Putting out Fires

Entrepreneurship can be thought of as firefighting. Little (and sometimes large) fires are Fire fightingpopping up all around and it becomes to job of the entrepreneur to put the fires out, lest they burn down the business. At other times, one can use the heat of the fire for energy and still other times, start fires to produce a desired result in the market. The reason the entrepreneur experiences so many fires is that they are the legal representative/s of the institution. So, naturally, all problems come back to them.

Learning Outcome:

Students must strive to overcome presented obstacles they face, lest greater problems arise. In doing so, they are learning to manage conflict and find solutions to difficult scenarios. 

Examples of Scenarios:

Ex. You are four weeks into your rehearsal process and your lead actor, who is playing Hamlet, walks out of the production, refusing to return. What do you do?

Ex. You are a designer and have been working, selling and distributing a pattern of clothing for several weeks. Another designer claims you have infringed on their copyright and is threatening to sue you if you do not settle out of court. What do you do?

Ex. An employee of yours comes to you and claims that one of your board members is making inappropriate sexual advances towards them. What do you do?


The scenarios that are imagined by the teacher should be within the realm of possibility, yet still challenging. As students offer solutions, the teacher should guide them, assessing whether or not their imagined solutions are within the field of reason and possibility. The teacher can then continue to offer follow up problems or scenarios that arise from the students’ choices, thus continuing the dialog and decision-making process.


If you would like to use these games in your own classroom, please do! If you do, let me know how how it goes and if you have suggestions for modifying a game. 

I can be reached at jdhart@smu.edu

Creative Commons License
Putting out Fires by James David Hart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


About James Hart

Jim Hart serves as Director of Arts Entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University, Meadows School of the Arts. Hart is also the founder of The International Theatre Academy Norway and co-founder of the Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education. Hart is a multi-award winning educator, often recognized for innovation and pedagogy.
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