Rural Cultural Business Innovation Programme day 1


The Olympic room in The White Swan in Alnwick was a magnificent location to get our Rural Cultural Business Innovation Programme underway. Justin and I have seem to have been planning this for ages and now the day had finally arrived.

We had been working with the Creative Fuse Partnership and other creative, digital and tech networks, to identify potential organisations that would benefit from understanding a modern approach to product and service development as well as project management. In the end we had made contact with hundreds of organisations with nearly forty businesses signed up and an even spread across the two locations.

The courses are going to be held over two days with three weeks between each session, that is four days in total, one in Alnwick and one in Hexham.

Day 1 is an introduction to the principles of lean startup and agile, how these can be more effective in identifying and realising opportunity while reducing wasted effort.

Day 2 will be about putting these principles into action and using a range of tools to create an effective approach to product creation, service development and project management.

I must admit to being very apprehensive before the session got started. It is not that I have never spoken in front of people or provided training but I had never been required to deliver something in this manner before. Somehow I felt the buck stopped much more with me this time than it had done in the past. A bit of nerves is a good thing.

In the end though, from our perspective, the session went well, even if we were up against it for time. The marshmallow challenge got everyone in the right frame of mind for the Validation Board that we introduced in the afternoon. The weather didn’t help in getting everyone out of the building, it was very cold, yet it was great to see everyone getting engaged in the process.

The forecast is for snow in Hexham for day 2.

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