Core Values

Monday, September 13, 2010 Leave a Comment

(Pictured: Kelly O'Donnell and Tiffany Clementi on the bus to Little Pond for Flux's 5th Annual Retreat)
There is much to unpack from our 5th annual retreat. The 4th retreat generated so many ideas about values, mission, strategic plan and more that the sheer amount of thought made synthesizing it into a cohesive frame difficult.

However, with all that work behind us, our discussions at this 5th retreat were much more focused, and we emerged at last with Core and Aesthetic Values, Mission, and a new Membership Structure.

We'll be rolling out the above over the next weeks; today, we take a look at our newly defined Core Values, and share a little of our process on how we got there.

These values live in all aspects of our work and in every point of contact with our community.

Joy: We love what we do, we have fun doing it, and we want to inspire that passion in others.
Compassion: We practice contagious empathy and mutual respect.
Collaboration: Our process is inclusive, transparent, and sustained through long term partnerships.
Creativity: We extend the imaginative act beyond the stage into our administrative practices.
Excellence: We take risks to make great theatre and challenge ourselves to improve every day.

What do you think? Do these values represent the Flux you know? The Flux you'd like to see? If you don't know us well, do these values give a sense of what working with us might be like?

While these values may seem straightforward, they are the result of several years of hard campaigning and discussion. Our process began as early as our first retreat, but much of our efforts then went towards organizational structure. We drafted a constitution that looked at the rights, responsibilities, and decision making functionality of the company.

This focus on organizational structure continued for the next two years, as we attempted to navigate several layers of Membership, trying to find a way to guarantee artistic opportunities in return for administrative help. A Baroque system of checks and balances emerged, but even by 2008, at the height of this hope, the sense that it was unsustainable was rising.

2009 saw a refocus on values, both Core and Aesthetic, and some of the fruits of that discussion were highlighted here, here, and here. We generated a long list of values, battled over definitions, voted numerically to identify the most important values as accurately as possible, and then wrestled with that shortened list post-retreat.

But at this last retreat, everything snapped into focus. We stopped trying to force the Core Values to do the work of the Mission and Aesthetic Values; and we recognized that many of the Core Values could actually fit within larger umbrella values. For example, transparency is an important value, but it is important because we value collaboration, and so transparency wound up a part of that larger value.

Please note to the sub-header below Core Values:

These values live in all aspects of our work and in every point of contact with our community.

This is the critical part; that we bring these values to bare on every aspect of our work, and that we do not present different faces to different constituencies.The act of arriving at these values was difficult, but now the more difficult work of weaving them into our daily practice begins.

We'll be unpacking each of these values individually, as each means something very specific to us. But for now, what do you think of the list as a whole?

(Photo: Jason Paradine helping with the strike of Little Pond, after all the guests are gone)


  • Matt A said:  

    Well done, Flux. This is the Flux I know.

  • RVCBard said:  

    Creativity: We extend the imaginative act beyond the stage into our administrative practices.

    I'm curious as to what this means in real-world terms.