I_Improve is a project that is all about the journey and sharing it with others. It is about ones process through improvement and organisational development. During this time it is important to share our process so that others can learn with us and from us. At the finishing line we will have created a new methodology from our experience and learning, which can hopefully be of benefit to organisations all around the world who find themselves on a journey of improvement such as ours. Sharing is caring, as they say.  🙂

For the I_Improve project, Intercult has searched for the theme of what we wish to improve and develop as an organisation. This has been a tough question to answer and it has taken time and loving labour to finally come to an answer. Here is part of the process of how we arrived at our answer:

At first we thought about what had defined our organisation these past few years. Which factors had played a large part in what we believed had kept Intercult moving forward with a steady and ambitious pace, whilst keeping up with the times. One of these factors, we decided, was female leadership. Just like a number of cultural organisations in Sweden, we have mostly female employees. We put it in a larger perspective and thought to explore this: was female engagement a success factor for cultural workplaces? What challenges have women in leadership faced in our mostly male dominated society?

But after talking with each other and colleagues all over Sweden and Europe, we realised that this theme had already been explored in depth by others. There have been plenty of stories following the MeToo movement in 2017 that bear witness to this theme of challenges. Did we really have a new perspective to add? Not to mention: was this something that we needed to improve? No, we were already practicing this, we knew that female leadership worked well for us and were more curios to explore themes in which we were less well versed. Where could we make a true difference and grow as an organisation?

So we returned to our past work and conversations. Back in May 2019 we had a reflective conversation concerning Intercult’s weaknesses and strengths, from an entrepreneurial, social, civic and creative point of view. Having the different perspectives helped us to discover things which might not have occurred to us otherwise. Revisiting this reflection now brought a theme to our attention; one we hadn’t thought to explore at the time but now it suddenly spoke to us. Back in 2019 we discussed the fact that although Intercult was well known amongst the cultural sphere in Stockholm and Sweden, few from the general public knew who we were. We didn’t have a local community who were aware of our work and took a special interest in what we had going on.

Who is our core community, and how do we reach them?

So flash forward to 2020 again and we realised that this was still a burning question for us. As a small cultural organisation who is always running 100mph, constantly trying to think of new angles which benefit our projects – well, this is the perfect opportunity to really take the time to think about how to develop a core community. To improve and learn how to become a community builder, and help others learn from our experiences. All the pieces were coming together and we started looking for changemakers. Click here if you want to learn more about that.

That is our process and reflective journey so far for the I_Improve project. We hope you’ll join us for the rest of the ride!  🙂