Heritage and business – inspired by @DirectorIoD @The_IoD

Director coverThe latest edition of the IoD’s Director magazine for Dec15/Jan16, as usual, has got me thinking about the implicit and explicit role of heritage and the historic environment within the corporate world of business and management. Quite apart from my own identification with the idea of an ‘obsession statement‘ rather than a mission statement advocated by Lord Allen (pictured on the front cover of the magazine) – where I suppose mine would be, “heritage is fundamentally linked to management – through people, places and products” – many of the articles and ideas draw on inspiration, ideas and understandings that professionals in the heritage world associate with daily.  A few examples from this month’s edition which cross the historic environment, civic realm and business boundaries include:

  • The business of the Bard – recognising the boost for brand Shakespeare in 2016 as the 400th anniversary of his death approaches (the success of the Globe theatre; tourism in Stratford and the surrounding area; RSC events and international artistic reach)
  • 2016 identified by Next Big Thing’s CEO, William Higham, as the year of tech/life balance – where authentic environments; the rise of the retro; traditionalist lifestyles and village life are seen as attractive touchpoints
  • Review of Erin Meyer‘s ‘The Culture Map’, advocating better business via better intercultural management through understanding of anthropological contexts and local values
  • American Express supporting independent businesses through the ‘Shop Small‘ campaign
  • The resurgence of of Madrid, as businesses recognise not only the business opportunities, but the cultural and civic opportunities of the historic city
  • The IoD’s own economic predictions for 2016 and beyond stating that ‘pretty cities prosper’ – noting that, ‘one of the most important [factors] is the existence of an amenable built environment… Physical environments matter and high-value-adding workers who can choose where they work will gravitate to aesthetically pleasing towns. That such towns will find they can support a greater range of cultural activities and amenities will only add to the positive spiral such a situation creates.’
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