• Frequently Asked Questions…

    Frequently Asked Questions

    We’ve got answers… have you got questions?

    What are the programme fees?

    The programme is £5,000 + VAT per person.  We have discounted places for smaller organisations in need of financial assistance, offering up to 50% discount. 

    We can offer discounts to people who want more than 2 people on the programme and / or to organisations who are able to supply a suitable venue for one of our residential workshops. 

    When does the programme start?

    We’ll start with an online induction and welcome to orientate you to the programme on 26th September.

    What time do I need to commit to the programme?

    Creating transformative change doesn’t happen by itself. It requires time, energy and momentum. 

    We strongly recommend that all cohort members attend:

    • All Core Workshops (8 full days – with travel)
    • All Intensive Workshops (12 full days – online)
    • Monthly check-ins for the duration of the programme (2 hours per month)
    • Action Learning Sets (2 hours per month)
    • Additional surgeries and 1:1s when needed (monthly)

    In addition you will need to share the learning back in your organisation through briefings, meetings, communication etc. 

    In total we recommend dedicating a minimum of 300 hours to the programme. This sounds a lot right? However it’s important to remember the programme will deliver your transformation. It’s a live, action-focussed programme. It’s not 300 hours of sitting back, listening, learning and personal development (although we know this happens as a result of the programme) but it is 300 hours of wisely invested time to create transformative change in a supportive environment. You’ll be working alongside peers to create the transformation your organisation needs. A wise investment.

    We are a small organisation - should we apply?

    Yes! Our experience tells us that there is so much to learn from bringing together organisations of different art form / scale / geography. We also know that small organisations can have big ambitions and be more agile, innovative and dynamic … We have lots to learn from each other. You should obviously consider your capacity and the overall resilience within the organisation – but if you can make it work with a really small team, then we’d love you to apply.

    What is the selection criteria?

    We welcome applications from all arts and cultural organisations in the UK. That is the only criteria. Beyond that all we are interested in is whether or not we feel the programme will deliver against your ambitions and intentions. We have a range of programmes and support, and so if we feel Creating Transformation is the perfect fit, we will support and signpost you to alternative options.

    I have access needs - can you provide access support?

    Yes. We are committed to providing support to enable everyone to be able to access the programme in ways that suit their needs. We have allocated a budget to provide access support.

    How can my whole organisation engage in this programme?

    All of the digital workshops (12 in total) are open to any member of your organisation who is actively engaged in creating transformation. 

    All the tools, resources, case studies and insights will be made available to the cohort to share with their wider organisation. 

    We will support the cohort members to ensure that the learning is shared and embedded in the organisation. It isn’t a personal development programme for individuals – it is a programme for the whole organisation to benefit from.

    What is the curriculum?

    We have experience of leading and designing programmes so we have lots of ideas – however it’s essential that the curriculum meets the needs of the organisations on the programme. We will therefore co-design the curriculum with all the organisations. We anticipate this might include: 

    • Change Management
    • Leadership
    • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
    • Place making
    • Business and Financial Modelling
    • Governance
    • Communication, advocacy and fundraising
    • Social and climate justice
    • Programming
    • Audiences
    • Partnerships

    Beyond the workshops, there will be surgeries, action learning sets, co-coaching and mentoring to ensure that everything you are learning is embedded and put into action.

    What are the sub-cohorts?

    When we have a full cohort we will assess the range of transformations that people are seeking to make. We will then arrange people into sub-cohorts so you will be working closely with people who are facing similar challenges to you and your organisation. The sub-cohorts are designed to provide focussed support and an immediate peer group to build a community that benefits from exchanging ideas and learning. 

    Beyond the sub-cohorts, everyone will come together for the workshops, surgeries, and action learning sets. So in essence you will have the benefit of an immediate peer group, and a larger cohort to share and connect with, expanding your networks and increasing your learning. 

    What happens if I move jobs during the programme’s lifetime?

    Places on the programme are for the benefit of the whole organisation. If people move to another organisation during the lifetime of the programme we will welcome and induct newly identified cohort members from the original organisation. We cannot refund places on the programme if people leave, as we rely on a full complement of 60 people to make it financially viable. 

    What happens if I can’t make a workshop?

    All our workshops will be recorded and made accessible for people to watch after the event and your sub-cohort facilitator will be able to bring you up to speed.

    What are the surgeries?

