Business First September 2017 Business First September 2017 - Page 64

CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY Are you up for a Skills Exchange? C ould you share your professional skills to help a cultural organisation be as efficient and effective as possible? Take a fresh look at your business skills and take a step into the world of creativity through Arts & Business NI Board Matching Programmes. There are opportunities via two initiatives: Board Bank and Young Professionals on Arts Boards, which place professionals from the corporate world onto the boards of arts organisations to enhance the development of both. The benefit is mutual – the new board members develop their leadership skills in a different environment, while the arts organisation taps into the specialist skillset of their newest member. A&B NI is currently recruiting for the Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme which is suitable for people up to 35 years old. In return for exchange of skills you will gain; the excitement and distinction of sitting on a cultural business board of directors, the knowledge you are giving something back to your community and a creative route to personal and professional improvement. Michael Johnston, managing partner, Carson McDowell, Solicitors who holds the position of Director and Secretary on the boards of Arts & Business NI and Chair of Moving on Music shares why getting involved in these programmes is a positive benefit to local businesses. The main reason I chose to get involved with the local arts sector as opposed to another voluntary position in a different sector, is my long standing interest in the Arts. My perception back then was that the Arts sometimes got overlooked when we promote Northern Ireland as a great place to work and live. We will not attract long term FDI unless we can provide a great environment for those who are working here and the Arts plays a vital role in this aspect. Carson McDowell has been involved with the Arts for a number of years and particularly since 2003 when we started awarding a prize and purchasing a work annually at the Ulster University end of year show. It has been a very worthwhile experience for the firm and the pieces that we have purchased over the years have provided a talking point for firm members and clients alike. However, it has also shown us how difficult it is for aspiring artists to progress and make a living from their art, which has strengthened my wish to get involved. We have been involved with A&B NI since 2000 and being in the legal sector it was a natural step to see if we could assist on the boards of local arts companies through A&B NI’s Professional Development Programmes. That started the discussion and since then we have been able to involve a number of our 62 www.businessfirstonline.co.uk “The moment I heard about the Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme I was instantly interested. The programme offered me a unique opportunity to combine my passion for the arts with my own professional development. In my experience this is a brilliant programme which has afforded me the chance to learn, network and develop valuable skills which I will take forward in my career. Through completing the programme I have been able to use the training offered to make my first appointment on a board one that is well informed and exciting. It has been an educational and fun programme which I would highly recommend to young professionals as an excellent opportunity for personal and professional growth.” Rosie Timoney, Carson McDowell solicitors in the different programs run by A&B NI. The main reasons for participating in the Board Bank programme are I wanted to give something back to the NI community in a sector that I enjoy. As regards the firm we recognise that in addition to our corporate social responsibilities, which we take very seriously, getting our young people out into a different environment will benefit them (and indirectly Carson McDowell) as much as the arts organisation and help them hone their communication skills and strategic decision making abilities. Participation on A&B NI’s Professional Development Programmes has had a positive benefit for me as an individual, in that it has given me a better insight on what it means to actually be on a board, as opposed to advising a board. It is clear that there are a number of very dedicated individuals working in the Arts sector who are passionate about the Arts but who also want to be part of a professionally run organisation. The positive benefit to our business has been in the development of our professional team. Participation in the schemes has enhanced the skillset of all those involved which is good for the individuals and for the firm as they grow in confidence in working with clients and other professionals. I hope my involvement and impact sitting on the boards of Arts & Business NI and Moving on Music is a positive one. I can add a legal perspective to any discussions and, having been involved in advising businesses for a number of years now, I can bring that experience to the organisations through board involvement. To register your interest for current recruitment opportunity contact Arts & Business NI, T: 0289073 5150 or find out more at www.ArtsandBusinessni.org.uk “I was attracted to the Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme because of the chance to use and develop my professional skills in a new context as a board member of an arts organisation. I also thought it would be a great opportunity to combine my personal interest in music with my professional life and to be able to give something back to my community. I recently completed my training and have been linked up with Ulster Youth Choir with a view to joining their board of directors. I am looking forward to contributing to UYC and feel confident that the excellent training provided by Arts & Business NI will enable me to be an effective board member and to assist with the strategic development of the organisation.” Gillian Greenfield, Carson McDowell “I became involved in the Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme after it was promoted within the firm that I work. I saw it as a unique opportunity to gain corporate governance experience w Ёѡ)ͅѥͥͭ́ȁѡЁ)ѡչ丁QɅɽ٥( ͥ́9$݅́)ɕͥٔ!٥ɐ)ȁ܁ȁѡЁ啅ȁ$ٔ)مՅͥЁ́Ѽ܁́ɐ)Ʌѕ́Ʌѥt5՝) ͽ5ݕ+q$хͅѡЁݕݼ)չɽͥ́Ѽѡɐ5٥)5ٕͥ́ͥѥٔɥ)Q䁉Ѡ͕ٔͭ́ݡѼѡ)ɓéѥ͔ͼѡȁɥ)́ɽѡɓéɅѱ)Qɽ́ݽɭݕѡݕɔ)Ѽѕѥ́ɔ)ɵ䁩t5)ѽ)ѹȰ ͽ5ݕ) Ȱ5٥5ͥ