Last year, as part of its ACE Museum Development funding programme for 2015-2018, Museum Development North West commissioned the 2015 Emerging Leaders Programme for a cohort of 10 early career professionals in the region.
The programme comprised of six workshops, focussing on subject and skills based training, whilst providing 360˚ feedback for delegates, as well as support partnerships and personal development planning.
Delegates were provided with a better understanding of leadership styles and competencies, as well as a better understanding of themselves in relation to self-awareness and organisational awareness. The course also focused on helping delegates self-regulate better with advice on how to manage workload, delegate and manage stress. Other topics addressed included, working with their team, influencing, & managing change.
The programme was delivered by Alex Lindley and Shirley Collier, along with trainers, coaches and consultants with significant experience in the heritage and arts sectors. The programme was designed and delivered in consultation with Alex Bird, the Sector Development Officer, who also attended as a participant.
Delegates from the 2015 programme had the following to say,
“I have previously attended a couple of leadership courses and have always found them to be very informative and inspiring, yet once back in the office, I sometimes, like many I suspect, found it difficult to apply and make changes once back into a hectic schedule and daily routine. However, over the course of six months, we participated in six sessions across venues in the North West and having this time in-between the workshops really gave me the time to reflect on what we’d learnt in the previous session, as well as time to embed some of the models and tools into my own practice.
Personally, I really benefitted from how skilfully Alex L tailored the models we explored to our sector through exploring scenarios which we could all relate to. Within the group, we all confidentially shared experiences and issues and this personal aspect really helped to illustrate the models, bringing them to life in a way that was accessible and relevant to our roles beyond the course. We explored a wide range of areas such as dealing with change, delegation and influencing to mention but a few. One of the many aspects which made this course personal for me was the balance of independent learning within the group sessions, allowing you to take the lead and form your own personal development plan alongside the benefits of the wider course.
The dynamic between Shirley and Alex L was fantastic and really made the course both unique and very enjoyable. Both were great support throughout this process and were always generously on hand to discuss results from the 360 or course material in between sessions. They seamlessly created an atmosphere where people could openly share their experiences and I found it both beneficial and interesting to hear from both Shirley’s and Alex L’s personal stories which provided the basis for so many ideas and solutions within the group.
I feel very lucky to have shared a fantastic experience with such a wonderful group of people and I think it’s a testament to how much we all enjoyed the course that so many of us have already planned to regularly meeting up over the coming year. The course has taught me many things, but for me, it’s given me the confidence and assurance that leadership, in all its many forms, can come from any position within an organisation and sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone to really challenge yourself.
As I approach my 8th year working in Museum and Gallery Education, I have attended my fair share of courses, yet what really made Emerging Leaders really stand out is it’s supportive and flexible ability help shape your experiences during the course and to tailor it to achieving our own personal goals and aims over the course of the six month programme. I feel that the balance of independent learning through our support partners and the wider group learning makes this course unique and I wouldn’t even hesitate to apply!”
Laura Ferguson, Education Development Officer, Gallery Oldham
“Last year I applied for a place on the emerging leaders course run by MDNW, I thought this would be ideal for me to gain experience and training in areas that I really wanted to have better knowledge and experience in…I can say I have never enjoyed a training programme like it, it is very informative and everyone is open about ideas…The course has made me realise what I needed to change to succeed within the museum sector, it encourages you to take a good look at yourself, your role, and your career. Since starting the course I have moved into a new role and I truly believe the motivation to apply for the role was partly boosted by the skills learnt and understanding of my capabilities realised by taking the emerging leaders course.
I cannot recommend this training course enough to anyone, I want to attend it all again!”
Darren Collingwood, The National Football Museum.
“Alex L (Lindley) was brilliant at understanding and interpreting our needs from the very beginning. We were given plenty of opportunities to adapt the course and content to suit ourselves as individuals and as a group. The six months we spent together was a brilliant experience, it was a great feeling to know that others from national to independent museums all in different roles and stages of their careers had similar experiences, success’ and worries to each other. This shared experience really helped to create a strong bond between all of us. I just wanted to say a huge thanks to Alex B (Bird) and MDNW for creating such a fab programme. Alex L and Shirley for supporting us throughout the whole project and always being at the end of a phone or email when we needed them, all of the other emerging leaders for being so brilliant”
EvaD Ould-Okojie, Access and Interpretation Officer, Gallery Oldham
In 2016 Museum Development North West are continuing the programme, & are currently looking for early career professionals to take part. We will share more details later in the year but if you would like an informal chat or more information about the programme, please contact Alex Bird