After a lengthy by-law committee meeting, one of the Arts Council board members came to a very intuitive conclusion and called me a “process person.” “Yes, yes, I am,” I replied proudly. My left brain almost always kicks in first, needing to put order to chaos. I instinctively know that I will not be comfortable dealing with bigger-picture items until procedures are in place for how best to do our internal work.
Having spent the majority of my life leading arts and cultural organizations, I recognize the importance of a strong infrastructure by which our creative work manifests itself. I also recognize the importance of establishing high professional standards in our internal operations and knowing how to implement best practices.
The Arts Council board of directors has been working diligently these past few months on updating the financial policies, personnel policies, by-laws, articles of incorporation, and strategic plan, and I’m happy to report that our updates on these very important documents are almost complete. (As they are approved by our board, they will be available on our website, and we think they are high-quality templates that anyone can adopt for their own use.)
For those of you leading arts and cultural organizations, I encourage each of you to take time to re-examine your internal documents on a regular basis and make changes accordingly. These documents are there to guide the work of the board and the staff and sometimes our biggest stresses come from not following these guidelines or not having guidelines at all. I am a true believer that processes, procedures and policies make decision making a whole lot easier.
The Arts Council staff has knowledge and expertise in many areas, and if you need another set of eyes or a total revamp of your documents to strengthen your foundation, let us help. We can do informal assessments for no charge or we can come in on a fee basis and facilitate an entire strategic planning session – we’re good at it too! We can look over what you have on hand, or we can help you start from scratch. You decide what is best, and we’ll be there when you need us – we are just a phone call away.
Deborah E. Mikula