    We know that people think and work at different speeds. Some people do their thinking on the day, other people take time to reflect and develop their thinking. The surgeries are therefore designed to offer follow up support after the workshops so you can test out your ideas or share your challenges. 

    What support is available outside the workshops?

    The workshops are just one element of the programme. Outside of the workshops you will be working with your sub-cohort and dedicated facilitator to work on your transformation, using the resources, tools, 1:1s, action learning sets and surgeries for support. 

    What is the online hub?

    We will create an online hub that will be the ‘go-to’ place for the cohort – accessing presentations, tools, resources, videos and case studies. Everything you need will be in one place and available during the lifetime of the programme and beyond.

    How do I apply to the programme?

    We’re committed to making this programme and the application process accessible to everyone. You can submit a written application or a voice / video recording. You can download the application form here and the recorded application guidelines here

    Where do I send my completed application?

    Please send your completed application to: l.twemlow@peoplemakeitwork.com. We will confirm receipt of your application within 3 working days. If you do not receive confirmation from us, please do come back to us to check. We don’t want anyone’s application or work to be lost due to spam filters or digital gremlins.

    Download a Creating Transformation fact sheet and a list of the Frequently Asked Questions to share and circulate to your peers, board, Senior Management Team.

    Download and share

    More information

    Queries, conversations, applications. Tell us what you need.

    We’d love to hear from you and have a conversation before you apply. We strongly recommend this – our experience is that the people we talk to in advance feel better informed and more able to submit compelling applications.

    We are committed to a process and a programme that is equitable and accessible. We are fallible and, despite our very best efforts, we will make mistakes, so if there is anything that you experience in the application process that excludes you or makes it difficult to apply, please let us know and together we will find the appropriate solution.

  • How to apply…

    How to apply...

    Apply to be on the programme in a way that suits you…

    We want to ensure that applying to the programme is easy and straightforward.

    The deadline for applications is 22nd August and you’ll find the key dates for the programme below.

    Contact us to arrange a call so that you can explore your initial ideas and check that the programme is the perfect fit for your organisation or group.

    Contact us

    Come along to an informal online information session to hear more about the programme.

    Book your place

    We’ve created a short video (captioned and with BSL) that explains the programme – feel free to share with your organisation and networks.


    We’ve created a fact sheet with some Frequently Asked Questions. Feel free to share this information with your peers, board and networks.

    Browse and share - word document
    Browse and share - PDF document

    Tell us what else we can do to enable your application. We are happy to arrange access support and would love to hear from you about how this process can be improved to suit your needs.

    Access support

    When you’re ready to apply download a written application or the guidelines for submitting a recorded (voice / video) application.

    Written Application Form
    Verbal Application Guidelines

    Key dates...

    Before you apply…

    Online Information Sessions. Choose a date and time that works for you:
    Application deadline
    • 22nd August

    Keep free…

    Creating Transformation Induction and Welcome (online)
    • 26th September, 2 – 4pm
    Core Workshop Dates – full days (venue TBC)
    • 15th – 16th November, 2022
    • 15th – 16th March, 2023
    • 19th – 20th September, 2023
    • 24th – 25th January, 2024

    More information

    Queries, conversations, applications. Tell us what you need.

    We’d love to hear from you and have a conversation before you apply. We strongly recommend this – our experience is that the people we talk to in advance feel better informed and more able to submit compelling applications.

    We are committed to a process and a programme that is equitable and accessible. We are fallible and, despite our very best efforts, we will make mistakes, so if there is anything that you experience in the application process that excludes you or makes it difficult to apply, please let us know and together we will find the appropriate solution.

  • At a glance…

    At a glance...

    Helping organisations change, develop and transform is what we do. Everyday. Join organisations, networks, movements and groups to create transformation.

    • Starting in Autumn 2022
    • Term-time only commitments
    • Open to all arts and cultural organisations across the UK
    • Discounted places for small organisations in need of financial assistance
    • Designed and delivered by people make it work – the leading organisational development consultancy for arts and cultural organisations with more than 20 years of experience
    • A learning environment dedicated to access for all
    • A straight forward application process tailored to your needs
    • 18 months of immersive and intensive support from a team of sector experts
    • Workshops for the whole organisation
    • Workshops for Senior Management Teams
    • Action Learning Sets
    • Co-coaching
    • A community of  leaders representing all arts and cultural disciplines
    • Tools, resources, presentations all free to use and share
    • Monthly 1:1s, check ins and action planning
    • Monthly surgeries and support from industry experts
    • A community of peers for support and knowledge sharing
    • More than 300 hours of dedicated support
    • Additional consultancy

    Who is it for?

