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Sync: e-bulletin March 2012


Feeling the push

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere. (Frank A. Clark)

We're already three months into 2012 and many of us are feeling the push and pull of a very heavy workload as we move towards the next set of priorities, performances and platforms in this very public year.

Never has it been more important for us to think about how we pull ourselves and our teams through this busy time, facing obstacles head on and keeping everything afloat.

We're delighted to sharing this bulletin with Bobby Baker in the last of our contributions from our 10 strong Sync Intensive cohort. She has a lot to share with us on how not to be a pushover!

We'll also be telling you a little bit more about the Sync team's next moves in the weeks and months ahead in our commission with Watershed Media for The Space aptlly named Push ME

Getting your geese in order

Being on the Sync Intensive training programme has proven to be one of the most significantly positive experiences of my whole artistic career. To have an opportunity to explore personal and cultural notions of 'leadership' in this new economic climate and terrain is a rare privilege. (Bobby Baker, Artist, Leader)

a photo of Bobby Baker smiling

Over the last few years, Artist and Artistic Director Bobby Baker has developed a new set of approaches to leading and leadership.

In her presentation: 7,000 000 steps to leadership, especially compiled for Sync, she illustrates some of the important things she's learned along the way. You can watch her film with captions, with audio description or just as it comes. Make yourself a cuppa, sit back and enjoy the ride. It's brilliant!

Click here to read Bobby's 7,000 000 steps to leadership

Meeting obstacles

Obstacles are what we see when we take our eyes off the goal. (Rita Davenport)

a stop sign saying obstacles

I'm not sure I entirely agree with Rita Davenport. As with any project, obstacles come up, but that may not be about taking your eyes off the goal, but rather about changing the way you feel about things that happen in pursuit of the goal.

When obstacles come up, as they invariably do, maybe you need to challenge your usual thought patterns and behaviours and consider the job in hand in a different light.


  • taking time (and breathing) to deal with difficult situations beyond the first set of moments.

  • choosing to feel differently about why the obstacle has come up - it may not be your fault or indeed your problem.

  • different ways of tackling the situation: look at what the project needs, not what you need.

  • refuelling the goal. Go back to when you first felt real joy or excitement for the project or idea - it can really help you get back into the swing of it.

  • practicing alternative ways of responding and make them part of your new portfolio of behaviours and responses.

You don't have to be alone in this. If you find yourself sinking into old patter and patterns when obstacles come up, phone a friend or msn a mate. There's nothing like a bit of hand holding in these busy times.

Space update

The Sync team, Jo and Sarah, are busy scheduling the summer and making inroads into The Space, an experimental platform managed by Arts Council England and developed in partnership with the BBC. It will be launching in May and running until October this year. Our project is led by Watershed Media in Bristol and is aptly named Push ME

The Space promises to be a completely new digital environment and our project will be following 12 of Unlimited artist commissions for the London 2012 Festival. We'll be linking our Sync membership into this exciting set of journeys. We've already started making our first set of artist films and designing the Push ME blog. We'll have more to share with you all next month.

In the meantime, enjoy the Spring. We can safely say, it's sprung!

All the best,

Sarah Pickthall


Find out more about The Space here

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