How to be Lucky

In February 2017 I was asked to do a TEDx talk in Cluj Romania. http://www.tedxcluj.com/

My topic was in response to the theme “Going Beyond”. I decided to talk about “Luck’ and how we create our own luck… before the speech I gave an interview for a National Magazine. Here’s the interview and some thoughts about living on The Edge and Being lucky

1.You’ve been asked to define the concept of Going Beyond and you said that `If you’re not living on the edge you’re taking up too much room`. As a theatre director and producer, you’ve worked alongside artists but also with people out of this field. How would you explain to both of these two categories the meaning of “living on the edge”?

The new world is a complex world. As we move into the fourth industrial revolution two basic dynamics appeal to me; the idea of looking forward and looking back.

Looking back; Engels believed that the prime basic condition for all human existence was labour. Most humans feel a need to work, but for many this is not sufficient to give a meaning to life. The political turmoil of today is perhaps a realisation that the current model is not satisfactory.. and yes the model is changing – we are rapidly evolving and a sense of the ‘survival of the fittest’ is coming back into focus.

The middle ‘soft ground’ of work is changing… to grow or indeed to survive, we have to be more ‘on the edge’ looking at dynamics that challenge our traditional thinking. But I am not advocating a simple absorption of new technologies in a Virtual, Artificial world.

Darwin wrote that the survival of mankind depends upon its ability to Improvise and Collaborate, so when I look at my theatrical life as a producer and Director these dynamics are clearly useful as we play out our stories.

The theatre world is a creative world and now so is our labour world. In both creativity is about new boundaries, new ideas and they come from the catalyst of being somewhere dangerous, exciting and risk-oriented, where discoveries are made, where improvisation takes place!

In the theatre and in Work this place is The Edge.

And as a director of plays and as a facilitator of start-ups and corporate change programs, I focus on building strong foundations – the basics – but I am also encouraging people to look back to what worked before and is real, as well as looking forward to what can work next and be the ‘new real’.

So the Edge is where we look both ways – where we fuse old and new, where ideas are both fixed and growth oriented. This is true in the World of Work and in the World of Theatre.

  1. Ideas, communication and audience are three things that the theater world and the corporate world have in common. Can you explain in more detail this connection and which is the main purpose of the Menagerie Theatre Company?

If you create a performance without an audience it is a rehearsal.

If you create a product or service without customers it is a prototype.

Both of these dynamics are interesting to explore and challenge our thinking. The end game is to create something real and for it to be consumed.

We need to encourage a “Heads-up, Hearts in Culture” where artists and businesses have a creative mind-set yet are still involved in ‘the delivery of the product’ and understand how they can positively influence this.

To survive in the new world, we need to focus on creative and imaginative dynamics, understand the nature of decision making and how to devolve decision making to the grass roots encouraging, positive, creative communication within communities or organizations.

Survival is about how people can work together towards a common goal and strategy whilst retaining individual identity and influence. To do this you need to understand your purpose and your audience, then be able to communicate your ideas.

Aristotle says that to avoid Criticism .. Do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Menagerie Theatre Company exists to oppose this; to create a critical response to ideas and thereby we set out to say something, do something, be something… and then to get a reaction – either critical or empathetic.

All of our work is collaborative. All of it is new or a fusion of ideas. Our approach is original but definite. We write about what we hear and see, we improvise about what we imagine, we devise, compose and create stories to share. Then we present – somewhere, somehow and of course to someone…

3.Did luck play an important part in your life so far? Can you give us some examples when luck determined your life or your professional path?

There is a subtle but great difference between luck and serendipity .

Of course the routes we take can be determined by us or by others and mostly in combination- our parents, partners, colleagues create our network and environment. But serendipity is a created co-incidence, determined to a great extend by our own conscious or un-conscious decision making .. not other’s; OURS.

 

So for me going to talk in Cluj at TEDx is not luck, but serendipity. And Serendipity? It’s where good fortune meets the prepared mind

I was part of the decision making process because of where I was on one day, in one moment to make the connection to bring me here – so I made the luck, or I was just lucky?.

