Edition Overview

by Ed Bampfylde

As we write, across the globe we have entered one of the most unprecedented times of change in history. The emergence of COVID-19 and its rapid transmission around the globe has rocked almost every country with no sector appearing unimpacted.

We are a global community and together we are addressing these challenges, learning, supporting and collaborating to overcome together. Now, more than ever, we are looking to our leaders in every sector and organisation, and this means that every skill they possess is called into play. We need communication, agility, respect, compassion, and above all the ability to see beyond the current situation with a view to the innovations that are required immediately and those that will be needed in the future.

Innovation is reliant on people having an organisational structure in place that allows, and indeed openly encourages, creative thinking. It is those organisations able to respond in a flexible and agile way that will emerge most positively. A time of change needn’t necessarily be a time for fear: rather, it can be an opportunity to research and invest in those innovations that can help us to shore up resilience for the future.

While our interviews took place before the global emergence of COVID-19, the theme of leadership and its evolution were fundamental in our conversations. We were pleased to be presented with the opportunity to speak to Axel Ruger, Secretary and Chief Executive of The Royal Academy and previous Director of The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. As one of the first Fellows of the Clore Leadership Programme, and a self-confessed ambitious and outward looking Director, not to mention one with an exceptional track record, we are so pleased that Axel has chosen to share his thoughts and experiences so openly.

Strong and decisive leadership is absolutely essential at the moment, but as we emerge from this (and we will) there will come the chance for the best leaders to demonstrate their true potential. We hear from
Lucy Shaw, Programme Director of Oxford Cultural Leaders, an international executive leadership programme for museums, heritage and the arts, as she discusses why a polymath leader is becoming the new normal and the ways in which we can identify, support and equip these leaders with the right tools to embrace innovation and change in the future.

Finally, we welcome Rosanna Cundall, Partner at Saxton Bampfylde, who joined us in 2019 and hear more from her in our View from the River feature. She shares insight into her extensive international experience and the opportunities this brings to clients and their organisations.

We do hope you enjoy this edition and welcome any feedback you may have.


Ed Bampfylde

Partner & Head of Arts, Culture & Creative Industries 

Back to Arts, Culture & Creative Industries - Summer 2020