My Arts Journal blog neighbor, Andrew Taylor, posted a fascinating blog yesterday about using indicators, in the form of a “dashboard” to monitor your success. But how does an organization, or even individuals, select the indicators they should use…
“One interesting question to ask along the lines of dashboards is how you know the likely implications of the indicators you pick. In our model, musicians picked economic survival and (relative) prosperity, and they used teaching as a key lever to keep the indicator in the green zone.”
The model Bill is referring to is something the two of us developed to help explore methods to improve the sustainability of the classical music business using systems thinking. You can find links to that model and read more about the project here.
Ultimately, all of this is really dancing around issues of mission and purpose and whether or not organization, such as orchestras, are selecting the proper indicators to use when monitoring the organizations health and success. As such, the board of directors may have very different ideas about what constitutes success when compared with the music director or the musicians, not to mention the administrators.
Furthermore, which group of stakeholders will ultimately determine the point when an orchestra has reached a destination? All of this makes me wonder how many groups out there this season are falling victim to the old saying “We’re making great time, but we’ve got no where to go”.