Of course the night that someone comes to your show that loves it and wants to work with you might be lucky. Or maybe you made that luck.. by being innovative, hard working and dedicated enough to make that event – to give yourself a chance to be lucky?

So I can’t tell you a moment of luck – just a series of fortunate circumstances.

It’s a bit like a religious mind-set – somehow if you have faith – it will happen, but it can’t be blind faith – rather a deep sense of doing the right thing in the right way at the right time to be lucky.

  1. In your opinion, which are the trends in theatre at the moment? Are there any forms of expression that need to be recovered or that need to be discovered?

So as we look back and we look forward there is a duality; a fusion of theatre and digital technology but also a recalibration of theatre as a pure form of storytelling – the human experience.

Interestingly there has been a lot of research done recently into the presumption that video games, home computing, live on-line streaming of events etc. would reduce the numbers of people participating in the live theatre events. However the opposite has been true. We are going to the theatre and live music and comedy more than ever before. It is clear we need (crave?) that human experience – that human interaction.

So whilst it is tempting to fuse art and technology in the assumption that it is a good ‘modern ‘thing to do, it is also to be noted that artists are creating a uniquely live human experience which will be perceived and received by each audience member or spectator in their own personal frame. I love the idea of the individual spectator alongside the collective or shared experience that comes only from Live Performance.

 

There has also been a lot of activity and thought around Immersive Theatre. I have produced some myself. Here the audience goes deeply into the action – not just staring blankly at the stage but participating in and indeed influencing the action – influencing it – changing it !. However this is not new – it has been happening for centuries as spectators shout or invade the stage. From the Greek Chorus made up of local citizens at The Ancient Festivals through to modern Forum or interactive theatre. In a 1923 theatre production Of Meyerhold’s Earth Rampant in Moscow, Trotsky spontaneously came on the stage unannounced during one battle scene – gave a rousing and improvised speech to the ‘actor troops’ then sat back down in his seat! That is participation!!

5.Do you think that there are any limits of creativity in the changing world we live in?

Creativity is a term that covers so much in a positive and negative way – ‘this person is creative, this one not’. For me creativity is about survival, and it comes out of three frames: Necessity ,Opportunity and Ingenuity. We need creative forces to be at play to manage our evolution and now, creativity in the Opportunity and Necessity frames are connected deeply with A.I. and Processing… I truly believe that we mix-up Innovation, Enterprise and Creativity and have no idea what they really are … I am sure I don’t. But I know Creativity is a necessary force and as well as thinking creatively forward we should think creatively back too.

 

6.Based on your experience, how hard it is to inspire people to think different in a world where information is no longer filtered? Are people always “buying” the story you’re telling?

Fake news… Maybe this is a fake article?

Again Aristotle proposed that to get people to ‘believe’ you need both Evidence and Persuasion. I feel that now it is unbalanced towards Persuasion. The Belief mechanism of evidence is being eroded. That’s’ why stories are important because they are presented as mirrors or reflections of truths not as absolutes. This abdicates some responsibility but also offers some hope for personal decision making. I hope that in my work – in theatre and in business, I am able to show proof as well as inspire thought. There is an old adage that theatre is a lie wrapped up as a truth –one we all accept as a convenat when we go to see or participate in the event. If we know this in advance we are empowered by it. If we don’t know it then we can be tricked or forced into a form of thinking that is dangerous or at least cynical. So let’s create stories together and ‘sell’ them co-operatively, honestly and dynamically to each other. The Virgin Group of Businesses headed by Richard Branson are driven by one key Value – that Everyone is Better Off – so lets do our business, our theatre and live our lives with an E.B.O philosophy?

7.Does the world today need more storytellers? Which storyteller inspired you most when you were younger and which are the most important attributes a storyteller should have?

Stories are about ‘other worlds’ paradigms and metaphors – a fusion of fantasies and realities. I love stories.

