Reader Response: Hey, We’re Smart In America Too!

Hugh Resnick, the Assistant Director for Research and Analysis at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, wrote in to remedy my ignorance regarding programs in the U.S. that is similar to the Australian course I wrote about on March 19th.    Hugh had this to say about a program he participated in while obtaining his MBA:

“In fact, that is exactly how I got my job here at the ISO. I was an MBA student at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business involved with the program’s Sports and Entertainment Academy.  I met the ISO’s VP of marketing there who suggested that a number of us do a project with them. It happened to be an economic impact study.  We added value mostly because our group had no connection to the Symphony, and had really no reason to puff up the numbers. We were given all the access we needed, and I was recruited from that group into my present position. We have continued to do projects with the Kelley MBA program and I think it is a win-win situation.

Both in the sports and entertainment industries, there is a feeling that ‘industry experience’ is paramount, when in most cases, industry experience just amounts to being immersed in everyone else’s bad ideas.”

Thanks for the note Hugh, I did contact Tom Bowers at the Indiana University, who coordinates similar programs between the school and the ISO, to set up a time to interview him and find out more about the type of programs they currently engage in.  Hopefully we’ll be able to read about some details from student’s findings and discover if they have had any positive impact on how an orchestra manages itself.

I did discover on a follow up email with Hugh that one difference between the study his group form IU performed and the group from Sydney, is performing is that the latter is being provided with opportunities to work and interact with the musicians.  Hugh did express that interaction with the Indianapolis musicians is something future students will hopefully be able to take advantage of.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

Related Posts