We Still Need To See A Psychologist

I had a fascinating lunch time conversation yesterday with a manager in my area and we were talking about the usefulness of approaching marketing from the view of a behavioral psychologist. The conversation brought my memory to an article I wrote back in February, 2004 entitled We All Need To Go See A Psychologist

I haven’t changed my opinions about this issue since that time; if anything, I feel even stronger about how desperately necessary it is for the business to walk down this path. When the original article was published in 2004, I received several email messages from managers as well as a few players and patrons. Although a few were very supportive of the idea, the majority were quite negative.

Nevertheless, quite a bit can chance in two years so take a moment and give the original article a read and weigh in  with your opinion. I’m curious to know what managers, players, and musicians think about the idea now.

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.

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2 thoughts on “We Still Need To See A Psychologist”

  1. I could not agree more. People who have been around the classical repertoire (and classical orchestra protocols) are, indeed, ill-fit to market it to “outsiders” – how could they possibly know how to attract them? They cannot see inside their heads – their entire life experiences are different!

    Similarly, those “classical music outsiders” cannot market concerts for themselves ; while the average person might be able to point out positive or negative aspects of the classical music experience, he/she can’t explain their choices (Q : “yes but why does the no-applause-between-movements rule bother you?” A : “I dunno, it just bothers me”). I mean, how can one fix a problem if one does not know how it happened in the first place? Definitely, psychology is a wonderful idea.

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