So when we go to the pub for a drink and to talk and tell stories and we get to that moment when we can’t remember ‘who that actor was in that old movie?’ or ‘what the number of spectators was at that football match?’ or the color of someone’s hair in that painting?, let’s not stop and Google it and fact check – for now let’s enjoy the half-remembered, sure we will find out soon enough who, what, where and when… but for now let’s enjoy our ignorance, our dreams our half-remembered conversation and our stories. Lets enjoy the opportunity and possibility of stories. Good stories, honest stories. That facts will come for sure.

But for now let’s paint the picture as we see it, as we imagine it and as we want it to be….

 

Advertisements

He personally creates all the programs and conduct them with professional actors and munitions.

I recently did a radio/podcast interview in Russia about working and building a business there.

The interview sums up the work we do in that market (as well as others) and how the theatre and business training can intersect.

I listened to it again recently and noticed this amazing sentence describing my work in the supporting text…

“He personally creates all the programs and conduct them with professional actors and munitions”.

I love the fact that I use actors and weapons in my training!!!

Enjoy the interview…

http://facesandcases.net/podcast/en/paulbourne/

 

 

Blog: Living in a VUCA world. In this case..St Petersburg May 2015

Attending a conference on behalf of iNTG in St Petersburg, Russia

http://i-ntg.com/who/who.html

First ‘gig’ since signing up to be Associate at The Judge Business School, University of Cambridge where I will be delivering new initiatives around Creative engagement particularly focusing on how creativity can play an increasingly important role in the dynamics of Executive Education delivery.

http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/programmes/execed/

The two-day conference is on Organisational Development for large Russian and International Companies in St Petersburg project is ran by HR Club:

https://www.linkedin.com/grp/home?gid=4107262

The two days are challenging – working on the themes of VUCA

Originally designed for Military use in assessing challenging scenarios this has ben re-applied to a Business development context

VUCA stands for VOLATILITY, UNCERTAINTY, COMPLEXITY, AMBIGUITY

I develop and present a programme around these themes – and a way for businesses to approach these challenges.

Working with three Russian actors from local IMPROV group is fun and challenging:

So – back ground to VUCA:

Volatility—The nature, speed, volume, magnitude, and dynamics of change

Uncertainty—The lack of predictability of issues and events

Complexity—The confounding of issues and the chaos that surrounds any organization

Ambiguity—The haziness of reality and the mixed meanings of conditions!

The capacity for VUCA leadership in strategic and operating terms depends on a well-developed mindset for gauging the technical, social, political, market and economic realities of the environment in which people work

Sense-Making

Planning and Readiness Considerations

Process Management and Resource Systems

Functional Responsiveness

For Volatile Situations…

  • Communicate clearly
  • Ensure your intent is understood

For Uncertain Situations…

  • Get a fresh perspective
  • Be flexible

For Complex Situations…

  • Develop collaborative leaders
  • Stop seeking permanent solutions

For Ambiguous Situations…

  • Listen well
  • Think divergently
  • Set up incremental dividends

And my thoughts and context

“if you’re not living on the edge you are taking up too much room”

A VUCA world is a complex world. How do we cope with such a world, saturated with corporate visions, missions and strategies, pushing us into one-direction with inflexible slow response thinking?

We have to strive for clear simple, fast and flexible decision making. We have to empower employees to take ownership for this decision-making. This includes encouraging creativity and imagination.

If we don’t develop imagination how can we expect people to think?

In any complex world we have to unlock innate creativity as a way of questioning the world and being part of the story but not being at the mercy of micro- or macro- economic or social events. We have to encourage corporate strategic thinking of course, but also flexibility, fast thinking and individualism.

We need to encourage a “Heads-up, Hearts in Culture” where employees are individuals with a creative mind-set yet still involved in ‘the team’ and understand how they can positively influence it.

To survive in VUCA world we need to focus on creative and imaginative dynamics, understand the nature of decision making and how to devolve decision making to the grass roots encouraging, positive, creative communication within organisations.

Ultimately VUCA survival is about how people can work together towards a common goal and strategy whilst retaining individual identity and influence.

