Innovation, Creativity and Leadership: A Recipe for Resilience

Boosting Resilience project marries playful and artistic methods with cutting edge business thinking.

What does it take to survive in times of change? To continue to deliver great work and high performance, amidst unprecedented levels of disruption and uncertainty? To just keep on going, even when times are at their toughest?

Across the ages, we have wondered at the ability of certain individuals and organisations to withstand trauma and upheaval, and asked ourselves how this is achieved.

The concept of resilience has been explored by many great thinkers.

Nearly 2000 years ago, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius was contemplating the values of purpose and persistence, considering obstacles as opportunities for growth, and openness to change as a virtue.

Much later, Nietzsche observed that ‘That which does not kill us, makes us stronger’, and more recently still Nelson Mandela is often quoted as reminding people to judge him not by his success, but by how many times he fell down and got back up again.

Today, as the world is changing, faster and faster, we are all experiencing a need for resilience in both personal and professional contexts, not only within our daily individual lives, but also on a national and global scale.

Issues such as climate change, the largest global refugee crisis since World War II, and, here in the UK, Brexit, are just a few examples of the many challenges we face.

Understanding and implementing the behaviours necessary to achieving resilience in the face of change and uncertainty has perhaps never felt more important than it does now.

At Cass, the Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice has partnered with The Culture Capital Exchange (TCCE) and Manchester Metropolitan University Business School (MMU) to deliver the Boosting Resilience project.

Boosting Resilience is a two year leadership education programme, funded by Arts Council England to help senior staff from arts and cultural organisations across the UK.

The programme is working directly with senior leaders, up to CEO level, from twenty-six arts and cultural organisations of different sizes, and representing a range of different art forms and cultural activities.

Its focus is to enable organisations to make the most of their existing creative assets and intellectual property, as a means of building their resilience.

The Boosting Resilience project is marrying playful and artistic methods with cutting edge business thinking to empower both the organisations it is working with directly, and those that join its Open Learning Programme, to build their resilience by making the most of their creative assets.

Techniques supported by the programme include reflective journaling, using marks, pictures and colour, to encourage more creative problem-solving; movement and walking to open up new perspectives on familiar challenges; and sketching and storytelling to envision new and valuable uses of existing assets.

The approach taken on the Boosting Resilience project builds on nearly a decade of experience delivering the Masters in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership at Cass.

It draws from our experience of equipping students with the skills and competencies necessary to bounce back from challenging circumstances; bounce forward to delivering innovations that make the most of new opportunities as they arise; and, perhaps most importantly, to be open to the constant reflection and learning that we believe is needed to survive and thrive in times of change.

The Boosting Resilience project hosts its final event on Thursday March 14th,2019.

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