    A community of leaders, practitioners, advocates, activists, trailblazers and instigators all bringing unique experiences, insights and learning.

    • All arts, cultural and heritage organisations, networks and movements across the UK. We welcome applications from organisations and groups of different scale, artform and location. Having a diverse cohort is essential to the programme’s value and we therefore encourage applications from organisations whose work, people and practice amplifies under-represented voices in the cultural sector.
    • Organisations who are changing their practice to become more inclusive, resilient and equitable
    • Organisations who have a vision for the future and want support to realise their intentions
    • Organisations who need to change to reach more audiences, generate more income, strengthen their impact, become essential to their communities
    • Organisation who are applying to become an National Portfolio Organisation and want support to embed the Investment Principles into their practice and culture
    • Organisations who want to lead a particular change with ease, momentum and flow
    • Organisations who want to see a real shift in the cultural sector, and want to support, advocate and lead a culturally democratic sector
    • Senior Leadership Teams that are stuck or blocked in the status quo and need tools, resources, support and coaching to reshape and refocus their organisation.
    • Senior Leadership Teams who can contribute to and share collective wisdom in a peer programme that will bring new insights, new networks, new practice and new approaches.

    What do we need?

    Energy, commitment, peer support, organisational buy-in

    • Two people – we strongly recommend that each organisation nominates at least two people to engage fully in the programme. This is to strengthen the learning in your organisation and provide resilience.  A diverse cohort is essential to the programme. We strongly encourage you to think about the right people for the programme, people who have the time, energy, commitment, lived experiences and crucially are supported and empowered within the organisation to lead the changes and address the challenges. It could be a member of your Board, a freelance artist that you want to sponsor to lead the programme, emerging leaders in your organisation, a representative from a partner organisation, a member from your Senior Management Team. Choosing the right people for the programme is essential so we’d encourage you to think deeply and creatively about the choices you make.
    • Time – we are all busy, but leading your organisation effectively through changed times will take time and it makes sense to use your time wisely with peers, experts, support and 1:1s to keep you on track, energised and focussed.
    • Energy and commitment – this is a peer programme.  There is incredible value in learning with and from leaders from a range of organisations that represent different voices, art forms, scale, location and purpose. All cohort members are asked to commit to sharing their learning for the benefit of the wider cohort.
    • Infrastructure – this is a programme for the whole organisation / network / movement. We ask you to nominate dedicated participants who will attend all of the workshops, but, with our support, you need to identify the ways in which the learning will be supported back in the organisation through communication, engagement plans, project plans, 1:1s,  etc
    • Financial resources – we are offering a programme that represents a discount in excess of 75%, compared to average consultancy day rates. We will agree to a payment plan that suits your organisation’s cash flow and budget needs. We have a limited amount of discounted places that are available to smaller organisations in need of financial assistance. In addition to the programme fees, all organisations will also be required to arrange the travel and accommodation costs for 4 Core Workshops that will be hosted in arts and cultural venues across the UK. The programme is £5,000 + VAT per person (which equates to £277 per month for intensive, immersive support for the whole organisation). We have 20 places we can offer to smaller organisations in need of financial assistance, offering up to 50% discount of the programme fees.

    More information

    Queries, conversations, applications. Tell us what you need.

    We’d love to hear from you and have a conversation before you apply. We strongly recommend this – our experience is that the people we talk to in advance feel better informed and more able to submit compelling applications.

    We are committed to a process and a programme that is equitable and accessible. We are fallible and, despite our very best efforts, we will make mistakes, so if there is anything that you experience in the application process that excludes you or makes it difficult to apply, please let us know and together we will find the appropriate solution.

    • Book a 1:1 call to find out more
    • Come along to one of our online information sessions
    • Apply in a way that suits you – a written application, a video, a voice recording.
  • Curiosity is the renewable power-source for Dynamism

    Richard Watts, CEO at people make it work, one of the most established and effective organisations supporting the cultural sector to change and develop, explores why a dynamic culture is at the heart of a dynamic organisation.