Make clear decisions quickly… be ready, be responsive, be real!

Through exercises, scenarios and videos – including my old favourite the Orchestra and IMPROV.

We bring it all to life and really seen how improved performance can effect change…

BLOG: RUSSIA: Better “With Hope” or “Better Together”?

2nd Day in St Petersburg…

The highlight of my visit to Pulkovo airport in St Petersburg yesterday was to visit the head of The Corporate University ; Ludmila and the HR Director Yana.

Yana had worked with me on the Pulkovo team development in Iceland but had not been to the Blue Lagoon trip (see previous blog!) so I kept my clothes on for the entire meeting!

The office for the meeting had a huge window with a panoramic view across fields to some roads. At the intersection of the roads was a giant billboard sign. Yana told me that the sign was owned by a newspaper and always had different sayings written on it. Up until the day before written in giant letters had been: Russia – “Full of Hope” But yesterday it was changed to “Russia: Together.”

I am sure this statement carries much double meaning as the economic and political shifts are taking place. One thing is for certain – throughout my entire trip these were the two topics of conversations – Ukraine and The collapse of the Rouble on the global markets. Interestingly everyone seemed to talk of hope and not fear. Of trepidation not panic. Where news comes from and how it is disseminated is also a common topic. However there is an implicit trust in the charismatic Putin and despite negative comments most people seemed to have this trust as opposed to fear around his actions.

 

One meeting I had over the weekend was with a colleague Olga who described Putin’s performance at the recent meeting about Ukraine with Hollande and Merkel. Olga had been listening to a radio commentary of the meeting in which a commentator had deconstructed Putin, Merkel and Hollande’s body language. One conclusion was that Putin was the defiant King – the strong confident leader, with Merkel battling her frustration and desire to pounce forward and grab him around the neck – with Hollande waiting in the wings to mop the brow of the contestants…

A cartoon illustration of a serious encounter perhaps but nevertheless there is truth in the fact that whilst words may be diplomatic the language of the body can display hidden truths.

This is certainly one area of theatre that I have been able to focus on in business development workshops and programmes. In all the work we have ever done , e have looked at Archetypes (King Hero, Mother, Innocent, Trickster and Fool) and how they are articulated visually as well as psychologically. The most obvious example of this has been in our EPIC programme where we breakdown dynamics of formal and informal communication into Body Mind and Voice with actors focusing on the Body language and vocal technique and me pulling other the whole picture or story.

Interestingly I am not sure that Mr Putin has been on one of my EPIC courses – but places are available!

And as Aristotle taught many politicians if you want people to believe you – you need both Evidence and Artistic Persuasion. And maybe Russia needs both … Hope and Togetherness ??

P.S.

This blog was written three days before the murder of Nemstov.. more reflections to follow

 

 

 

What lies Underneath?

So a quick catch-up blog which will have to cover December…

At the end of December I had two key events – Creative Team building training in Zilina (Slovakia) and visiting Limerick to see a new piece of theatre …

Zilina was the residential training event supporting Akademia Zilina.

http://bit.ly/169UbXq

Working with Peter and Suz of NaPerone Theatre Company of Kosice.

http://naperone.sk/en/show/1837-theatre-on-the-platform-

The training was for 25 secretaries from a German automotive firm. Most of them worked as PAs and all were female…It was an interesting dynamic!!!

Peter and Suz were the Actors and the task was to work with the secretaries on their communication skills. We did some fun role-plays which mostly seemed to involve the girls abusing Peter (the boss) or instructing Suz (the PA) to abuse him!! Mostly I think they used the opportunity of training to say and do all the things they wish they could in the real world.

It was fun when the girls instructed Suz to give the boss an annual review on his own management style and skills  – it was very funny and very harsh… and who knows maybe some of the fun stuff will seep through to have an impact on how they work in a challenging environment when so much is expected of them?

Our training partners Akademia Zilina provided the translation and support for me and I worked with the actors to bring the whole thing to life in a dynamic way – and they were very good.

