The ‘Beast from the East’ tried to do its worst and dumped a large amount of snow on Hexham just in time for day 2 of the Rural Cultural Business Innovation Programme. The clouds had been gathering during our time at Alnwick the day before but the sky remained, in the main, blue on the Monday. On Tuesday the sky was heavy and grey. The Abbey looked even more beautiful than it normally does.
We have 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 weather, or at least the threat of it took its toll on the second days and numbers were down from both of the first days. It is quality though rather than quantity that matters in the end and the people who braved it at both Alnwick and Hexham were a fantastic crowd.
The down side of this is that the programme is funded from the European Regional Development Fund with set outcomes and objectives. The amount of form filling is fairly onerous as well. We may well have to go back and revisit some of those who were unable to attend on the second day just to get the numbers but that is problem for the future.
Back to the course and the second day was focussed on a range of tools that can be used to understand and reframe your business and ideas. Everyone got involved. The floor was covered with vision boards, persona templates and business model canvases. They were awash with multi-coloured post-it notes that were teliing and revisiting the story of everyone’s passion. The engagement was fantastic and both Justin and I learned as much as the delegates.
By the time I got home I was exhausted, physically and emotionally. It was a measure of how great both days have been. Onwards and upwards as Justin would say.