cultural sector with ACE’s Chair and Director of Museums. In the afternoon we visit the V&A for a question and answer session with its current Director - exploring how he sees the positioning and purpose for the Museum.
9:30am - 5:30pm
Workshop 9 - Site Development Safari - Bletchley Park
Putting the resilience lessons into practice - development masterclass for a museum site
How to make money running a cultural business
This is a whole day, in-depth examination of a significant site on the outskirts of London. There will be a Q&A with Iain Standen, Director of the Trust, and Jennifer Milton, the Finance Director. Bletchley Park has made enormous strides in interpreting and developing a site of national and international significance. The question of the day is how it should be developed in the future to sustain its independent status and develop a resilient financial base.
9:30am - 5:00pm
MARCH 11, 12, 13
Workshop 10 - Conclusion - Final residential - Centre for Management Creativity, Malham, North Yorkshire
Exercises and masterclasses taught by Directors, Nick Winterbotham and Stephen Feber, BCLM Director & Chief Executive, Andrew Lovett, Dawn Yates-Obe and Arnie Skelton, including:
Resilient leadership over the long-term
Your MRL year - retrospective
Your personal strategic plan
Active coaching in group exercises
The art of the leader
11:30am Wednesday March 11 to 3:00pm Friday March 13
MRL is under continuous review by the Directors and whilst Programme dates are fixed, content, speakers and location may vary from those described her