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Innovation Workshops for TV Executives

'This project has had an enormous impact on my research.' Michal Ben-David, television producer, lecturer and PhD researcher at King's College London

TV camera

This series of workshops aimed to explore an innovative approach to creativity management.

Economic and social change, new media and other major technological innovations all present challenges to the television industry. As companies expand globally, managers are required to explore new methods to direct and enhance the creativity of the organisation. Research suggests that creativity management is defined by set of contradictions and tensions. If balance is lost, the creativity of the whole organisation is at risk. Nonetheless, extraordinary innovative ideas and new products emerge within a business environment. 

The project was supported by King’s as part of the 2014 Collaborative Innovation Scheme for Early Career Researchers. It was the result of a collaboration between Michal Ben-David, Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King's, and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Keshet Broadcast Tel Aviv, the European Drama Lab in association with Media Exchange and the Erich Pommer Institute, Berlin.

A series of workshops titled, Think differently: enhancing creativity Management in TV, addressed the inherent tension between business (control) and creativity (freedom) and focused on key issues of creativity as a collective process. The aim was to bridge academic research and the TV industry, and to offer TV executives the opportunity to question their own perceptions.

The workshops explored questions such as:

  • What are these contradictions and what can managers do?
  • Are ‘creatives’ irresponsible geniuses, or employees who can tackle those tensions?
  • What motivates creativity within an organisation?
  • How to manage creativity as a process of ’release and control’? 

Participants addressed the unconventional methods of two of the most innovative companies in the world, Google and Pixar, and explored the ‘Think differently’ approach of management and its underpinning values and beliefs.

Impact and outcomes

Overall feedback was very positive, and the average grade of the workshop by the participants was 87%. For example, to the question: 'what did you like most about the workshop?' people answered: 'Interesting topic – triggered thinking about our company' or 'theoretical approach of a very practical subject'. To the question: 'What aspects of the workshop could be improved/deleted?' people answered: 'more time – 4 X 90min' and 'more practical examples'.

Michal Ben-David a television producer, lecturer and PhD researcher at King's, who led on the project said, “The project has had tremendous impact on my research. As my thesis concerns processes of change in the global TV industry, and especially the question of how creativity is directed in the TV industry, the dialogue with the TV executives, enabled me to question my perceptions as well as to verify my research arguments.

'As I am a practitioner myself with twenty-six years of experience in the entertainment TV industry, it was imperative for me that my PhD will not only contribute to academic knowledge but will also have an impact on practices. I am happy that this objective was met, as the most common feedback that I have received from participants, was that the workshop is relevant to their practices and that it has opened for them a new way of thinking. I see this feedback as extremely important since it shows that the project has succeeded to address real issues of TV practitioners. 

'Since the project has ended, I was invited by several organisations in Europe to run the workshop with their people, hence this project continues to develop and grow. As all these developments have originated from the ECR project, I am thankful that I was able to be part of this amazing project.'

Project team

This project was in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King's and a number of industry partners.

Michal Ben-David

Michal Ben-David is a television producer, lecturer and PhD researcher at King's College London. Michal’s career in the television industry began more than twenty six years ago. Since then she has created and produced some of Israel’s top television programs. From 2004-2011, Michal co-owned Reality Media, a production company that specialized in the development and production of prime time entertainment TV. Michal received her MBA from Berlin School of Creative Leadership. She is currently a PhD researcher in the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries and a Visiting Lecturer at Regent's University London, Faculty of Business and Management. Michal’s research interests are especially focused on the tension between creativity and business in global TV organizations. She specializes in executive education and explores new models of creativity management for the future creative industries.

Keshet

Keshet is a leading Israeli media company. The company's core business is free TV with Keshet Broadcasting – a franchisee of Channel 2, Israel’s major commercial channel. 

Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation

The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) offers the Norwegian public a wide range of content with three national TV-channels, 13 national radio-channels and the website nrk.no.

MediaXchange

MediaXchange is a media consultancy based in Los Angeles and London, assisting entertainment industry professionals to develop effective knowledge, contacts and business in the international marketplace.

Erich Pommer Institut

The Erich Pommer Institut is one of Europe’s leading centres for media law, media economy and media research.

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