    For me, dynamism is about who you’re listening to, what you’re noticing and what impact this data has on how you work. We are at our most dynamic when we’re in an active relationship with our environment – scanning, exploring, curious – seeking out and divining an understanding of the needs, perceptions and challenges of the people and communities that we exist to serve. I suppose we’re at our least dynamic when we’re listening to ourselves, referencing our own past, traditions and ways of making, or listening only to the trusty audiences whose passive acceptance and support for what we’ve been doing has kept us safe in the past.

    We are in a changing world with pressing challenges of systemic racism, widespread social injustice, environmental emergency, inequality, economic disruption, and a global pandemic so the need for disruptive innovation and ongoing digital transformation is very real and present. Dynamism in this context is about being properly equipped to respond – an entrepreneurial instinct, an innovation instinct, an instinct to use our skills, assets, relationships and insight to meet the needs that we feel compelled to address. 

    Dynamism drives new responses, new creative interventions and new experiences. 

    At this moment, when so many of us are exploring our organisational strategies and the world is in such need of culture, what is our dynamic response? It feels like it has to be driven by an understanding of need, an awareness of the strengths and assets we can bring to bear on the problem and the powerful drive of a social justice mission. It means that at people make it work, our focus is changing, our programmes are changing our are changing, our partners are changing and the impacts we are committed to are changing too. 

    So, in this version of dynamism we are asking, how are we letting in the insights and experiences that will trigger innovation? How are we reading our environment? How do we connect with and understand the world through data, technology and relationships? 

    In this version of dynamism we are asking, how does our culture and the skills and behaviours we exercise make innovation insights inevitable (rather than really unlikely)? What is our default mindset, and how do we ensure we dial up curiosity, relentless refinement and the instinct to regenerate? How do we create a culture of confidence with change, refinement and modification?

    In this version of dynamism we are asking, is our mission or our model in the driving seat? How do we ensure that we prioritise our mission and beneficiaries over our own stability, over our relationship with ACE, over our own growth or security? How do we make sure our innovation and dynamism work in the service of our communities not at the cost of them?

    In this version of dynamism we are asking, how are we understanding our value? How do we ensure that we create what is valuable to others, not just what we value? How do we take the social impact we can have as seriously as health and safety? How do we find ways to translate our impact so that organisations outside the sector can understand our value as easily as they do other sectors?

    Our organisations can often be machines for maintaining the status quo, they form habits that repeat, proposing answers, rather than exploring questions. Cultures ossify, and as Peter Drucker noted, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, so a dynamic culture is at the source of a dynamic organisation. Dynamic organisations seek the risk of uncertainty, the reverberation of the unknown, the knowledge that curiosity is the renewable power-source that fuels dynamism.

    At people make it work, dynamism has delivered a shift in our strategy from a focus predominantly on organisations to a focus on the sector as a whole – we now see our role as to support the cultural sector to change and develop. Because we have come to understand that we can’t restrict our focus to those organisations who can afford to pay for our work. To our traditional work of strategic consultancy support for individual cultural organisations and cities, we have added free tools and resources accessible through our website for anyone to use, and we focus more on transformational programmes often delivered in partnership (Change Creation, Culture Reset, Coventry City of Culture Leadership Programme, Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Development Programme, CEP National Leadership Programme). That shift in strategy means collaborative initiatives are at the heart of our future impact (watch this space for an Organisation Development programme with and for cultural workers of colour, which Suzanne Alleyne is devising in partnership with me, The office for Leadership Transition, developed with Sandeep Mahal, and a Transforming Governance programme with Anisa Morridadi and Beatfreeks) These feel to me like manifestations of dynamism – responses to (in this case, systemic) needs, built on data, with a focus on people and culture – being developed collaboratively so that insight and ownership is built in across our sector.

    Asking these questions about who we are listening to, how needs are changing, how we are fuelling our entrepreneurial instincts, what skills and culture we need to be able to read society and generate our essential response – these questions generate insight and suggest shifts in practice, culture, skills and process – changes that will in their own way regenerate your organisation by exposing yourselves to the case for change, and giving you the insights that imply innovations and shift your impact. 

  • Give someone a bloody good listening to…

    Give someone a bloody good listening to…

    We know that being listened to has a transformational impact. We advocate giving people a bloody good listening to – rather than a bloody good talking to – next time you notice that performance is slipping, energy is slumping or attitudes are hardening.

