Everyone talks about the need for resiliency, but how to achieve it?

The road to resilience is paved with desirable, viable and feasible innovative approaches that help you achieve your visionary impact! Jana Renée Wilcoxen reports from the “Beyond the Cultural Model” conference (Oct. 16, 2018). Organised by Motovila Institute (CED Slovenia) within the Centre for Creativity platform, a programme run by the Museum of Architecture and Design, and in the frame of the Beyond Horizons study visit from Ukraine.

Ten years after the global economic crisis and Slovenian organisations and businesses in the cultural and creative sectors (CCSs) are still feeling the effects. Everyone talks about resiliency, but how to go about achieving it seems to go left unsaid. If you work for an organisation in the cultural and creative sector, chances are your organisation operates with a two-sided business model. But is that the only way to do things? Are there other sources of revenue you haven’t uncovered? Or perhaps costs you could actually do without? Are you struggling to find viable and feasible ways for your organisation to deliver its meaningful programme and make the impact that you and your team envision? If so, then chances are, it’s time to take a good, hard look at your cultural (business) model using some tools that will help you reframe it.

Everyone talks about the need for resiliency, but how to achieve it?

Speakers at the conference Beyond the Cultural Model offered some approaches towards that end. Business consultant Julie Aldridge (UK) spoke on how organisations in the CCSs might innovate their business models as a way to better deliver their visions brilliantly. Next, communications expert and cultural model consultant José Rodríguez (SE) shared insights from Trans Europe Halles and Creative Lenses project, offering inspiring case studies. Finally, Edgar Garcia Casellas from the Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies (ICEC) told how the public Catalan model for CCSs has been reshaped to create a unique support and financing system that helps both non-profit organisations and for-profit companies in the creative sector to realise projects successfully. 

* Julie Aldridge, Delivering your vision brilliantlyIt’s not about earning more money especially, it’s about generating value.
* José Rodríguez, Show me a former industrial complex and I’ll show you a potential cultural centreThe key is in the decisions and decision-making process. Consider who is making them, when they are making them and what type they are making. If you change who, change when, or change what type, that will bring transformation.
* Edgar Garcia Casellas, Government bodies are also innovating their funding and financing modelsReimbursable Aid is not considered as state aid by the EU. This is a good news for governments who might want to implement such a scheme.
See also: Beyond Cultural Model video lecture by Julie Aldridge & José Rodríguez (25´07 min).

See FULL report by Jana Renée Wilcoxen (.pdf).
See also REPORT on how we connected Ukrainian and Slovenian cultural operators.

WORKSHOP REPORT: Putting pen to paper – canvases and maps for innovation

In the workshop that followed after lunch with Julie and José, 30 participants got a chance to work more in depth with tools that help lead to business model innovation and a better understanding of an organisation’s value proposition and audience(s). In just two hours, with some help from José, Julie presented a hyper-speed version of a workshop that she usually takes a week to cover with organisations and businesses. Participants worked with 4 canvases or maps: the Business Model Canvas (introduced above in Julie’s talk), the Matrix Map, the Empathy Map Canvas and the Value Proposition Canvas.

To provide a frame for participants to try things out in a playful way without the burden of trying to apply their own organisational picture straightaway to the canvas, workshop goers were invited to map out the Business Model Canvas starting with a cow as their value proposition. That’s right, the task was to imagine your organisation was based on owning a large four-legged milkable animal. Working first as individuals, then in groups of 3 or 4 to share ideas and hone them into one, we later heard the very creative and innovative ideas put forth by these ad hoc teams. If only it were so easy in relation to our own organisations. Perhaps it can be, using a team-based approach that encourages us to think outside our typical parameters and mindset.

Most importantly, participants repeatedly shared the value that came from doing this exercise in groups, as it is also a very useful method for capturing how other people see the same organisation, depending upon their role and relationship to it. These tools presented are guides that reflect a given moment in an organisation. Of course, when there are substantial internal or external changes, they need to be brought out again, revisited and revised, and put again to the test, only then can they truly be of use on the road to resilience.

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