3 ways that cultural organisations can feel more confident about the future

Making time for strategic thinking is crucial for the arts sector in moments of economic turmoil


Brilliant, but burnt out?

Arts and cultural venues, touring companies and production houses are overworked. Many moving parts, often erratic cashflow and hundreds of risks built into every exhibition, concert and show.

This often means that leadership teams in these organisations are verging on the superhuman. But constantly being ‘on’ and under pressure can lead to waste, duplication and missed opportunity.

With Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation decisions being made soon, what simple strategy tools can teams plan in this winter?


Three, is the magic number

Our experience shows that taking a bit of time away from the inbox, and doing these three things, can be transformative:


  1. Mapping relationships

Think of everyone that has a relationship with your organisation: audiences, staff, trustees, funders, suppliers, technical teams, promoters, local community, education partners etc etc

Then work out how much they care about what you’re doing, and how much influence they have over how you do it.

Through a short, creative process of mapping and moving, you can feel confident about the mutual value that you and each of these stakeholders will have over the next few years. And what you need to do to get every relationship on track, monitored and effective.


  1. Reverse engineering

Can you hear/smell/describe/see what success looks like for your team in 12 months time?

There are some simple techniques to turn a vision of exactly what that looks like into a detailed action plan, by working backwards. This process guarantees big sighs of relief.


  1. Reviewing processes

How often do you really drill down into the logic of your internal processes? There will be things that are done because they are always done. There will be things that have evolved over time, with elements bolted on. It just sort of works, y’know.

But sometimes having a critical friend to gently work through this with you, and ask the obvious questions, can find you hours (maybe days) of time clawed back.


Trusted by all shapes and sizes

always possible is the trusted, strategic partner for some of the UK’s most dynamic arts and cultural producers and support organisations. Whether supporting future strategy, or helping unblock an awkward challenge.

        Arts Council England NPO Higher Rhythm Doncaster Yorkshire    Little Green Pig     Action for Children’s Arts case study    Press — The Old Market, Brighton and Hove

        Little Angel Puppet Theatre   Photoworks      Artswork   Musical Futures - Wikipedia   The Original Theatre Company

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