    In my experience of working with organisations across sectors it’s being listened to that makes the biggest difference to culture and engagement. When we truly listen to our colleagues we demonstrate that they are important to us, their views count and that the organisation is built upon their insight.

    If we want to improve our ability to listen then a coaching course can be a good idea, as well as ensuring we find environments where and when it’s easier to focus and really listen.

    I’m certain our clients get more impact from the way we listen than the way we speak (and we can be pretty eloquent when we want to be!) and that’s because listening is about creating time, attention and insight… and we all need more of those.

    Image credit – BBC – Fi Glover – The listening project

  • Change is done BY people, not TO people

    Change is done BY people, not TO people

    When we start thinking about creating change with our clients, the conversation is invariably about how people need to change the way they work, think and behave… and most times the conversation assumes that we’re going to help our new client to change them…

    But when we think about change management, we think about creating an opportunity for everyone to explore, decide and develop how they need to change themselves… rather than hear how someone else thinks they ought to change.

    All the changes we imagine happening in an organisation (save the ones that we personally deliver) are already owned by someone and their understanding, appetite and engagement is what we need in order for them to go about changing.

    So we see change management as a social process, of enabling people to see the changes that they can make… which cumulatively will add up to an organisational change… rather than a project process where people are told what they need to do and forced to do it…

    No one can make us learn a new skill, build a new strength or feel a different way, and while leaders can inspire people to want to change, the change is still the individuals to deliver and realise.

    So we put involvement at the heart of the way we create change with clients, so that change is done by people, not to them.

  • It’s not the trees waving that causes the wind to blow…

    It’s not the trees waving that causes the wind to blow… and it’s really important to know the difference… what has a causal effect on which…

    I often notice that people focus on behaviour when they might spend more time thinking about conditions, culture and support. When staff in a theatre aren’t always that welcoming to patrons, could it really be that they don’t know how to smile? Perhaps it’s more likely that they are frustrated and uncomfortable about some things that are happening in their environment that are more present to them that the ticket buyer in front of them.

    It’s important to know what is a result of our actions and what is a cause of them… and as leaders whether we are a tree that is being blown out of shape, or the wind that is creating the deformity.

  • We don’t resist change, we resist BEING changed

    We don’t resist change, we resist BEING changed.

    I’m pretty sure that being contrary is a very strong human driver… perhaps third in line after survival and procreation is the urge to disagree. We are built to be skeptical, to question and to look for alternative explanations.

    When we are creating change in an organisation it is so easy to accidentally trigger this contrary response within our colleagues, and to characterise that resistance as destructive, obstructive and personally targeted. It’s normally positively motivated, insightful and likely to have some core truths in it that might save our change… and ensure it works.

    We put involvement at the heart of our organisation development work for this reason. People have to own the changes that are needed in their organisation and they normally have the greatest insight about what those changes are – once we remember to ask them and get them involved.

    When I hear clients talk about the fact that people in their organisation don’t like change, I often think about how much novelty, innovation and change those same people are making throughout their lives outside of work… and once we’re looking at them from that perspective, we can start to identify and dismantle the barriers to change that we have created within the workplace.

  • What do I do for a living?

    What do I do for a living?

    People ask me what I do for a living. They ask me how come I’m always so energetic when I talk about my work. They ask if I’m ever bored.

    So that got me wondering, and its really clear to me that I’m never bored when I’m working with or thinking about people. I run people make it work, and as its leader I help direct programmes and support the team as they work with our clients.

    I love helping leaders understand their amazing strengths as well as the areas that will benefit from some attention and development.

    I really enjoy helping organisations and their leaders to explore and develop their ideas, expanding their sense of what is possible and turning audacious ideas into real, solid cultural businesses that are resilient and create extraordinary impact in our society.

    I believe in people make it work, and the ethos that we all embody – that human beings have infinite potential, that each of us is always on a development journey, that connecting with our values and our organisations’ mission can release huge amounts of energy, that organisations thrive when they tend relationships, support each other and grow positive cultures.

    We work in the arts because I fervently believe in the power of arts and culture to transform lives through helping each of us understand the world through other peoples eyes, connect with our wider humanity, see opportunities beyond our direct experience and have sublime experiences.

    The people in this team are a daily inspiration to me, and it’s a humbling experience to support our clients in their magnificent endeavours.

    I guess that’s what I should say when people ask me why I enjoy my work so much… or maybe I’ll just send them a link to this blog entry…