Peter and Suz also ran exercises – which included two classic moments. Firstly we went outside  of the hotel onto a terrace (it was a Ski Resort) and did some vocal training which included projecting our voices towards the mountains. After ten minutes of throwing voices we heard a voice come back from the other side of the mountains “Help!” – maybe they were training too???

The other classic moment was also outside when Miro (one of the other trainers) was trying to do a creative thinking exercise – with eyes closed “imagine yourself doing… so and so..” but the whole time we were doing the exercise we had one of the other trainers shouting “Kubo” “Kubo” “Kubo” as her dog ran madly in between 25 bemused (and hung-over secretaries).

“KUBO!!!”

Overall less about art and creativity and more about team-building and dog handling but an interesting challenge.

And most importantly I trained up actors to deliver this type of training – this is now an income stream for them as we build up Arts and Business Connections in Slovakia as part of Creative Kosice.

As 2015 evolves I will be training more and more artists to use their skills in Arts and Business cross-over activities which we hope will expand with international projects galore – watch this space!

http://www.kosice2013.sk/en/

The end to the Zilina trip was a three hour wait on the train station  to get the train back to Kosice – very cold … but i did feel like i was in a European Art Movie … stuck in a station in the middle of nowhere…

wpid-20141114_172302.jpg

Ireland

In December I was also in Ireland for the premiere of Underneath by Fishamble Theatre of Dublin.

http://fishamble.com/category/current-plays/

Limerick is … well… who knows I spent the entire time in bars or in the hotel spa!!

But I am sure the rest of it is very nice!

Pat Kinevane was the actor starring in Underneath a one-man show he has penned about life death and judging (or not…) the book by its cover.

I love Pat as a performer (and writer) having produced his last two solo plays Silent and Forgotten at Hotbed Festival over the past couple of years:

http://www.menagerie.uk.com/hotbedfest/hotbed-2013/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Yl-RY3z7ak

One first viewing I was not totally convinced by Underneath. It appeared to be covering familiar (similar) ground in terms of both subject and particularly style,  as the previous piece Silent.

However I got sucked into it enough to care and to be challenged by the notion of how we see each other –particularly physically. And to be honest it has been a slow burner for me – watching it on opening night is always a little difficult and material needs to settle, but the material has stayed with me – now six weeks later I am still with the heroine as she battles societal ‘norms’.

Pat is a truly mesmerising performer and the material is strong and relevant. My only true criticism is the insertion of jokes which don’t come directly out of or feed into the story. They are unnecessary and really break the rhythm. This aside, Underneath is a modern parable brilliantly told that will challenge the way you view ‘beauty’ .

I hope to grab it for Hotbed – and I know it will be in Edinburgh at the fringe in 2015 – so definitely catch it before it gets its Fringe First!

OK, travels since Limerick include Czech Republic, Germany and Holland – more to follow… let’s see what lies beneath…

BLOG: The Evolution of Change: Darwin and Juggling Balls

Kosice, Slovakia

You know you have started to be part of the local scene when you are sitting in the window of a pizza parlour and in the space of 20 minutes three people knock on the window and say “hey Paul – what’s going on? You live here now!?!”

My final major intervention in Kosice this week has been working with an organisation that is going through the challenge of being purchased by an international company. The company in Kosice was RWE Slovakia and is now FPT.

http://fpt-software.com/News/FPT-win-new-customer-big-deal-Europe-RWE.html

This was a workshop on Change which I enjoyed lot.

17 participants and I had a great fun exploring change and how to manage it. I focused on interactive exercises including a lot of improvisation and storytelling

The improvisation requires this notion of accept the situation and build on it. The Storytelling allows exploration of how we tell and shape our own stories.

So lots of interactive exercises and lots of capturing of ideas around positive mind-set and challenging thinking.

However I did one thing I haven’t done before which was exploit my basic knowledge of Charles Darwin.

I was thinking about the workshop the day before in the sauna in the hotel and Darwin popped into my mind (I know, weird) but he did.

