“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, while the unreasonable man endeavours to have the world to adapt to him. Therefore, all progress relies on the unreasonable man.”
- George Bernard Shaw
Work is work, and play is play. Or is it? What can work learn from the art of plays? Theatre is a business like any other, and every play is a project. Not only that, but in theatre projects are delivered with a nearly 100% on-time success rate. We’ve sold tickets that night, and there will be a show. The conditions in which projects are managed, creativity is tapped into and the impossible is made real are not only comprehensible, but they can be adapted and applied in a variety of other contexts.
There are a number of good lessons that the theatre industry has to offer its suited brethren in the business world about managing projects. This is fundamentally reflected in a central idea of commitment: to the process, to the vision, and to each other. Underlying much of the process of theatrical production are the essential tools of business: there are processes, roles, structures and accountabilities that are universally understood, and that have evolved of necessity in order to deliver an effective production. Equally relevant is the discipline and craft that those on the stage bring to the craft of shaping the essential story that will ultimately be viewed by audiences.
Prior to his current stint as a management consultant, Mark Mullaly had a short but intense career as a stage and production manager in the theatre industry. Since joining the 'real world' he has been on a mission to teach the lessons of theatre to organizations struggling to meet deadlines, work cohesively as teams and have fun. Mark presents some of the valuable lessons that theatre can offer to business (prima donna's notwithstanding!)
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