David Parrish: Strategic business thinking involves deciding what NOT to do

The British cultural industry expert shared his extensive knowledge of connecting creativity and business in Trenčín. David Parrish has already helped clients in more than sixty countries, and in October he also visited Trenčín as part of the Runway|Culture Professionals training program. He spoke with cultural professionals from the region about the importance of strategic planning and presented practical techniques on how to create a strategy for your project. In a short interview, we bring you some useful thoughts directly from David.


David Parrish (Photo: Leo Wilkinson Photography)

Why do you think culture workers are so hesitant to draw from business management?

Sometimes, culture workers think that by using business techniques, they will somehow become more commercially minded at the expense of their cultural objectives. Maybe they fear that they will sell their soul to the devil! My message is that we can use smart business techniques on our terms, in harmony with our cultural values, to achieve even greater success as we choose to define it.

Do you have to have money first to adapt some of business practices for cultural projects?

No, not at all. Some smart business practices are about raising funds, creating new income streams and increasing earned income. And many business practices such as market research, protecting intellectual property and promotional marketing don’t need to be expensive if we use our creativity to find innovative methods.

Why is having a strategy so important for cultural endeavors?

Having a strategy helps cultural endeavours to be more focused, more prepared and consequently more effective in achieving their cultural objectives.

What do you think is the most important question that culture professionals can ask themselves when trying to create a viable business plan?

What’s the most effective way to fulfil our cultural mission, taking into account our finite resources, competition and the realities of a fast-changing world?

Many workers in culture experience overwhelm and burn out. How can adapting some of business thinking help with these feelings?

Strategic business thinking involves deciding what NOT to do, so that you can do the most important things effectively. Adopting such a focused approach avoids doing too much and burning out.


Thank you, David!


David Parrish (Photo: Mark McNulty)


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