The Great Thing About Potential Is Its Resilience

In April, 2007 I published a pair of articles about seven orchestras I felt were in right place at the right time to accomplish truly great things. Occupying the #1 spot on that list was the Las Vegas Philharmonic (LVP) and if you’ve been keeping up with music news this week, you may have noticed the article in the 12/23/08 edition of the Las Vegas Sun by Kristen Peterson which reported a public divergence of opinion among board officers. Nevertheless, the wonderful thing about potential is it tends to be quite resilient to issues rooted in particular types of conflict. The good news is the LVP still retains just as much potential as it did back in 2007 and recent events are merely a bump in the road.

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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