A little bit later than promised, here’s the ‘7 Principles of Culture’, as outlined by Simon Woods, co-founder and Artistic Director of Queensland-based Physical Theatre company Zen Zen Zo:
- If you don’t like your culture, then change it.
- Treat culture like a garden; enjoy a long-term process of cultivating it.
- Culture is a dynamic process, not a destination. It requires constant reassessment.
- Great culture exists beyond the individual, yet the individual flourishes within it.
- Leaders must always set the example, but culture must serve something beyond the leader.
- To build a culture, find a culture building machine (whatever this may be for your situation – activities, exercises etc.).
- Strong culture is about making/creating an environment in which something great can happen.
Simon Woods was a keynote speaker at the 2006 Drama Victoria Conference at the University of Melbourne.
A few other inspirational comments about theatre and performance-making from Simon included:
- Find the extraordinary in everyone and everything.
- Take risks, give yourself a challenge and make things hard.
- Crash the plane by all means, but remember to salvage the black box!
- Be disciplined, because in the theatre, the body must be disciplined.
- Embrace failure and learn from your mistakes.
- To be involved in the theatre, you need energy, so if you don’t have it, locate the source of your energy.