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6 Lessons in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Matilda The Musical

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I confess that
I am a musical tragic and took my daughter to see Matilda The Musical last
Saturday.  I found myself relating the
story to my work in innovation and entrepreneurship.
In 2000,
struggling to make a living from theatre and music, and fascinated by the work
of Roald Dahl, Tim Minchen wrote to Dahl's manager asking for the rights to
Matilda to write 'the musical' for an amateur theatre company. He was
asked to send a sample of his score so Dahl's team could consider his request. Stunned
he actually received a response; Minchen deleted the email but thankfully not
the idea. Fast-forward to 2008 and he wrote the songs for Matilda in a seven-week
period.
Lesson number one is never kill an idea, just park it. You never know
when you might resurrect it. And lesson number two, in Branson's words, 'Next time opportunity knocks, just say yes".
Matilda faces
the incorrigible Miss Trunchbull to realise her dreams.  Miss Trunchbull instills fear and commands, 'You have to stay inside the circle'. In business, we know it is
the lack of empowerment and unwavering rules that inhibit creativity and stifle
innovation. Lesson number three, don't choke the people around you by locking
them in physically or metaphorically. Encourage experimentation and new
experiences.
Lesson four
is to 'keep it real'. Matilda boldly claims, 'Just because you think that
life's not fair it doesn't mean that you just have to grin and bare it'. We are
each responsible for our actions. Clients, employees, and business owners are
thankfully demanding authenticity. Be respectful, be considerate and certainly
don't stand by when you know something is 'not right'.
With the celebration of Women's
International Entrepreneurship day an annual event, my 'inner voice' cheered
each time Matilda emphasised, 'I'm a girl'. Lesson five, it is inspiring to see
so much support and recognition for women as they take on entrepreneurial roles
and step into the innovation space, particular in tech, engineering and
medicine.
Finally
lesson six, you get what you pay for. At $150 a ticket we had an amazing
experience. If you are going to invest in yourself, don't short sheet your
business and cut corners. If it's worth doing, do it believing you cannot fail.

A final word
from the star of the show, 'Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty'.
Let's face it, is there an entrepreneur who has never challenged or broken
rules?

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