This Cultural Industry Expert Interview with David Parrish was conducted by Trenčín 2026 in Slovakia, when David was in Trenčín to deliver a creative business training workshop for cultural managers.
The cultural industry expert interview was first published online by Trenčín 2026 with the title “David Parrish: Strategic business thinking involves deciding what NOT to do”
Question: Why do you think culture workers are so hesitant to draw from business management?
David: Sometimes, culture workers think that by using business techniques, they will somehow become more commercially minded at the expense of their cultural objectives. Maybe they fear that they will sell their soul to the devil! My message is that we can use smart business techniques on our terms, in harmony with our cultural values, to achieve even greater success as we choose to define it.
Question: Do you have to have money first to adapt some of business practices for cultural projects?
David: No, not at all. Some smart business practices are about raising funds, creating new income streams and increasing earned income. And many business practices such as market research, protecting intellectual property and promotional marketing don’t need to be expensive if we use our creativity to find innovative methods.
Question: Why is having a strategy so important for cultural endeavors?
David: Having a strategy helps cultural endeavours to be more focused, more prepared and consequently more effective in achieving their cultural objectives.
Question: What do you think is the most important question that culture professionals can ask themselves when trying to create a viable business plan?
David: “What’s the most effective way to fulfil our cultural mission, taking into account our finite resources, competition and the realities of a fast-changing world?”
Question: Many workers in culture experience overwhelm and burn out. How can adapting some of business thinking help with these feelings?
David: Strategic business thinking involves deciding what NOT to do, so that you can do the most important things effectively. Adopting such a focused approach avoids doing too much and burning out.