create balance

A dynamic, sustainable, world class theatre sector


the background

The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) in partnership with its sister organisation UK Theatre (UKT), serves as the primary Membership Organisation for Theatre Producers, Managers, Owners and Operators.                                   

‘How’ the organisation responds to the changes affecting this sector, will directly affect the wider ability of the Arts to survive and succeed and keep moving forward.

From the outset, the appointed Co-CEO’s knew they were embarking on a challenging, yet time-critical journey, in which fundamental change would be critical.

If Theatre were to succeed in continuing to drive economic growth and social good, then these changes must be applied both within the organisation and across the sector.

Undertaking change of this magnitude is never easy, but with the added reality of a sector struggling to get back on its post-pandemic feet, plus traditional revenue streams and ways of working feeling insecure and Members needing new direction and guidance… the need for change was becoming both critical and urgent. It was also high risk - requiring a clear narrative, strong leadership and a committed team to take the action internally; whilst protecting the voice, reputation and legacy of the two organisations externally.

the outcome

Through a series of structured balance conversations, we worked with the Co-CEO’s and newly formed Executive team on ‘how’ they might communicate, approach, and deliver the change. The aim to help the SOLT&UKT leadership and their teams, better understand and support the change, so they could continue to champion theatre and support their Members to thrive.

The first step was to create a clear and compelling narrative that reconnected the organisation to their shared vision and mission. Translating this simply into who we are, what we do and why we do it, was important in providing both a clear rationale and direction for the forthcoming change and help navigate ongoing discussion and decision making.

The next step was to help translate the change strategy into key roles and priorities for each team, so they could direct their energy and expertise to what mattered most, plus understand the part they would play in the next important chapter of the SOLT&UKT story.

Having now positioned the most significant and difficult changes, the organisation has been able to re-set, and focus on the task ahead… connected to a vision and mission that can continue to guide prioritisation and decision making. This has enabled them to better provide clear guidance and relevant tools, that help Members to adapt and adjust to ongoing opportunities and challenges occurring in the sector… and create the balance they need to survive, succeed and move forward.


Identifying the need for change, and then making a firm commitment to do what’s needed to implement it, is a core leadership skill – but with it, there must also be a leadership mindset and capability to create balance. To retain absolute clarity and alignment to the agreed direction, to maintain focus on what matters most and to be able to adjust the pace and prioritisation in ways that help people support the change and continue to operate at their best.                                                               

Most importantly, it is to stay connected to who you are, what you do and why you do it, as the means to guiding and motivating those within the organisation, whilst sustaining sponsorship, advocacy and support from those outside.

Our belief in the need for a strong supported and well-respected body that represents the best interests of theatre remains – as does our belief in the ability of SOLT&UKT to play this important balancing role.

“Mel and Martin supported SOLT&UKT at a key time in our strategic development. Through a holistic approach of coaching and facilitated sessions, they helped us and our new Executive, identify the purpose for our new teams and what success, on behalf of our members, would look like.

Their deep experience and emotional intelligence, as well as their knowledge of the sector was critical to us as we embarked on the first part of our new chapter. “

Co-CEO’s Claire Walker and Hannah Essex