Category Archives: Digital Culture

Digital Identity

Eynsham Hall, OxfordshireI’ve had many thought provoking discussions with digital strategist, Natasha Reynolds recently while working on the “Digital Identity” presentation which we are both delivering for the Clore Cultural Leadership course in February.

The talk aims to provide professionals from the culture sector with a common understanding of the world of online communication, sharing and the balance of power between content creators and the platforms they use to distribute their messages and works.

DI RoadmapFor individuals working in public organisations there is an interesting duality between personal social engagement and professional social engagement. The new value placed on the networks we create around our own personal brands is a subject of interest, as stories of employers demanding access to your Facebook account or the handover of your LinkedIn contact list circulate online.

We’ve summed up our landscape survey with a straight ahead digital toolkit, which can be simply implemented as a digital health check and everyday aid.

The final futurology section will no doubt become dated quickly but contains some of our current favourite tips for emerging trends which we think indicate new models or new behaviours in the digital space.

Friday Afternoons

aldeburghsetup1The second half of 2013 was a whirlwind of new projects for me, with the work of SHPLive.TV taking off. I produced a ton of performance productions for live streaming, including The Place Prize Final, the “Embedded” improvised music season of 3 concerts, transmedia dance project Dare You Watch and a load of other events.

In November 2013,  I worked on an ambitious project as part of the Britten Centenary, celebrating the birth of the famous British composer, Benjamin Britten. Aldeburgh Music, a fantastic hub of musical talent and development in the UK, contacted me about a project to live stream as many performances as possible which were taking place on a single day, under the banner Friday Afternoons.

The title itself comes from a set of 12 Britten compositions, written for choir in 1935 and the performers in this project were due to range from schools in the Scottish highlands to large symphony orchestras.

My mission was to enable, produce and coordinate live streams of the performances from as many of the participants as possible. Many of the organisations had no digital expertise inhouse, so accessible solutions were the order of the day.

Some of the venues were able to work with simple production equipment and delivered their performances via the Ustream streaming service, while I organised streaming production teams to visit a few key venues. My own SHPLive.TV team delivered the production for the event at Aldeburgh’s Snape Maltings venue.

Guardian Friday AfternoonsIn a publicity coupe for the Aldeburgh team, national news organisation, The Guardian featured the whole series of 10 live streams on their website and gave tremendous profile to our work.

Authentic Leadership

This year has been such a whirlwind of both personal and work change and growth, it had to lead to something transformative (‘though also a lack of blog posts).

I’ve just taken the two week residential Clore Cultural Leadership course based in Missenden Abbey, Buckinghamshire. The stated aim of the course programme is to “strengthen leadership across a wide range of cultural activities” though the experience of the short course goes deeper than that, touching on personality profiling, Jungian archetypes, deep personal evaluation and goals, communication techniques, media training, coaching and Action Learning.

missenden1Management in the culture industry is always something that has bemused me. Until you reach the very best organisations, the industry lacks any great deal of formality in staffing structures.

The culture industry in general operates on a crash and burn model of feeding on the enthusiasm of people who are drawn to it, and replacing them when they become disenchanted with the lack of a career path or material rewards.  This lack of built in progression and development within the industry leads to an oddly static situation where former artists find their only route to establishing a longer term career in a venue is to apply for a management or marketing position. Enter the Clore Leadership journey (kung fu film sfx optional)…

Continue reading Authentic Leadership