Workshops on cultural and creative industries: how, why and what are the results. Tips from a famous business coach

Workshops on cultural and creative industries: how, why and what are the results. Tips from a famous business coach

13 March 2017,
1. How can a training seminar motivate people for implementing their ideas into life?

Training sessions help only if they connect the theory with diverse practices, and if they are conducted in an interactive style. Participants learn when sharing, discussing, analyzing together, presenting, listening and learning from each other. Active involvement of each trainee is a must so that the training is not only informative, but also – motivating. For me as a trainer, it is important that people feel happy, inspired, and willing to develop and advance further after the session. When I conduct training sessions with adults, I treat participants not as “trainees”, but as experts and colleagues who are equally knowledgeable and have a lot to share. When teaching students, I try to put them into the shoes of a real manager or consultant so that they can be prepared as much as possible for the real life.

2. What innovative methods in moderating or coaching trainees for creative culture entrepreneurs do you use?

Methods vary depending on the skills, competences and professional affiliation of trainees. Together with presentations and theoretical discourses, I use diverse interactive exercises, such as case studies, role playing, “fish-bowl” exercises, presentations and feedback, improvisation techniques, pitch to an investor, small group discussions, individual assignments, and many others. Collaborative learning is a great motivator, because it is the best way how people not only listen, but try theoretical discourses into practical examples and experience what works, what don’t. I also use exercises that are fun and easy to do, but also serve the purpose of “learning by doing”.

3. Let’s assume that the process of training is a journey from point A to point B. How would you describe this journey? Is there a “point B”? How do you as a coach define goals for trainees attending a session?

In my opinion the “training” is a process not only during the session, but after that. There is an expression that “the journey is important, and not the destination”, and I strongly believe in that. The most important thing is when participants upgrade their knowledge, advance their skills and competences that help them after the training session to feel happier as professionals, and to be able to run more effectively their teams, organisations or projects. Networking between participants is also very important. If we achieve becoming trustful colleagues and friends during the training seminar, there is a high probability that we will continue collaborating and keeping in touch after that. The most amazing result for me is when we support and help each other, collaborate and share on an ongoing basis after the training session. Feeling that you have a “back-up” by colleagues and friends who can always be there and assist what you do, is an immense professional and personal motivator in our life.

4. Do you think that a training seminar such as the one you leaded for Ukrainian Centre of Cultural Management is an important and useful practice in the process of building active civic societie

Yes, I strongly believe that there is a need for more training sessions as the one I conducted in Lviv. The most beneficiary part of it was that people from different regions of Ukraine met and had the opportunity to share their innovative projects and to find a way to collaborate further. There is a lack of information tools across the country, especially for startup companies, including in the creative industries, so such gatherings are a great catalyst for people to know each other and get inspired by their own achievements and creative projects. The other aspect is the need to learn how to generate an innovative idea and transform it into a business model that can reach global coverage: this is what is needed in the country. My observation is that there are so many creative people in Ukraine! They just need tools, knowledge, partnership opportunities and visibility to show their achievements to the world. So, what the Centre of Cultural Management is doing has a great societal value!

5. How can you as a foreign couch describe a Ukrainian social activist?

A “Ukainian social activist” is not a profile, in my opinion it is a lifestyle of many people in the country who lobby and advocate at all levels because they want to see a better and more prosperous Ukraine. These people believe that their country has huge potential and hidden resources that need to be discovered and put in use. They are “idea-driven” and endless optimists, believing in the impossible, inspiring others because of their strong belief and inner inspiration. They are open-minded and creative, with a strong sense for social responsibility. I was really pleased to meet the group during the training in Lviv last fall. I learned a lot from each one of the participants. With many of them we stay connected via diverse social networks. I believe our professional paths will cross again, in one form or another. My sincere thanks go to Igor Savchak and his team for making me part of this unique and very useful project!

Dr. Lidia Varbanova is an international consultant and educator in the areas of strategy, policy, entrepreneurship and online technologies, with a special emphasis on arts, culture and creative industries. She has been permanent and visiting professor in prominent universities and training centers in Europe and Canada and has received a number of distinguished awards. She is an internationally acclaimed trainer, conference speaker and moderato, and an active member of several professional networks in Canada and Europe. Dr. Varbanova currently offers online masterclasses, coaching and consulting through her professional website She is also a regular visiting professor at UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management, Belgrade and the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts, Sofia. Dr. Varbanova’s latest books are Strategic Management in the Arts,(2012) and International Entrepreneurship in the Arts (2016), published by Routledge.

Author: Ірина Баран
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