Always in flux
‘History is buffeted by numerous variables; sometimes stationary, sometimes volatile, but always in flux.’
I wrote this sentence for Creative Melville, the City of Melville’s cultural strategy 2018 – 2022. It could describe the strategy development process itself. Working with a forward-looking team to craft a sensible and ambitious cultural strategy was a privilege. It took longer than anyone expected. We chose a highly participative strategy development process, involving everyone who worked in libraries, galleries, museums and arts programs, as well as broader community and arts-related groups.
There were so many ideas in the air at any one time. While the overarching strategic objectives came early on in the writing phase, and were user-tested along the way, reaching the final version of the strategy took concentrated thinking time. What I observed though, is that the team was busily integrating ideas from strategy development activities into its daily decision-making and planning. Doing this led to greater refinement of the culture strategy itself. Strategic plans should never be dusty relics of a brief moment in time, but living practices. The City of Melville, and its talented staff, have taught me how useful and transformative the strategy development process can be. They never let me coast, or settle for second best.
‘Culture making and participation can be the glue that binds us together as a resilient, learning-oriented community.’
Melville’s Culture Manager Leeann Reid was a creative and inspiring leader throughout this complex process. She leads a great team of dedicated and talented professionals.
Here is a copy of the final strategy.