That was the key message from industry leaders attending 'The UK's Creative Economy - Options for Strategy' seminar held at the Royal United Services Institute in London on Tuesday.
The high level seminar featured speakers as diverse as Lord David Puttnam and Will Hutton and provided a forum to debate a host of major issues facing creative industries, from education and skills, to the challenges of the digital age.
Pointing out that the creative industries are growing at twice the rate of UK GDP, keynote speaker Will Hutton of the Work Foundation said, 'They are major economic actors in their own right. No state can afford to ignore them.'
Conference chair, film producer Lord David Puttnam, highlighted the rapid technological advances that are driving the creative industries forward, in particular the film industry.
However, Lord Puttnam suggested that industry is still to slow to see the bigger picture and to grasp potential opportunities fully.
Drawing an analogy with the British film industry's attempt to protect itself from the rise of television through the Film Industry Defence Organisation (FIDO) in the 1950s, he commented, 'Today, industry is still doing stupid things to protect market dominance in the face of new technologies.'
Much of the discussion centred around a long-awaited strategy document on the creative industries from the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), which is due to be published later this week.
The details of the government's new strategy have been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks, but are said to include proposals for a £200m ($388m) national film centre and extra start-up cash for riskier film ventures.
DCMS has already announced that the strategy document will allow it to 'set out actual commitments for action rather than a series of proposals for further consultation'. But until the document is published on Friday, any commitments remain speculative.
In the absence of a the published strategy, Fergal Sharkey, former Undertones singer and now CEO of British Music Rights, praised the Government's overall approach in trying to develop the creative industries sector.
However, acknowledging that he had seen the strategy in advance, he also questioned whether the proposals due to be unveiled on Friday should not have gone even further when he said, 'Is it enough' Taking risks is an intrinsic part of being creative. Are we being as brave as we ask the creators we are supporting to be' I don't think so. We need to step up to the mark.'
In the end, most of the speakers reinforced the central point that policies designed to support and promote the creative industries need to reflect their growing economic importance and the speed at which they are developing.