Good facilitation has a lot in common with good curating. 

Led by our Director who is an Accredited member of the Association of Facilitators, we can offer individual and group facilitation and mentoring. If you, your organisation or network is feeling stuck or wants help realising a new vision then a CRC facilitation session is for you. You will start with self-awareness and end with a clarity of purpose that has genuinely come from within. Our facilitation services can also provide value to those undertaking or involved in organisational change, leadership development and diversity and inclusion work.

Becoming accredited

In March 2017 our Director, Tehmina Goskar, became an Accredited Member of the Association of Facilitators. Tehmina reflects:

Successful curating relies on positive relationship building. I had become acutely aware of the sense of dissatisfaction and unresolved issues present in teams I had worked in to deliver projects like major exhibitions, diversifying programming and capital development. The whole always seemed so much less than the sum of its parts.

I felt I was missing a set of skills in my armoury so I took the Level 1 residential course by the Association of Facilitators, The Facilitator’s Toolkit. The course opened my eyes and experience up to a rigorous framework of understanding that I could apply in our curatorial and related work.

Logo of the Association of Facilitators Accredited Facilitator Level 1

Mentoring

To be a successful mentor you have to keep honing your skills and be able to reflect deeply on your own life experiences. Tehmina takes a personal interest in our mentoring work. Whether you are a curator wanting to build your confidence or you just like our approach and want some one-to-one support we are confident we can help you on your way. We are here to support you find your own solutions, not tell you what you should be doing.

Our mentoring is based on the same principles as our facilitation work. We use a coaching style to create the conditions for the important issues to rise to the surface so they can be dealt with in a supportive environment.

Tehmina participated in and actively uses the Museums Association’s Mentoring for All framework and is an active ACE Accreditation Mentor and AMA Mentor. We are also providing mentoring for Dreadnought South West’s Rebellious Sounds Archive project

Organisational help

When the desire for change comes from within an individual or team it leads to great results and a happier working environment. A curatorial approach to organisational development would focus on narrowing the gap between personal values and the organisation’s goals, and permitting time to be spent building trust.

Good facilitation supports you to find your own solutions. Unlike the consultancy approach which demands that you follow the advice of an outsider, our emphasis is to support two-way conversations to achieve mutual understanding and a will to strive for the same goals. Through playful activities, self-reflection and plenty of opportunities to relate to each other outside your hierarchy, we can create workshops or guidance specially designed for your situation.

And we will be with you every step of the way.

Three yellow post-it notes with different goals set by participants in a facilitated workshop. 
Using the G(oal) R(reality) O(options) W(ill) model for multi-lateral planning or to create a partnership agreement.
Using the G(oal) R(reality) O(options) W(ill) model for multi-lateral planning or to create a partnership agreement.

In July 2018 our Director, Tehmina Goskar, was co-commissioned by Arts Council England North to create a facilitated workshop with the aim of bringing diverse theatre practitioners and organisations together in Yorkshire. Working with her partner Gemma Baxter of the National Theatre, they created a novel workshop called Working Together for Yorkshire Theatre. ACE North wanted the workshop to help create collegiate conditions for funded theatre (NPOs) and independent creative practitioners to work towards the same set of goals. Using a combination of self-awareness activities and a unique adoption of the GROW model for planning, the participants took the opportunity to state and then prioritise the goals which were most mutually important. Each left with a set of actions that ACE North could use to support and unite the newly formed network. Using a facilitated approach we could ensure that this valuable opportunity was focused on positive, active and future-facing outcomes, while also giving space to air concerns and problems.

Leadership and governance

We believe in facilitative leadership. We think that leadership skills that get the best out of people and situations are invaluable life tools as well as work tools. Leadership development can be undertaken by anyone at any stage of their journey. The leader as curator communicates and shares their knowledge equitably and ethically. The Curatorial Research Centre exists to foster this use of leadership in curating and the use of good curating in leadership.

Diversity and inclusion are the biggest concern of the cultural sector in the UK, indeed in society. We know that creating the right conditions for for diverse people to find diverse ways in to your subject, campaign or organisation is better for your business, reputation and resilience. Our number-one value is curiosity, know-how, specialism and talent. You can only nurture this if you work with people who represent a range of lived experiences, learned behaviours and personal preferences.

I am speaking from my point of view as curator, facilitator and change leader. I have observed how change-making completely breaks down when boards seem to run a completely different organisation to their executive and workforce.

Tehmina Goskar on governance and the civic agenda, for the Cultural Governance Alliance launch, November 2018.

In November 2018 we were thrilled to be invited to contributed to the launch of the Cultural Governance Alliance organised by the Clore Leadership Programme. We provided insights in response to the theme Cultural Leaders Championing their Civic Agenda. We are good at articulating what really lies at the heart of a matter and we hope that our primary aim, thinking differently, really comes through when we contribute to the movement towards better leadership and governance.

Our Director Tehmina Goskar’s experience in leadership development, both her own and that of others, has heavily influenced our interest in the fields of leadership and governance. In 2017/18 Tehmina developed the 12 Principles of Change Leadership while undertaking the Arts Council England-funded Change Makers programme with Cornwall Museums Partnership. The simplicity of the messaging, the authenticity of the voice struck a chord with many, even outside the museum and culture sectors. The principles continue to be nurtured by the CRC.

In 2018 an animation was created to encapsulate Tehmina’s ideology on leadership and change.

I simply adore this. The messaging, the meaning, the nature… you all should be applauded!

It’s very refreshing in its approach and practical advice.  

I don’t have a Museum background but the way it was presented didn’t make me feel like it wasn’t for me. Loved it!

Just some of the feedback on the 12 principles animation.

Self-awareness and your cause

In May 2018, we created and delivered two bespoke 80-minute workshops for the National Trust’s Convestival–a conference-cum-festival dedicated to what must be the biggest cohort of volunteer managers of any organisation in the UK. The goal was to raise awareness and understanding of how uniting behind heritage as a social cause can help diversify the people and ideas that make change happen .

We aint so many, we aint so few: Make diversity work for you

Set against the backdrop of Calke Abbey, near Derby, in a tent, the session title was inspired by the radical mystery group Ferguson’s Gang whose masked female philanthropists propelled the pioneering work of the National Trust onto centre stage–and made the natural and built heritage of this country a social cause that has endured ever since. The session started with a powerful self-awareness exercise called Know Thyself which firmly placed the focus on the internal thought-processes of the participants rather than externally on the people they hoped would diversify their volunteer workforces. As with all our workshops we aimed to persuade participants to adopt a more human understanding of community, diversity and themselves. They also got the chance to take away an authentic five-point plan that they could adapt when back at the day job with their teams.

Photograph of the National Trust 2018 Convestival showing tents and marquees at Calke Abbey, near Derby, UK.
National Trust Convestival 2018, Calke Abbey, Derbyshire.