Hoping For The Best For Those In The Storm Path

Watching the news follow the path of Hurricane Sandy last night with reports of fires in hospitals, record flooding, and millions without power made me think back to the floods in Houston back in 2001 and how much damage that caused at the Houston Symphony and other Houston area arts groups.

I’m sure everyone is hoping for the best for colleagues and friends at arts organizations in areas hit hardest by the storm.

To that end, I have a request to folks from those groups today: if you’re online and have been back to the offices and/or venue, post a quick note in the comments section to give a report on how you’re doing. I’m sure everyone will appreciate having some firsthand information.

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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