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David Puttnam

Lord Puttnam and Channel 4 launch MBA for media executives

Lord Puttnam and Channel 4 launch MBA for media executives

28 January, 2016

Lord Puttnam and Channel 4 launch MBA for media executives 

In the week it emerged the creative industries contributed £84.1bn to the UK economy, Oscar-winning film producer Lord Puttnam and Channel 4 have joined forces to help launch a new executive MBA designed to give the next generation of media bosses the business skills needed to operate in the global marketplace. 

Corporatising creativity has often been a thorny issue for the British media and arts industries. 

The two-year course will cover what it calls the “five tensions of creative leadership” and prepare executives for the pressures of the job by teaching them about the “fear of failure” versus the “appetite for risk”. 

Other lessons to be learned include “commercial constraints v creative freedom… competition v collaboration, automation v craft skills and long term v short term.”

The MBA has been designed, as Puttnam said, to ensure “that the creative industries are led by people who can skilfully and knowledgeably navigate companies through the challenges of the digital era”.

The multimillion-pound independent television production sector started out as a cottage industry but is now big businesses and content producers and artists now operate in a global market place.

Minister for culture and the digital economy Ed Vaizey welcomed the new course: ”The creative industries are one of the UK’s greatest success stories. Growing at almost twice the rate of the wider economy, they now contribute £84bn a year to the UK. 

“Our nation has an incredibly strong track record for producing creative talent, but we need to make sure that the industry is nurturing future leaders with a strong and strategic business acumen as well. This new MBA is aimed at doing exactly that, and its launch is fantastic news for our creative industries.”

Channel 4 is funding six bursaries for the courses, which have been developed through Puttnam’s company Atticus Education and with the help of industry body Creative Skillset.

David Abraham, the Channel 4 chief executive, explained: “As the figures released by government this week show, the creative industries are a hugely important and growing part of the UK’s economy – and so it’s vital that we are investing in a future generation of industry leaders with the launch of the executive MBA. 

“I’m particularly pleased that by establishing six bursaries, Channel 4 is able to further support social mobility within the media and creative sector.”

They have been designed by specialists Ashridge Executive Education, who will teach the course.

Research from Creative Skillset recently showed that many top staff lack the management and strategic skills needed to shape and lead businesses in the creative industries. 

The MBA will teach them core skills including “innovation, operations management, creating strategic value, developing sustainable business practice, leadership, finance and managing globally”.


Source: The Guardian

Written by: Tara Conlan