This morning I spent some time in a Leicester Business Networking at an event called the ‘Creative Coffee’, billed as an event where creatives can meet, network and talk about their projects. Today’s guest speaker was Dr Rachel Graham, Reader in Creative Industries, Leicester Castle Business School.
Stop yawning…I can hear you yawning. And if you are, you’ll not get a genuine business secret that may tick more than a few boxes in your business growth. Connection, innovation, growth and even sales.
As it stands, Leicester and Leicestershire is viewed very dimly when it comes to it’s creative industries. Apparently Peterborough, a city with a population that is 2/3rds smaller than Leicester has more creative workers than us. So deciding that this can’t be right, Dr Graham delved into researching this discrepancy.
Whilst conducting her research she began to question education and innovation in the city. This bought up more questions and also spat out a very important aspect of how economies and therefore businesses grow in that economy. She felt that perhaps creatives in our city spoke and networked with each other…a lot. Moving this a step further, businesses perhaps just talked to each other inside Leicestershire, so work would just be displaced, therefore static in growth terms. (The phrase I would likeness it to is that of the Oracles that are the Chuckle Brothers…”From me to you. from you to me.”) Now by growing outside our own networks and talking to other cities and towns we would then grow the economy and the businesses.
She then talked about how we learn and how we innovate is undergoing a seismic shift in today’s world. As children we are bought up understanding that school, college and university are there to teach US things. But is that really what happens? The answer is no.
What we’re beginning to see, (perhaps clearer now than previously), is that the outside world is beginning to educate the educators. From my own experience of doing my MBA so late, I ached as I wrote what people wanted me to say, as opposed to what actually worked. True there are always basic fundamentals, but things change. People innovate. Audiences and customers evolve. What was needed 20 years ago, no one cares about now and are deemed as old hat in some respect.
If you want proof of where real, genuine learning comes from, think back to that day you passed your driving test. Your parents were probably the first to say… “Now you start learning to drive.” And it’s true. You’re sat on your own in a car for the first time. No-one there to tell you where to go, what to do, how to do it or stop you doing something f***ing stupid.
So back to my question of “where is your third space?”
We all have home as a space. We all have business or work place as a 2nd space. So where do you go to learn, discuss, innovate and be creative?
Is it networking? And if it is, are you networking with the same people, week in and week out?
When was the last time you paid for a business workshop, or took part in a mastermind where you get different peoples perspectives on what you think is a problem in your business, niche or industry?
Having a different perspective or a different idea is essential as it becomes a creative process in your mind. How can I do this better? How can I do this smarter? Am I looking at it the wrong way?
When was the last time you ventured into a third space, to be educated, enlightened and grown? Because the only person responsible for that and for your business…is you.
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