Have you ever spent time around artists? Whether they pick a guitar or fill a canvas, you’ve surely experienced the “artistic temperament.” It’s a mindset defined by artists’ impulse to express themselves, do something different, expand the possibilities, and ultimately leave a mark. In tackling a problem or bringing life to a big idea, they find their voice — and provide a path for others to follow.
It’s not all that much different for entrepreneurs. Before launching a venture, both artists and business founders conduct recon, spending time observing, listening, and asking questions to find inspiration and strategy alike. Like their artistic yang, entrepreneurs are also curious, forever peeling back the surface to uncover those overlooked details and pent-up longings that they can use to differentiate themselves. Of course, each follows a unique process, replete with fits of inspiration, rejections, and dead ends.
What entrepreneurs can learn from artists is the inspiration behind a July MOOC from Boston’s Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (ICE), an initiative designed to integrate creativity with innovative thinking and entrepreneurship. ICE was founded by Panos Panay, an entrepreneur and pioneer in connecting musicians and promoters through the Internet. Rather than focusing on the nuts-and-bolts of business plans and balance sheets, Panay is instilling an entrepreneurial “mindset” in his students. “When I look at the instincts that make a successful musician,” Panay notes, “they tend to be good listening skills, good collaboration skills. Well, these are the same instincts that make successful entrepreneurs.”
As a result, his Creativity & Entrepreneurship MOOC from edX applies the lessons of creating art to innovating in a commerce space. For example, the course uses the process of writing a song as a parallel to developing a product. It also covers areas like how to rejuvenate creative energies or how to techniques like repetition and reduction to provide a clearer understanding of the real problem — and the ultimate goal. “Music can be a catalyst for new disruptive ideas to emerge,” Panay says, “whether those ideas are applied onto the creative or music space or whether they are exported to other fields.”
WHARTON AND DARDEN HIGHLIGHT JULY MOOCs
Creativity & Entrepreneurship is just one highlight from over 40 business-related MOOCs coming out in July. Wharton again headlines this month’s courses, offering intro courses in marketing, operations, and financial accounting, taught by the same professors that MBAs and EMBAs enjoy in Wharton’s vaunted core curriculum. The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business returns with Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management, taught by Yael Grushka-Cockayne, one of the top teachers at a program distinguished for its teaching excellence. If you’re looking for real star power, check out Financial Markets by Yale’s Bob Shiller, a former recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics.
In fact, July is rich with finance courses (pun intended). The University of Illinois is running two MOOCs featuring balance sheet fundamentals and accounting controls, respectively. And HEC Paris and the University of Geneva have unveiled new courses focusing on investment strategies designed to help students maximize returns and minimize risk. From the poet side, marketing is a popular topic, with IE Business School covering the marketing mix and the University of California-Berkeley revealing both how to use marketing analytics and how to sell these concepts to senior management.
Beyond Creativity & Entrepreneurship, aspiring founders can enroll in the University of North Carolina’s What’s Your Big Idea?, a primer for going from researching ideas to attracting investment. Darden also returns with its ever-popular Grow To Greatness series, taught by the legendary Edward Hess, author of more than 10 books and 60 cases. And Stanford gets into the act with the second part of its Technology Entrepreneurship series, where students work in teams to turn their ideas into viable products. If you’re wondering how to navigate the corporate waters, you’ll find courses on organizational behavior from both IESE Business School and SDA Bocconi.
To learn more about these courses — and register for them — click on the links below.
FINANCE AND OPERATIONS
ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SOCIAL ENTERPRISE