Imagine spending a day thinking and talking about cultural entrepreneurship and what makes a cultural entrepreneur. I got to do that yesterday as part of a grant-funded project to design a new professional development opportunity for mid-career museum professionals. The discussion was wide-ranging and energetic as veteran cultural entrepreneurs questioned, debated and explained their own and each other's approaches to teaching and living entrepreneurship.
One fundamental characteristic that all agreed upon was that entrepreneurs -- whether in the cultural, social or business sector -- are always looking for opportunities to capitalize on and to solve problems in ways that will meet and extend mission. As one participant said, "It's about opening doors and windows in the box that is our organization. It's our job to open a window, then open another window, then another."
This conversation touched upon some interesting "opening windows" resources that I wanted to share with you. The first is the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI), organized by the Creative Education Foundation , a non-profit membership organization of leaders in the field of creativity theory and practice. Here's what CEF says about itself:
Every day principles fostered by CEF programs are helping someone, somewhere in the world develop new products, make business operations run more profitably, restructure organization and agencies to become more effective and less encumbered, reinvigorate economies, make improvements in our schools, revitalize communities and replace ineffective methods and systems with new, more workable ones.
It offers a 2-day Next Idea Creativity Conference in the Berkshires each fall "where you can "Design the Next Phase of Your Life", get your "Next Big Idea", "Renew Your Creative Spirit", "Discover Your Passion", make "New Connections", and learn tools to help you "Self - Actualize"." I'd like to go.
Among the many resources the group shared were two book titles: William Duggan's Strategic Intuition: The Creative Spark in Human Achievement (Columbia Business School) and Roger von Oech's A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative ("the best book...gets you to turn things around to look at them in different ways," said one).
There's more to come and I'll keep you posted.
Photo: Bright Ideas