Time For A Reality Check

Sure, news as of late has been filled with a good bit of nonsense from a variety of stakeholders but it’s important to remember that even though bad news sells, it isn’t necessarily representative of an entire field, even the orchestra business. To that end, it’s time to break free of tunnel vision and take in the spectrum of the good, the bad, and the ugly of stakeholders.

knowledge is power!And after giving it some thought, it seemed like the best solution was to revisit and up the governance essays. The essays provide a breakdown of who’s who in orchestra governance and how they fit together; you get an inside look into how those who influence how orchestras function. They’ve been around for several years now and go through revisions every now and then, the latest being this week.

Updates include revised content, a boat load of new styling, and they’re all available on a single tabbed page! And to help keep some perspective, each stakeholder group gets its own Dixon cartoon from Who’s Minding The Score? And really, in light of so much ugliness right now, it’s worth remembering that it won’t hurt to laugh at ourselves every now and then.

In all seriousness, if the only time you pay attention to this business is when the news is filled with orchestra related drama, then get over to the essays so you can see how things really function.

Take me to the essay goodness!

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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