Creative Governance - Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi

Creative Governance

Creative
Governance

The arts, culture and creative sector is by nature a source of innovation.  A current focus for innovation is in creative sector governance. The kōrero in the sector is addressing the need for those involved in governance to provide strategic direction to their organisations around issues such as honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and equity and inclusion.  In addition to these issues of content, there is interest in exploring how creative sector practices could be applied to governance.

Emerging thinking in the sector is reflected in this article on creative governance by independent director Caren Rangi, and in this Future Models of Creative Governance webinar, facilitated by Te Taumata CEO Alison Taylor, with Caren and Eynon Delamere.

In this article, Caren Rangi, who has extensive experience as an independent governor and who has facilitated governance conversations for Te Taumata, reviews what she is hearing and where she sees opportunities for creative sector governance innovation.

Future Models of Creative
Governance webinar

The online webinar on Future Models of Creative Governance with Caren Rangi and Eynon Delamere explored opportunities for innovation in governance in the arts, culture and creative sector. Facilitated by Alison Taylor, the webinar draws on Caren’s and Eynon’s experience of the factors that influence effective governance and their thoughts on ways in which creative processes can be applied in the governance process.

Some of the observations and ideas discussed by Caren and Eynon included:

The need to consider non-Western governance approaches. “To participate in governance currently, you have to work within the dominant paradigm.”

  • The pressure to upskill Māori and Pasifika for governance needs to be matched by upskilling boards to receive them and draw on the knowledge they bring to the table. “It’s too easy to put Māori on a board and say ‘we’re Tiriti focused’, but then nothing else changes.”
  • While compliance is an important issue for governance, leadership is the greater challenge. “Perhaps we need to put the leadership visionary stuff up the front of the agenda when everyone is fresh and leave compliance to the end.”
  • Look to expand board membership beyond the “lawyer, accountant, funder’ to include people who can bring visionary leadership and high-level relationship skills and reflect the community. “It’s about and, AND.’
  • Ensure when you recruit, to select people who align to the organisation’s values and strategic intent.
  • Mentor and support emerging governance leadership.  A tuakana / teina model. “On one board I chair, each board member takes a turn at chairing as part of their professional development.’
  • Bring more creative thinking to the process of governance. “It’s not just about the leading lady, leading man.  It’s about the whole cast.’

As the hui closed, Eynon referenced a whakatauki from Tā James Hēnare;

“Kua tawhiti kē to haerenga mai, kia kore e haere tonu. He nui rawa o mahi, kia kore e mahi tonu."

You have come to far not to go further; you have done too much not to do more.