You Can Almost Smell The Lighter Fluid

With each passing week, the situation at the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (WCO) continues to resemble many of the characteristics defined by Scorched Earth Governance In 10 Easy Steps. The only curious aspect of this situation is the WCO has yet to indicate that the organization is having any sort of financial difficulty…

feel the burnWe’ll be examining this in greater detail next week but in the meantime, you can learn more about what’s going on in an article by Lindsay Christians from the 3/4/09 edition of Square 77 (a Capital Newspapers Inc. publication) along with an insightful blog post from the King Of All Gig Players, Jason Heath.

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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