Innovating Through Artistry

Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

Entrepreneurship and Collaboration

In Author: Linda Essig, Creativity and Innovation on October 23, 2009 at 3:06 am

teamworkThe literature on entrepreneurship often references the one “big idea;” the singular innovative vision for something new, often the invention of one singular talent.  But, as we know, it takes a team of many to actualize that one big idea.  I’ve been preparing to teach a unit next week on collaboration and the ways in which group work supports the process of entrepreneurship, especially the kind of creative thinking that often underlies arts entrepreneurship.  In my posting a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned Warren Bennis and  Patricia Ward Biederman’s book ORGANIZING GENIUS: THE SECRETS OF CREATIVE COLLABORATION (Basic Books, 1998).  To prepare for my class next week, I’m using a selection from that text, as well as disciplinarily specific one, COLLABORATION IN THEATRE: A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR DEISGNERS AND DIRECTORS by Rob Roznowski and Kirk Domer (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). [In the interest of full disclosure, I note that Domer worked with me when he was a grad student at UW-Madison and I was on the faculty there.]  In reading and synthesizing these, I developed a list of actions we all can undertake to be more effective collaborators and entrepreneurial team members:

  1. Communicate
  2. Know your team members
  3. Ask questions
  4. Do your research
  5. Look for the “next thing,” not the last thing
  6. Look for relationships
  7. Be “deep generalists” rather than “narrow specialists” (Bennis)
  8. Work together toward a collective purpose
  9. Articulate the group’s mission
  10. Be optimistic
  11. Embrace the idea that groups are temporary and project-focused
  12. Find commonalities
  13. Listen, then adapt
  14. Listen, then participate
  15. Reach consensus
  16. Respect your team members

Heartbeat of America

In Author: Lisa Canning, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on January 11, 2007 at 10:21 pm


So if I told you that I got a call from an associate producer to appear on a TV show aired on American Life TV Network called Heartbeat of America, hosted by William Shatner, would you be impressed?

Would you still be impressed if I told you that I had to pay $15,000 for the licensing rights to the taping of the show?

Let me tell you a little bit more– and you can decide for yourself.

Heartbeat of America is a show that is devoted to featuring the work of entrepreneurs in America, the backbone of our economy. The show offers valuable insights into the mind of an entrepreneur- sharing the ethics, morals and values that shaped the creation of their original entrepreneurial venture- which no one else in television really cares about showcasing; because its just not sensational enough to bolster ratings and attract advertising dollars to support it.

But Heartbeat of America does care that these entrepreneurs are heard from. So much so that they must buy their airtime on the American Life TV Network to have the work of the entrepreneurs they showcase shown on national television. And they have to pay their film crews, editorial, sales and marketing staff in a California studio too, all without any advertising dollars to support the production of the show and it’s airing. All this means that Heartbeat of America’s host, William Shatner and executive producer Bert Tenzer are largely responsible for covering most of the costs to produce this show.

Yet in a time when we, as artists, need to learn to be more entrepreneurial, how can we afford to pay $15,000 to appear on a show like Heartbeat of America without a steady income or the education and support we need to become more entrepreneurial?

Who will support our development? Who is offering us the opportunities we need to get ahead when we are graduating over 100,000 fine arts majors each year only to send a majority of them on to bank teller jobs, behind the wheel of a taxi, waiting tables or delivering the pizza we ate on Saturday night?

If you are an artist and are deeply passionate and creative and, with a plan, go where you are suppose to go, learn what you need to learn, things eventually come to you and will embrace you. You need to be patient because whatever you need to help catapult you forward “IT” will. And IT will eventually come to YOU, if you just stay on your path, follow your plan, trust your instincts, have the skills to do so, but simply keep going.

If we lose as a society a really strong connection to art, and whatever you and I love that’s creative, we lose our ability to meet life on our own terms. Look at the state of the arts. When you look around at the trouble every conceivable market segment in the arts is experiencing right now, how can you not agree and say “Mayday, Mayday- we have a problem!”

If we don’t as a creative artistic group evolve and change, we like the dinosaurs’ die.

What’s your estimated time of arrival to E.T.A.? When will you be ready to make an amazing, life transforming and magical life by your own design happen? Oprah recently said that her $40 million school in Africa was what she was called on this earth to do. Our art form at WHATEVER level, Oprah’s level or any level in between, needs to rise to a higher purpose. Why? Because the line of commercialization falls exactly when we fail to pay it forward, stop creating and only are profiting. That is not what our artistic purpose and passion was created from.

You know, when you create a life you love that is a reflection of you, your developed gifts, and developed ability to use those gifts to financially and creatively benefit, it not only changes your life, but it changes all those of your customers too. It’s a pretty cool thing to experience and get to see someone changed by what you can do with your art form to help him or her.

Isn’t that what art is about? Isn’t it really about using your own developed creative or artistic uniqueness as a tool to change what you can change about the world? Isn’t that the whole beauty and true higher purpose of art and creativity?

You, as an artist and an emerging entrepreneur, need this kind of support more than ever. Out of the generosity of William Shatner, Bert Tenzer and Admiral Delaney, each of you is being offered a chance to lift your entrepreneurial spirits, to begin to find your entrepreneurial wings. This blog and website is designed to offer you numerous ways to learn exactly how to do that.

Additionally, our hope is to provide you with free books, coaching sessions, and classes for the few who submit the best written blog or spoken podcast entry in The Entrepreneurial Artist Competition. Not only will be offered a free appearance on Heartbeat of America hosted by William Shatner, at no cost to you, but you will also receive a 10 minute video of your show to help you promote your work to others. All of this, we believe, will help you on your entrepreneurial journey.

For those of you who are new to this blog and website, know that anything in life is possible- including a partnership of this magnitude from the least likely of places if you simply are ready, capable and willing to seize the moment and act.

And for those of you who have read this post before- this one’s for you. Have faith in who you are and stay strong in your beliefs of where you can go. The evolution of this post and new partnership between Entrepreneur The Arts and Heartbeat of America is proof of this alone.

This post was significantly modified to reflect the positive developments, revelations and a new appreciation for the meaning of growth and collaboration between two kindred spirited companies: Heartbeat of America and Entrepreneur The Arts. If you are another kindred spirit, and already a self-made entrepreneur reading this post, won’t you please consider joining us in supporting the future generations of artists to come.