Update 2013:

I initially set up this blog as a space to reflect on organisational structures as part of a fellowship In undertook in 2010. I did heaps of thinking and lots of talking, but not so much writing in this space! However, ideas of how we organise, make decisions, share information and structure our organisations are still very dear to my heart. I am very lucky to work in an organisation (Big hART) that allows me to experiment and apply different processes to the way we work, which is very rewarding and exciting.

I’m reawakening this blog in 2013 as I am about to embark on another research trip; this time a Churchill Fellowship with a specific focus on leveraging change and making impact with social change arts and media.

I am really interested in reframing through the lens of abundance – so rather than focusing on what is wrong, which I feel like was some of the tone of the intro below, I am going to try and focus on inspiring and kick ass initiatives which allow for the greatest risk, innovation and creativity to flow.

Introduction 2010:

The last 30 years have seen the worldwide expansion and triumph of neo-liberal theory. This theory has permeated the way in which our economies run, the decisions made by our governments, international market policy and has even taken hold inside our NGOs and arts organisations.

At a moment in history of “financial crisis” where the systems built on neo-liberal ideologies are revealed to be risky, unequal, unstable and top heavy a crack has opened and we face the possibility of reconsidering our ideas and reinventing ourselves. Now is the time to reimagine our models, processes and theories about the very way in which we set up our projects, processes and organisations.

In the last 20 years every sports club, hospital, youth centre, environmental group, human rights group, indigenous organisation and arts organisation in Australia has drawn on the same template constitution and model for how to run themselves.

Many organisational models come from the business world and in the last 10 years there has been increasing pressure to draw from business models, language and ideology to run our projects. This includes notions of how to ‘build your board’, ‘scale up’, write business and marketing plans and how to structure staff and management. This push comes from governance trainers, funding bodies, ABAF, business etc and is based on a template theory – as if one size fits all.

Whilst there are certainly some structural ideas to be drawn on from the business world at this moment in time it becomes clear that this isn’t the only place we should be drawing inspiration.

Hence this trip and this blog….

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