Extended Stay And Social Engineering

It looks like I’ll be staying in Area-51 a bit longer; at the very least I’ll be on site through August 31. Consequently, the Annual Website Reviews may be a bit late this year but rest assured they will be out in the Fall. The work routine is settling into a nice pattern which should provide some time to set up the evaluation schedule and examine the review criteria. I should also find time for the impending platform switch for (most of) the blogs and columns at Inside The Arts.

Speaking of the Area-51 Project (I think that’s going to be the official name from this point forward), one thoroughly fascinating component has been exploring what sort of duties and responsibilities for a position within cultural institutions geared toward social engineering would entail (the political science kind, not the hacker type). The entire discussion was initiated via a chance meeting with another consultant in the area working on a tangentially related project and our meeting quickly developed into one of those times when ideas just “click” between professionals. I’m looking forward to writing about the concept in greater detail once the Area-51 Project wraps up.

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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