Jill Robinson, CEO & President
In April, I hosted our inaugural Arts Leadership Book Club, focused on Gillian Tett’s The Silo Effect. More than 30 arts leaders joined me from the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia to discuss Tett’s observations about silos and their effect on arts and cultural organizations.
I’m a constant reader of books that I hope can positively affect the way I run my business, or the way that our clients run theirs. My intention: read a ton and share in the book club and on social media anything I think could have a positive impact on arts and cultural leaders. If you follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn (and if you don’t, I invite you to start: @jrobinsontrg), you saw my posts earlier this year about Tett’s book.
Early in the book Tett writes: “If there’s one thing that the Great Financial Crisis showed it is that finance and economics are not just about numbers. Culture matters, too. The way that people organize institutions, define social networks, and classify the world has a crucial impact on how the government, business and economy functions.”
Our book club group applied key concepts in Tett’s book, like the notion of employing “cultural translators”, or people who break down the walls between silos by translating between them. You may discover, as several of our attendees did, that they already have one or two on staff!
The Arts Leadership Book Club is designed especially for what I’m beginning to call the “learning or curious” executive leader. There are so many pressures on you, on your time, but we all know: the more we learn and the more we can teach our organizations, the more we get/learn back.
Our next book club is on Wednesday, August 29th and will focus on Simon Sinek’s book Leaders Eat Last. I’ve chosen it because I see how it could help us, as leaders, discover our role in making the culture of our organizations great. Remember: data doesn’t do, people do. Your organization deserves people who are working at 110%. Sinek helps us discover how best to invest in cultures to support that.
Ideally, you will read the book in advance. But even if you don’t, you can attend each of these one-hour sessions to learn if the book is one that interests you, or that you think could benefit your organization. Participants from our first session asked for even more interaction and conversation with their peers, so look forward to questions and provocations that you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in on. Register for the August 29 Arts Leadership Book Club online today to secure your place. I look forward to reading and learning with you!