The next interview for my research project on Perceptions of Coaching in the UK Creative Industries was with David Roberts, Senior Project Manager at Tribal, and responsible for Creative Launchpad projects across East and West Midlands.
Creative Launchpad has been set up by Tribal, and offers support services to the creative industries, both those operating in them, and those trying to support their development.
Creative Launchpad offers advice, guidance, business support, 1-to-1 consultancy, training and seminars for creative clients – whether freelancers, microbusinesses or larger companies. It delivers projects across various areas in the West and East Midlands, to various target groups of clients, each offering a different type of support.
In this interview David opened up the discussion about management in the Creative Industries, by talking about the freelancers and microbusinesses that make up a significant portion of Creative Launchpad’s clients. These are businesses that operate outside of traditional management structures, and frequently ‘off the radar’ of statistical measures of the Creative Economy. When they become successful, these creative entrepreneurs are faced with the choice of staying small or growing their business – which inevitably involves questions about management, and whether it is appropriate to adopt ‘professional’ management practices from other industries.
The interview was the longest in the series so far, so I’ve divided it into two files. The first part looks at the structural and cultural issues relating to the network of creative enterprises in the West Midlands, including the choice of whether to stay small or grow larger. The second part considers the specific behaviours required of a manager in a growing creative business, and whether ‘coaching’ is a useful term to describe the style of management employed.
Click the ‘AUDIO MP3’ icons below to hear the interview.