I guess it wasn’t such a surprise if you are thinking about Change that you might think about Darwin…

We (Menagerie) created a play about Charles Darwin a few years ago which toured the UK and USA. Re: Design by Craig Baxter was about the correspondence between Darwin and an American Professor Asa Gray. It was a fascinating play to work on as the correspondence was sparkling (Gray was a Christian but supported Darwin’s Theories) but mostly because we got to learn so much about Darwin.

http://www.menagerie.uk.com/productions/archived/redesign/

VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-qViHvIUlU

 

So I opened the workshop with a obvious quote about Darwin’s’ theories which has relevance to a workshop on change:

In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed…

But then I took my workshop crew on a little Journey…

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/home-of-charles-darwin-down-house/garden/sandwalk/

I had put tape on the floor of the workshop to replicate the Sandwalk that Darwin would walk along in his home at Down, Kent. From 1842 until his death in 1882 he would walk this Sandwalk every day that he could, often twice a day. This walk of roughly a mile had many functions and proved valuable to him as he ruminated and also valuable for our workshop … to ponder as we walked the green coloured tape-on-floor Sandwalk!

The idea that you do the same thing everyday is interesting because repetition creates intimacy.

Darwin could see the small changes every day – walking in one direction then in another. He could see and feel the real world and observe its delicate transformations. Of course sometimes an event such as a storm would dramatically change the landscape and it would appear very differently in different conditions from snow to sunshine. But I love this idea that Darwin gave himself the space to move away from correspondence, from writing up ideas or experiments and even from family time, to walk this walk. To be out in the real world and to observe…

 

I like this story and will develop more… however the good people of the workshop room at Kulturpark may not be so happy when they go into the space on Monday. As I removed Darwin’s taped Sandwalk a lot of tape remained stuck to the floor – so good people of Kulturpark you have a bit of Darwin to contend with – sorry!

All of our work on our play about Darwin was developed in association with the Darwin Correspondence Project in Cambridge which is the biggest and most important archive of Darwin’s Correspondence. It has lots of great stuff and links to our production too…

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/

Our workshop on Change included a bit of Shakespeare, a bit of Churchill and of course a bit that other great Englishman…????

My contribution mainly focused on telling jokes doing the odd acting exercises and throwing and the good old juggling balls – hey what change management workshop would be complete without them!??!!

Good luck to FPT…  may the force of Darwin be with you…keep juggling.

Blog: “Teaching” Six Steps of Entrepreneurial Thinking (… or seven).

BLOG 1st September 2014

Teaching time is almost upon us and I will resume my role consulting in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in Cambridge with CEDAR. Or as my contribution is know in our household… “Teaching” (said with accompanied hand-movements of speech marks).

http://www.anglia.ac.uk/ruskin/en/home/microsites/cedar/team.html

Today was the first day looking at plans for me to support teaching (“teaching”) on the BA and MSC In Entrepreneurship.

The question comes – firstly can you teach Entrepreneurship?

Then if you can why is a theatre director involved?

Well the answer to number one is beyond my pay grade (dividend grade?) and the answer judging by the number of courses worldwide seems to be yes. Everyone I know says the number one course is at Babson College in the States but the course at CEDAR is also unique and interesting because of the practical content.

http://www.babson.edu/Academics/centers/blank-center/Pages/home.aspx

What I do know, is that you can immerse yourself in a world that can equip you to really understand and to and prepare you to be a professional part of it. I feel there is plenty of motivating, cajoling and inspiring to be done besides planning and strategy, and I guess this is where I come in… focusing on what I know about: getting the best out of people.

Challenging thinking around People, Communication and Creativity in the workplace, I try to be practical, a bit of a bully and a critical friend.

I also learn a lot myself …as the students constantly ask “what on earth are you doing teaching on this course? If you were that successful you wouldn’t need to.”

To which I answer: “ you can learn a lot from my mistakes ??? “.

