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This is an archived post from our old blog. It's here for the sake of posterity (and to keep the search engines happy). Our new blog can be found at

For-profit Business Case Studies with a Twist

I have always been drawn to the easily digestible and immediately applicable offerings of the Harvard Business Review Press. Need five extra hours in your day?  Read the 40-page Guide to Getting the Right Work Done. New manager looking to improve your financial management chops? Try this quick read.  Marketing strategy creation? Manage Mentor series.

authenticityEvery month, I excitedly hold my Kindle waiting for the latest Harvard Business Review edition to download.  Yep, I love it that much.  One of my favorite parts in the HBR is the case study and commentary section. Each edition includes a fictional case study with responses from professionals who work in that field explaining how they would approach the case’s challenges.  Two things always strike me about this section: (1) How familiar the management issues in the case seem, even when set in a field far askew from the cultural sector; and (2) It never fails, three professionals offering responses, three completely different ways of addressing the problem.

First rule of internet television: He who co-hosts and produces an internet television show -- #SKYNOVA: The only internet TV show featuring culture warriors in their native habitat -- gets to determine the content.  For a while now, I’ve wanted to try out an idea that attempts to bring the case study commentary to life.  Several weeks ago during the annual Dance/NYC Symposium I finally had my chance.

bossThe Mission: Assemble some of the smartest rock stars that I, and my co-conspirator in this adventure Sydney Skybetter, know working in the cultural sector to offer their own solutions for these for-profit case studies. Then, discuss any parallels between the issues in the case study industries and ones we face in the cultural sector.

The Set-Up: Give each guest a week to review the case, minus the related commentary.  Two guys with a video camera, access to a YouTube channel, and some expert video editing provided by Nel Shelby, gather their colleagues and film for 15 minutes of discussion.cold-case-studies-white

The Result: #SKYNOVA: Cold Case Studies and video footage of these cultural sector rock stars in action.

Below is a round-up of all the episodes. Play along at home with the cases and please let us know what you think of the series. We're planning to add more to the Cold Case Studies collection over the coming months.  Stay tuned and stay classy internet!

Special thanks to the Harvard Business Review Press for making available to the general public a treasure trove of case studies, Lane Harwell and Dance/NYC for inviting #SKYNOVA to be a part of the Winter Symposium, Nel Shelby for making us look and sound far better than we do in real life, Jennifer Edwards for her expert portrayal of my co-conspirator Sydney Skybetter when he was stricken ill at the 11th hour, and to our panels of rock stars.