I was delighted to be accepted on the Clore Short Course, held at Eynsham Hall during the wonderful Indian summer of 2011.
The presenters were fantastic and incredibly generous with their time. I particularly enjoyed the sessions facilitated by leaders from the corporate sector and came away even more passionate about the role that business can play in developing the arts. That fortnight made me think differently about a wide range of topics, from grant-giving strategy to change management. The course has helped me implement beneficial change at PRSF. After the course, we introduced a simplified online application process which doubled the number of submissions to our open programmes.
I also made several small, but effective, changes to my daily work routine, thanks to the excellent advice we received on time management and planning. I recognised the huge importance of active listening, an essential skill at both home and work. The sessions on this topic made a significant impact - and I was reminded of the quote by Epictetus: "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak".
Aside from some core professional and personal changes, I have also increased the income of my small business since taking the course, recently licensing music to American Airlines and working on a major CSR project for BHP Billiton.
I still have a lever arch file at home entitled 'Clore and More', stuffed to the brim with course handouts, random scribblings and the all-important contact list of fellow participants. I revisit it every few months to reference a specific nugget of advice, add a related article or generate a few ideas.
I have encouraged both colleagues and other cultural leaders to attend Clore courses, which they have enjoyed immensely. It's a wonderful opportunity to learn from some brilliant people, form great friendships and discover new ways of working.