It is clear from the faculty meeting today that the powers that be (Professors etc..) don’t want me to spout from text-books on Maslow’s’ Theory of Motivation or Schumpeter ‘s Big Bang opportunities (although they are interesting).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_destruction

It is clear my role is about shaking students up – motivating them and getting them to understand and explore some clear dynamics around how they operate as potential Business People in a shifting landscape full of opportunities and pitfalls.

My teaching (Yes… “ “ ) will focus on exploring some fundamentals in Entrepreneurship:

  1. Be Brave: Make things happen
  2. Create Frameworks: to enable you to think both big and small
  3. Network (ing): vital
  4. Make decisions (start with a good name)
  5. Do the simple things: really well
  6. Work with good people: Nice (and effective) if you can
  7. …?

This idea of Networking is so important. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of people who I know that got a job or created a business stir through the old channels – it is all about networking, opportunity recognition, recommendation and serendipity.

What are you doing if you are an entrepreneur whether in the UK or USA or Nigeria? Finding and exploiting that gap in the market before someone else, or developing your idea or version of the business better than others.

Looking at the list it is clear that you make things happen by being in the right place at the right time or finding a way to get there quick. Then once you are there implement your Framework; knowing what you need to about the law, the market and the money to make stuff happen…

The Frameworks are essentially plans that can be adapted whether they are for employing, training, distributing or selling, it is about taking the big picture and not missing out on the detail.

The rest of the list (1-6) speaks for itself but I am reminded of Anthony Alderson from the Pleasance Theatre talking about taking a risk or not feeling in control… well, you are never fully in control, but there is always someone on the end of the phone who can help you. You can’t be an expert in everything but you can find someone who is. So if it’s a good idea, never mind how scary… go for it.

http://www.ideastap.com/ideasmag/all-articles/Anthony-Alderson

In our team at CEDAR there are a number of really interesting Entrepreneurs in Residence and four of them are really really interesting. I will write about them all at length but here are their profiles and briefly why they are interesting case studies;

Natalie Haywood a Scouse dynamo – who runs the fabulous Leaf – teashops and venues. She has confidence in abundance, is a great deal maker and fabulous networker. She does what she says, she will has a vision and knows every detail of her business. Don’t mess!

https://thisisleaf.co.uk/

Neil Muspratt is on the fringes at CEDAR but in the middle of the business world when it comes to Gaming. He spotted an opportunity to “Make things happen” and took it. He brought the site Simply Games.Com about 6 or 7 years ago and invested in all the right places (People, Marketing and Distribution) to create a truly successful independent gaming company. His style is to take the risk but to have 100% trust in who he does business with, where and how. Most of it is incredibly done on a handshake. He also understands international trading and that is where you can adapt to the system and create surplus.

http://www.simplygames.com/

 

Paddy Bishopp of Paddy and Scott’s Coffee started out grounding roast coffee beans to support this own café in Suffolk. They have become one of the fastest growing Cafes and distributors in the UK – why? – they know their customers and  they do the simple things really well but mainly have good coffee – don’t compromise on this sort of thing and you are in a good place.

http://www.paddyandscotts.co.uk/our-story

And Finally…

Jason Graham who runs ICE Bar in Mayfair. He visited an ICE BAR in the frozen North – wanted to run one. Where should be have his bar? Only the best will do – Mayfair. The Council immediately rejected his bid – no more bars needed – so became super resilient and got people who could make it happen – and it has…

http://www.icebarlondon.com/

And the being Creative bit? Isn’t that just a throw away that everyone uses – “we need to be more creative..”

For me I like to think in real terms…Where do ideas come from? How do you stimulate these ideas and then implement them.

This is the topic I will be addressing at Le Change Conference in Kosice entitled “Creativity at work: Jekyll and Hyde?”

http://lechange.eu/hostia/

I wrote the title of the talk in a hurry and have no idea what it really means, so when I have written the speech I will let you know!

Oh and number Seven on the list..? well you have to have seven steps don’t you – it can be whatever you want it to be…

I like “get the best out of yourself and others” but – but let number seven be whatever you want or need it to be to drive you to success…

See now that’s worth going to college to be “taught” by a theatre director…