Randy Adams’ departure from the SLSO started to get me thinking…
I began to imagine exactly what sort of executive administrator an organization like the SLSO could use at this point in its development. That line of thinking eventually led me to a place where I’ve spent many hours: classifying the three basic types of managers.
Initially, I wanted to write about that topic for today but my work schedule has been absolutely swamped this week and the opportunity never developed. Nevertheless, I’m going to try and find some time today to address the issue for this blog.
In the meantime, I think it is a good time to revisit an article I posted back in November, 2003 that might apply to the situation in St. Louis in one way or another: What We Need Is Another Henry Ford
3 thoughts on “Reflections On Management”
While this is somewhat off-topic from St. Louis, I wonder what Drew and others think about the “surprise” (Peter Dobrin’s word) decision by the Philadelphia Orchestra to name Charles Dutoit “chief conductor and artistic adviser”. According to Dobrin’s article, PO Pres. James Undercofler “acknowledged that the musicians of the orchestra did not vote for Dutoit.” Dobrin summarized it at the beginning as “a surprise move made without the knowledge or approval of its full musician membership”.
At least with this appointment, Philly isn’t getting someone who hasn’t conducted the orchestra in 4.5 years prior. But the fact that this seemed to be going on behind the scenes (or the backs of the orchestra) makes one wonder. Link to article is below:
Well, PS to prior post: Tom Di Nardo in the Philadelphia Daily News says that the musicians did have a say in the choice of Dutoit:
“The Swiss-born maestro is considered a wise choice by the orchestra board, considering his longtime rapport with the musicians, who were involved in the selection process.”
Wonder who’s right, Dobrin or Di Nardo….
I cannot claim to have all the information necessary to make a defensible judgement, but my gut instinct is that Randy Adams was not the right man for the job — in fact, not the right TYPE of man for the job — and that his leaving the SLSO will be good for the orchestra.
Adams’s strong-arm tactics during the labor dispute poisoned the atmosphere at a crucial time, and his supporters framed all discussion of the issue as either pro-labor or pro-management, when the only perspective should have been pro-orchestra.
The situation did bring up some questions:
*Is the management there to serve the orchestra or the orchestra there to serve management?
*Who “owns” a symphony orchestra? Is it the symphony association, whatever that is?
*If an orchestra folds, what happens to the endowment fund and other resources, which can amount to a great deal of money? Could somebody benefit personally by causing an orchestra to fail (NB: This question is hypothetical and has no relation to Randy Adams.)