Business Model Canvas

Whilst preparing my teaching and reviewing my notes about the Business Model Canvas, I came across this article by Sam Mitchell in Arts Professional, in which he discusses business models and how digital developments can support innovation in arts organizations. The examples he cites include a range of initiatives including accessing new audiences as well as projects supporting cultural workers. At the heart of his argument is the notion that reviewing the business model is key to an arts organization’s sustainability and that digital developments can offer some potential solutions.

But what is a business model? Is it just about finding new ways of making money?

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What is the Nature of Entrepreneurial Labour in Regional Film Making?

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I recently presented at the New Directions in Film and Television Production Studies 2015 conference as part of a panel presenting research on the topic of Creative Labour.

My paper, entitled ‘The nature of entrepreneurial labour in regional film making’, focused on a small sample of Birmingham film makers and has drawn on my PhD thesis.

My aim was to explore the day-to-day lived experience of entrepreneurial modes of work, identifying individual endeavours and collaborative initiatives, within the context of recent UK cultural and film policies. The space in which film maker’s negotiate personal identities is framed by the local milieu: policies, institutions and individuals. In my research, I find that at a local level, entrepreneurial film makers have a pragmatic approach by contributing to policies and engaging in developing alternative support systems. Structures and relations between individuals help to shape the cultural milieu for entrepreneurial cultural work, but this is a fluid space in which individual film makers negotiate diverse priorities and values.

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Female Digital Entrepreneur

Motherhood and setting up digital enterprise – what are the challenges?

In a recent blog post, Dr Angela Martinez goes beyond the over-optimistic rhetoric usually associated with entrepreneurship and highlights The Reality of the Female Digital Entrepreneurs.   She states:

…the overwhelming conclusion of research into self employment by women, particularly mothers, is that it is more likely to intensify activity in both work and family spheres rather than resolve the tensions between the two.

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Media and Cultural Work: A Resource for Better Working Life in the Arts and Media

This new website, Media and Cultural Work, is targeted at those working in the media and cultural industries, as practitioners, activists, policy makers, campaigners, students and academics.

Devised by David Hesmondhalgh and Kate Oakley, at the School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds, the aim of the website is to create an international forum to address a range of  issues in the sector, including inequalities (gender and ethnic) and the precarious nature of cultural work.

The appeal of working in the media and cultural industries has never been higher. Many young people want to enter these industries and many workers tolerate low pay and poor working conditions to stay within them. But better working conditions and an end to exploitative forms of unpaid work are vital if we want more open and diverse media and cultural industries.

The resource can be followed on Twitter: @mediaculturwork

5 Productivity Myths for Creative People

Graham Allcott, founder of time management training specialists Think Productive, takes us through some productivity myths.

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Time management – it’s a myth

When someone is feeling overwhelmed and has too much to do, they often say things like “I need to get better at time management”, but time management is the wrong definition, and it leads to people chasing a problem that can’t be solved. As effective as the best business leaders are, they cannot manage time either: everyone has the same number of hours in their day. The problem is really how we manage our attention. If I focus on time, I may very efficiently schedule difficult work for Friday afternoon, when I’m so tired I don’t have the attention resources available. Likewise, we all have only 2-3 hours a day of what I call ‘Proactive Attention’ – where our attention, energy and concentration levels mean we’re truly on top of our game. It’s how we manage that resource, which is much more limited than time, which ultimately determines our productivity. A Productivity Ninja manages attention, not time.

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Cultural Entrepreneurs: Identity and Becoming a Cultural Entrepreneur

We had a fascinating discussion yesterday, Wednesday 11th February, at the weekly BCMCR research seminar.  First,  Dr Christina Scharff  presented her research project ‘Young, female and entrepreneurial?

Exploring the working lives of young women in the classical music profession’ addresses various timely issues, such as the racial, classed and gendered inequalities that characterise the classical music profession, the gendered politics of self-promotion, as well as the psychic life of neoliberalism and the subjective experiences of precarious work.

I followed Christina with my own research based on an aspect of my PhD thesis, ‘Identity and becoming a cultural entrepreneur’. My paper explores the idea of ‘rethinking cultural entrepreneurship’ by focusing on the cultural entrepreneurs’ sense of themselves. Their personal identities based on their subjective experience of being an entrepreneurial cultural worker. As this is not a fixed identity, I propose the idea of becoming a cultural entrepreneur, in an environment in which individuals negotiate their version of the entrepreneurial cultural worker. In my presentation, I argue that cultural entrepreneurs perform the identity of the cultural entrepreneur, either by making use of popular stereotypes or by counteracting them, and that they are not puppets, passively accepting dominant attitudes and behaviours associated with entrepreneurship or with cultural work. Rather, cultural entrepreneurs are reflexive and negotiate their identity to suit their personal narrative, within a relational context. Here are the presentation slides:

Becoming a Cultural Entrepreneur

Event: Are you a Productivity Ninja?

How to be a Productivity Ninja Event on 12th November 2014, at BCU Parkside, 5 Cardigan Street, Birmingham.

Book your ticket here!

Information overload is a big problem.  We’re all overwhelmed with the amount of information and potential distraction we face in our work.  It’s no longer enough to just focus on your time management: it’s time to think about how you manage your attention and focus, your projects and actions and your choices and habits.  A Productivity Ninja is calm and prepared, but also skilled and ruthless in how he or she deals with the enemy that is information overload.  This 1.5 hour seminar will show you how to keep a zen-like calm as well as an agile ruthlessness, just like a Productivity Ninja.

The ticket price includes a signed copy of Graham Allcott’s best-selling “How to be a Productivity Ninja” book.

This event is organised by Think Productive and hosted by BCU.