Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Resilience recommendations

Before you all get throughly fed up with resilience, I thought I'd round off with my recommendations from Making Adaptive Resilience Real. They are as follows, and speak for themselves I hope. They do, however, call for others to get involved in attaching some of the research gaps identified, and the funders and the funded to adapt their behaviours. I really welcome feedback and discussion on the ideas I put forward and the things they suggest to others.

1. Shape funding programmes to develop adaptive resilience in organisations and sectors of the arts, recognising the distinction between building organisations through growth or patient capital and buying activity through revenue support for programmes of work.

- the Arts Council and other public and private investors in the arts should work together to map financial instruments and ensure a diversity of investment mechanisms exist that can meet the various investment needs of the arts sector in building resilient organisations
- the Arts Council and others should work with artists and arts organisations to ensure all involved have the skills to best utilise the full range of investment mechanisms available
- greater use should be made of expertise from elsewhere in the world, across all aspects of investment practice from microfinance to major endowments and capital programmes


2. Develop understanding and debate about adaptive resilience in the arts sector

- funders, development agencies and sectoral bodies should consider the version of an arts ecology described here and collaborate with others in commissioning research to assist in further developing a powerful picture of the arts ecology as a basis for achieving great art for everyone
- the Arts Council and other public and private investors in the arts should give further consideration to the impact of locality or place on the arts and vice versa, and integrate this into any future frameworks for shaping portfolios of funded organisations
- both funders and the funded should consider the characteristics of resilient organisations described and integrate those into self-assessment frameworks, using them to inform support
to organisations


3. Improve understanding and use of an adaptive resilience approach to organisation and sectoral development

- all parts of the sector should collaborate to improve understanding of systems-thinking broadly, and resilience and sustainability issues specifically, through research, publication and debate, training and development
- Arts Council should put greater emphasis on developing adaptive resilience in artforms and sub-sectors as well as individual organisations, and develop their staff’s ability to do so
- funders should be more rigorous and challenging when organisations do not shape business models to available reliable income and focus on moving them towards adaptive resilience
rather than dependence


4. Improve sectoral understanding of the importance of adaptive resilience through experimentation and sharing of best practice

- thinking around adaptive resilience, from many perspectives, should be widely disseminated to the sector, as a stimulus for debate, a tool for self-assessment and to inform business planning
- further experiments with place-based and artform/sector-based collaborative working, building on examples of such as Liverpool Arts and Regeneration Consortium and ERA21 should be conducted

- investment in improving leadership and governance should be continued, ensuring adaptive skills are core to notions of workforce development
- collaborative and peer-supported approaches to building adaptive resilience and new models to should be developed as action research projects

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