Opinion: Indielab CEO Victoria Powell on resilience & adaptability ahead of 2023

Victoria Powell

Victoria Powell, CEO of Indielab, explains why resilience and the ability to adapt will be key strengths for indie leaders in 2023.

As the year draws to a close, and we all take a moment to draw breath this holiday season and reflect on successes and the failures of the last 12 months, it is perhaps important to remember that the decisions we made along the way have not only shaped the events of our last year but will no doubt craft the landscape of our coming year too. So how did we do?

Every decision we will have made over last 12 months will have been impacted in some way by the combination of events that have both dominated and stimulated all of our collective thoughts – and at times been the stuff of sleepless nights. The perils and difficulties of the pandemic, the national trauma of Brexit, war in Europe, the political turmoil of rotating prime ministers, and the increasing certainty that our world is warming.

It’s resilience that enables us to keep coming back time and again, in spite of rejection, disappointment or failure, in the hope that times will be good again and we will succeed

Closer to home, global and national crises manifest in the uncertainties around public service broadcasting, the challenges of wage inflation, hollowing out of the freelance market, reductions in commissioning budgets – coupled with widespread increases in costs – keeping us all on our toes and having to think strategically and adaptively.

Those of us who are running businesses in these challenging times are, like the whole country, balancing the seismic shifts in our national and global psyche, alongside our own particular individual and commercial challenges. Whatever these have been for you, whether they have been the busiest and most productive times you have had, or less so, I imagine you can look back now knowing that when it was needed you and your team adapted, solved problems, and came up with positive and creative solutions to the issues of the year.

Running a business is essentially an activity of optimism. We will make, we will launch, we will figure this out. Without confidence in ourselves and our teams, we’d all bury our head in our hands. And it is the resilience that we develop along the way that enables us to keep coming back time and again, in spite of rejection, disappointment or failure, in the hope that times will be good again and we will succeed.

If you speak to successful indie bosses as they look back on their journeys, it is the constant restlessness, curiosity, trial, error and adaptation that got them to where they wanted to be

One of the reasons I love the end of the year is that is it a time to replenish this, to reflect and to rest. A good rest is important, as is time with friends and family. But as business owners and company leaders how do we replenish our creativity and ability to adapt and pivot as we face a new year and the challenges and opportunities ahead?

Whether times are tough, and we need to dig deep to find solutions, or times are good, and we need to capitalise on it, adapting is a vital strength for successful indie leaders. Take any mid to large independent production company in the UK and look back at its path to success over the last decade and you will see key movements where they pivoted (often coinciding with key moments of failure) learning vital lessons and taking decisions in order to propel the business to a new level.

So, how do we create the conditions for these moments of acceleration? Rarely by accident, almost always by intention. If you speak to successful indie bosses as they look back on their journeys (and through Indielab I have been lucky enough to speak to many about this) then what they tell you is that it is the constant restlessness, curiosity, trial, error and adaptation that got them there. Putting themselves in the way of challenge, insight and creative thinking, and listening and asking questions until the right path became clear.

Using our years of experience supporting indies through different stages of their journeys, and our own restless pursuit of the ideas, challenges and insights into success in the sector, we have now created a new type of event for indie leaders and founders that aims to do just this for them.

GrowthLab, unveiled last month, will take place in London on 9 February, 2023, and invites indies at all stages to attend and challenge their thinking to consider what they need to do to transform their path to success in these times of continuous change.

To find out more about about GrowthLab and to book your tickets, click HERE.

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