In ADESTE+, the change we want to see is how organisations become more relevant by putting audiences needs first. This vision involves going beyond ‘the audience development initiative’ to help institutions to achieve more significant change of the whole organisation.
How are we doing this? In the first phase of the project we develop a Blueprint , a guide for making something — it’s a design or pattern that can be followed. The blueprint is based on the idea of working cross-departmental, often people working front-house have a good sense of people that marketers might not have, or also other departments like programming, education, etc. and applying design thinking/human-centred principles.
These principles informed the Capacity Building Programme run with all the six artistic partners Fondazione del Teatro Stabile di Torino (Italy), Mercury Theatre Colchester (UK), La Harinera, (Spain), FUNDACAO CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN (Portugal), NørrebroTeater, (Denmark) and The National Theatre Ivan Zajc in Rijeka, (Croatia) in early 2019.
As a result of the programme, the artistic partners developed their prototypes: “ the prototype has shown that we are able to work cross-departmental at the theatre which is amazing, it has been a huge success internally, after each prototype we evaluated and manage to change what we manage to change”
And continued working on implementing them until COVID-19 stopped it and now we are in the process of adjusting them and widening the framework of our work to include the new conditions. We have organized several meetings to share insights into what is going on as part of our peer learning programme to exchange ideas and provide mutual support.
We are still in the early stage of the evaluation, yet interesting considerations were raised, such as the:
- The importance of involving different departments, working interdisciplinary where ideas are produced on a collective basis
“It was good to have everyone from different departments, we had the BlueSky thinkers, the ones thinking outside the box who would be questioned by the technical departments, who would give you logistical knowledge.”
- The importance of involving the senior management (decision makers), if not in the process but to have their support (the decision to change must come from the top- at least this would make things easier)
- Empathize with colleagues, understand their needs and views, make things relevant for them
- Established roles within the taskforce from the beginning, be clear on the time effort, what benefit they will gain
- Make visible and meaningful even the small changes
“These small steps we are planning, will have some effects, perhaps not all the changes we want, they will not totally change the structure, but we are opening new ways of doing inside the organisation”
In these challenging times, as one of our partners said “Our community is dealing with many problems. We are trying to think of different activities, that people can leave their fears” and as Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”