Creative leadership of Opening Ceremony

Paul Owens

I think that one of the problems we encounter regulary when we work in cultural and creative sector is that there is far too narrow conseption of culture and creativity. And this is I think that my experiences that the world is always much further ahead of the funders and the bureaucracies.

And I think that there is a limit how much time you can spend defining and analysing and sort of trying to put everything into a system, into a formula. Because in the end when you look what is going on out there on the very interesting and succesful stuff. You know that stuff often happens through all kinds of interesting coincidences, synchronicity. John Lennon once said that, life is what is happening when you are busy making plans. And I think that is one of the pitfalls certain in the area we are work in.

If you look at something like the great succes in the UK of the cultural Olympiad and the side of the Olympics. You know we spent many really intense years in UK developing the Cultural Olypiads. It was a bit of a mess, lots of planning going on, lots of consultations. I am not saying that those things are bad because it was kind of very painful drawn-out complicated process.

And then when we actually had the Olympics it took one of the UK’s leading film directors who commissioned the writer, who brought in the most talented sound and visual designers in the world and spend 3 months creating this incredible show which no one knew what is possible, no one knew what is going to happen and it just exploded in a night and it just happend.

It completely changed the mood of the country. It completely changed the perception of world of our country. It completely changed the whole Olympics. And that is not something you can plan in great detail. It is not a something that is result of lots of processes. It is the result of you know good decisions, good creative leadership and letting creative people be creative which is what they are good at.

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Paul Owens

Paul Owens

Co-founder of BOP Consulting in London, United Kingdom

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