OCL Programme

OCL Programme

Oxford Cultural Leaders is an intensive and immersive week long programme. It is designed to be challenging and provocative, but developmental and supportive. It disrupts how participants think, working on conceptual, contextual, organisational and personal levels.

The programme is delivered through lectures, keynote speeches and facilitated workshops which re-examine and challenge participants’ approaches to leadership. The core content of the programme remains consistent but individual sessions are updated annually to reflect new thinking and challenges arising in the cultural sector, and also in response to valuable feedback from our OCL alumni members. Keynote speakers will change each year as we welcome new faculty members to bring fresh insights and inspiration to the programme.

Oxford Cultural Leaders is intensive and fast-paced, but it is framed within a coaching environment and care has been taken to build in reflection sessions to allow delegates to consolidate and reflect upon their learning. Sessions include working in facilitated groups, deeper reflection exercises in pairs and through mentoring conversations with faculty that are available throughout the course.

Examples of sessions are detailed below to provide an overview of the programme content.


OCL 2018


Change and the Art of Adaptive Leadership

Keith Ruddle, Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School

Leading change in today’s turbulent world often means facing issues that cannot be solved by any one leader. Complex challenges - ‘wicked or adaptive problems’ - require leaders, at all levels, to find different ways to orchestrate and lead change ‘without the answers’. This workshop enables delegates to learn about the different kind of leadership and the tools we might use to help us do it.


OCL 2015


Beyond Doubt

Michael Smets, Associate Professor, Saïd Business School

Drawing on findings from the CEO Report and the Museum Leaders Report, this session explores parallels in leadership practice that can be found across the business and cultural sectors. The session discusses the navigation of complex landscapes and, through an understanding of the Power of Doubt and Ripple Intelligence, provides delegates with the tools and the confidence to do so.


OCL 2018


The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Pegram Harrison, Fellow in Entrepreneurship, Saïd Business School

Much store is being placed on the museum and cultural sectors becoming more entrepreneurial – in developing new business skills and models, and in finding innovative ways of working which lead to new and sustainable income streams - but what does this really mean for our organisations and leaders? This key question is explored throughout a full day of activities including a panel discussion with entreprenural leaders and a venture sprint where delegates work in teams to develop and pitch an idea to a panel of experts.


OCL 2018


Inspirational Leadership: Lessons from Shakespeare 

Yolanda Vazquez, Olivier Mythodrama

This session focuses on the practical application of influence within the increasing complexity of organisational life.  It seeks to answer the question: “How am I going to get the things done that I believe are right and should be done?” In this highly interactive workshop, participants learn how to build and mobilise a successful coalition, how to identify and use appropriate sources of power and how to best influence others.




Directors' Panel

Silke Ackermann, Paul Smith, Xa Sturgis, Laura Van Broekhoven - Directors of the Oxford University museums - chaired by Diane Lees, Director General, Imperial War Museums

How can cultural leaders address the challenges facing them and their organisations? Bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience from leading cultural organisations of varying sizes with different challenges, the directors of the Oxford University museums share their insights. 


OCL 2018


Please note

These examples represent just a selection of the overall programme. For further information please contact the Programme Director, Lucy Shaw on 01865 613783 or at lucy.shaw@glam.ox.ac.uk