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David Puttnam

Lord Puttnam- The House Magazine

Lord Puttnam- The House Magazine

08 February, 2016

The House Magazine 

Ten days ago, the government published a set of figures which revealed the UK’s creative industries as being worth over £84bn a year and growing at almost twice the rate of the rest of the UK economy.

The sector is generating almost £9.6m an hour, and providing 1.8 million jobs in exactly the type of careers ambitious young people yearn for.

In every sense the days when anyone could credibly claim that are our creative industries lie in the margins of the economy are, thankfully, long gone.

The belief that Britain’s future prosperity was inextricably tied to its creativity was developed in the early 1990s by Chris Smith, and energetically put into practice as soon as the Labour Party came to power.

Today it’s one of the few areas of policy that commands support right across the political divide.

The chancellor and the minister of culture in particular deserve great credit for picking up the ball and running with it, notably through the extension of tax relief well beyond film into sectors including high-end television, animation, games and the theatre.

A couple of days after publishing its most recent statistics, the prime minister reinforced the government’s commitment by describing the creative industries as the ‘driving force’ of UK growth; underlining the fact that the sector is growing three times faster than any other area of the economy.

Industries such as games, animation and visual effects, which rely on a mixture of creative and digital skills, are driving much of this growth through a combination of inward investment, and the export of their products and services to companies around the globe, notably the United States.

For example, two of the most successful film franchises in recent history have
been based here: Star Wars and Harry Potter. This isn’t just testament to the competitiveness of our system of tax reliefs, it also speaks to the depth and breadth of our skills base, and the quality of our infrastructure – such as our special effects houses and our film and games studios.

The phenomenal success of the industry has meant that creative companies are increasingly finding themselves responsible for growing businesses that require visionary and effective leadership, people ready to seize the opportunities of the digital age rather than befuddled by its challenges.

Research conducted by Creative Skillset in their 2015 report ‘Creativity and Constraint’ found that leadership and management skills for creative leaders, especially in micro companies, was sorely lacking.

It concluded that if the UK is to maintain its position as a world leader in the creative industries, the development of future leaders needed to be dramatically improved.

Today, one of the principal challenges creative companies face is adapting to the sheer pace of change presented by the digital world.

A generation of would be leaders must be equipped to assess change, and look across the entire sector in order to exploit the extraordinary opportunities this rapidly evolving digital world has to offer. 
Last week, my own organization, Atticus, together with Creative Skillset, launched 
a new Executive MBA for the Creative Industries, to be delivered – largely online – over two years by the world-ranked triple accredited Ashridge Executive Education.

It aims to teach students how to balance the demands of running a successful commercial enterprise whilst continually maintaining creative excellence.

The reason we launched this MBA is simple – at its best, creativity is about turning complex ideas into practical, and marketable solutions.

It is essential that the industry nurtures, not only its creative muscle, but also the necessary degree of focus, tenacity, resilience and business acumen needed to drive our native creativity to international success.

It will be people with this set of complementary skills who, in the digital era, will deliver the final piece of the jigsaw that will determine long-term success across the entire spectrum of Britain’s creative industries.

Source: The House Magazine 

 

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