The Art of Good Business – 5 ways to “Warhol” yourself

Posted by: on Oct 9, 2015 | No Comments

Attribution: Jack Mitchell

This month’s sharable from Andy Warhol was in part inspired by the recent “Love is Enough” exhibition at BMAG, curated by Jeremy Deller and featuring the work of Andy Warhol and William Morris.

While seemingly disparate in their aesthetics, Deller argues that Warhol and Morris were both essentially printmakers keen to popularise art. As Morris once said “I do not want art for a few, any more than I want education for a few, or freedom for a few.” Both artists collaborated consistently with the most talented artists of their day. Never satisfied with just one discipline, they wrote, published and, in their embrace of commercial and fine art, had influence far beyond the art world” (From the Exhibition guide)

Much of the work of Creative Shift involves looking at what artists can learn from the world of business and what business can learn from art.  As such, Andy Warhol deserves some attention.  For example, there aren’t many artists who justify a whole page of links when you search The Economist online but Andy Warhol does and – as a 2001 article states – here’s why: 

That ‘Back to School’ Feeling

Posted by: on Sep 18, 2015 | No Comments

I’ve just come back from a wonderfully relaxing holiday. I guess September is not just back to school for students and children, it’s also back to work for many adults. So September – as people inevitably think about what they need to achieve between now and Christmas – might be a good time to think about a fresh start in our work habits.

Holidays can reconnect us to the power of extended leisure time and as I look at the next few months in my work I’m delighted to say we are really busy, but some recent reading has made me think “busy doing what?”

As a judge in the upcoming Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards I read a piece by Hayley Kirton. In reporting on the work life balance achieved in Japan, she cites an OECD report:

“22.6% of workers in Japan work an average of at least 50 hours per week and the monthly labour survey which the countries ministry for health labour and welfare compiles reveals that the average full-time employee put in an astounding 173 hours of overtime during 2014.”

“I built this place brick by brick” – inspiration from Somaliland

“I built this place brick by brick” – inspiration from Somaliland

Posted by: on Aug 21, 2015 | No Comments

Photography credit – Alison Baskerville

In our courses on networking we often talk about how, after a certain point, your network starts to self seed: when existing contacts introduce you and refer you to new interesting and interested people.  And when I meet those people I really enjoy seeing what that new acquaintance will bring into my life

For example, Lee Kemp of Vermillion Films sent an email to introduce me to Alison Baskerville.  Alison is something of a rarity in these parts – the only female conflict photographer based in Birmingham.   Covering areas such as Gaza,  East Africa and Afghanistan and often embedding with the British Army for her project on women in the Armed Forces.

Try again, fail again. Fail better. For business.

Posted by: on Jul 24, 2015 | No Comments

Earlier this week we delivered a session on “taking your business to the next level”… and that lead to a discussion on risk and entrepreneurial risk. What was interesting was that one of the participants was a rock climber “So I’m not the best person to talk about risk”, he said.

On the contrary, he was perfectly placed to talk about risk. He told us what keeps him from death (literally) on the rock face:

– You make a “mini risk assessment” before you make a move;

– You don’t compromise on the quality of your equipment;

– You monitor your energy levels carefully before committing (you need to keep some energy in reserve for the journey down and people forget that they have to do that).

And those elements are entirely appropriate to an approach to business growth – at whatever level. This helpful article from Forbes identifies that successful entrepreneurs are not risk takers (those are gamblers) – they are calculated risk takers.

Another celebrity confesses to Impostor Syndrome.

Posted by: on Jun 12, 2015 | One Comment

It’s graduation season, known as “commencement” in the US. We like this time of year and way back in 2010 Helga crowdsourced some advice to that year’s graduates on advice from people in her network.

In the past, we’ve enjoyed some great commencement/ graduation speeches from anumber of performers – from Tim Minchin’s Life Lessons to the wealth of wisdom and sagacity curated by Maria Popova on Brain Pickings in her list of Greatest Commencement Speeches of all time.

And at a recent commencement speech at Harvard film star Natalie Portman spoke of her time as a student there. She felt that, despite her excellent grades and academic prowess, people would think she was “merely” a celebrity who had bought her way in through fame.

The Confidence Through Reversing Resistance

The Confidence Through Reversing Resistance

Posted by: on May 11, 2015 | No Comments

In March 2015 Helga attended the inspirational Names Not Numbers conference in the stunning surroundings of Aldeburgh and the Maltings at Snape.

Like Creative Shift, the event celebrates the improbable, the intelligent and the connected aspects of our world.  With topics as diverse as Love, portraiture and leadership, the future of healthcare, genetics and science and the future of politics – as well as great cake, sea walks and amazing musical interludes – it is a feast – for the mind, body and soul.

There was much to reflect on but one speaker who Helga spent a little time with was the amazing Matthew Wadsworth.  He’s a world class lute player (which by his own admission does not make him rich!), so he has diversified into being a digital entrepreneur, with some top selling retail websites and a highly useful app.  He also attempted the world record in jumping a dirt bike in the US desert and only missed by a margin.

Skill & Confidence…

Skill & Confidence…

Posted by: on May 1, 2015 | No Comments