In 2020 Coventry City of Culture Trust recognised that they needed to create change at Board level in order to design and build the best legacy possible for the UK City of Culture year in 2021.
In autumn 2020 they approached Clore Leadership to gain support in finding and embedding new trustees, and evolving the organisation’s thinking about diversity at board level. The existing board - formed at the outset of the bidding process - had enabled the City of Culture to benefit from well-connected professionals from arts & culture, higher education and local government. They had successfully secured the bid and provided strong and effective governance for Coventry2021. But, with the year of culture more immediately in focus, the question of legacy - creating and embedding meaningful and lasting change across the city - demanded a broader stream of contributors, ones that more overtly reflected the strength in diversity that sits at the heart of Coventry.
Helping organisations to diversify their boards is essential work for Clore Leadership in fulfilling our purpose ‘to cultivate excellence and innovation in the leadership of culture’. Promoting diversity of leadership across arts and culture is crucial in that cultivation, with diversity on boards a key ingredient.
Good governance is not only about the systems and processes concerned with ensuring the overall direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability of an organisation. It is equally about the board aligning its work with the best interests of its communities and stakeholders - to reflect the organisation’s broader social, cultural and societal responsibilities. For boards to authentically align with these broader responsibilities and accountabilities, they must draw on wider skills, experiences and perspectives to ensure effectiveness in maximising organisational impact.