The CircuitWest Creativity and Innovation Leadership Program Launches

CircuitWest is pleased to launch its new Creativity and Innovation Leadership Program and announce the participants of the first three courses.

In partnership with Dr Shona Erskine CircuitWest is launching a new, unique leadership program for Established, Mid-Career and Emerging Arts Practioners. Participants will bring their own projects or organisations to the program to work through the complex challenges and opportunities that their project or organisation present. The program will be a combination of one day workshops and one on one sessions delivered by Dr Shona Erskine and Ryan Taaffe between December 2020 and June 2021.

The Curriculum

The participants will undertake variations of the following curriculum:

  1. The Role of the Leader in Creative Systems

Leadership practices for guiding organisations and communities towards innovative ideas and entrepreneurial outcomes. The skill of Creative Leadership is a complex task. It is critical to understanding the role a leader plays when striving to embed creativity in an organisation, sector, or community.

  1. Inside Out

The contexts that span creative leadership include your psychological world, your direct context, and the wider ecology. Tina Seelig and the top creativity neuropsychologists are our guides in improving our ability to meet the challenges of creativity, lead innovation, and manage disruption. This understanding will enable you to leverage the inside of creativity (the individual) and the outside (the context and ecology), in order to build a creative and vibrant culture.

  1. Complex Systems

Innovation and creativity are complex and multifaceted constructs with cognitive, biological, and social components, which elude unequivocal definitions. Understanding complex systems and their characteristics will build your capacity to be a creative leader. Using science-based models we will exam the factors of a complex system and the methodologies used to understand complexity for both diagnosis and planning.

  1. Communication

Strong communication skills are essential for building and maintaining relationships and critical for achieving results, facilitating teamwork, and community engagement. Michael Grinder is our guide as we learn the key principles of effective communication alongside communication techniques.

  1. Micro skills of Creativity.

Creative practice skills that everyone can engage in no matter the situation. Based in neuroscience and neuropsychology research these skills are framed around building the personal capacity to be creative.

  1. Group Creativity

Facilitation processes for working with groups that need to think laterally and produce creative solutions. This module articulates the factors that guide groups towards creative solutions. The skills cover all aspects of the group process from planning, to facilitation, to follow up.

The Established and mid-career participants will also receive one on one sessions with Dr Erskine. These will be a focused one on one process that supports leaders to navigate the challenges they face. The power of executive coaching is facilitated through the confidential relationship built for the purpose of developing your whole self, expanding your perspective and insight, and understanding how your psychological landscape can create obstacles to you leading and reaching your potential. The relationship supports you to engage in purposeful dialogue aimed at developing skills, building leaderfulness, and delivering results.

The Why?

Creativity is most often a group endeavor. However, natural ways of behaving in a group are not conducive to creativity. Micro skills are easy to use, and the research has shown if you put them into practice you will have a better than chance shot at being creative when you need to be. Creative leadership is inherently uncomfortable. It demands wide-ranging perspective taking of self, organisation, and ecology. It is a complex process, embedded with paradoxes, reliant on human factors, and requires the development of the whole person. It is essential to understand the relationship between your decision-making and the visionary nature of creative leadership.

How this program was developed

We were clear that we needed a program that meant:

  • You could use the skills immediately.
  • Use them any time a problem requires a creative solution
  • Use them when planning a creative venture whether they be arts projects, education or training.
  • Use across all aspects of your leadership process – recruiting, planning, engaging, delivering, rewarding and reviewing.

Who is this for?

This program has been developed for a range of participants:

  • For those with no background in creative practice.
  • For people guiding groups through the creative process.
  • For people who want the most creative solutions.
  • For those who lead organisations through long-term creative developments with high stakes outcomes.
  • For those who have power in the system to influence factors such as context, structure, information and personnel.
  • For those who define identity and values, model behaviors for others.

Learning Outcomes

The following outcomes have been defined:

  • Acquire creative skills that you can incorporate into your existing repertoire.
  • Learn about the mental processes that are involved in creativity and how to get your brain into a creative mode.
  • Through real world application, advance your own creative project over the course of the program.
  • Build knowledge on how individual creative mental processes can be harnessed at a group level.
  • Learn the impact of group context, group composition, group culture, and group dynamics on creative group processes.
  • Understand the impact you can achieve by fine-tuning group instructions before, during and after sessions.
  • Acquire process skills to facilitate a group towards creative solutions.
  • Become knowledgeable of the behavioural and decision-making foundations of creative leadership.
  • Gain appreciation of the multi-dimensional nature of creative leadership and how this will impact your leaderfullness.
  • Understand the models for creative decision making that guide people and organisations to innovate.
  • Through practical tasks, bridge the gap between knowing and doing in what is inherent a complex task.

The Participants

 Established Leaders Program

Annette Carmichael Annette Carmichael Projects
Pippa Davis Independent
Eva Grace Mullaley Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company
Libby Klysz Independent
Katt Osborne The Blue Room
Frankie Italiano Sensorium Theatre
Alana Culverhouse Co3 Australia
Rachael Whitworth Performing Lines WA
Rob Lines University Theatres
Natalie Bell Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
Drew Dymond Albany Entertainment Centre
Shauna Weeks Perth Theatre Trust
David Bowman-Bright North Midlands Project
Sam Lynch CircuitWest
Jenny Simpson Awesome Arts


Mid-Career Leaders Program

Justin Friend Cummins Theatre
Cait Stewart Arts Narrogin
Nicky Hansen Margaret River Heart
Julian Canny Euphorium
Ainsley Foulds Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council
Catherine Daniels Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre
Bonnie Davies The Gelo Company
Katherine Friend Old Mill Theatre
Amanda Crewes The Actors Hub
Michelle Wright Arts Margaret River
Emma Davis Independent


Emerging Leaders Program

Kerrie Argent Lake Grace Artists Group
Nicole Beard Moora Performing Arts Centre
Jenny Broun Beverley Station Arts
Isaak Karagoglou Goldfields Arts Centre
Lys Tickner Don Russell Performing Arts Centre
Julie Flockart Meridian Regional Arts
Bree Hartley Roleystone Theatre
Natalie Maloy Create Assist
Tim Currie Esperance Civic Centre