More Info From Jacksonville

On 12/24/2012, I published an article that linked over to a pair of letters related to the ongoing Jacksonville Symphony (JAX) labor dispute that were published in the Florida times-Union. One was from the JAX board chair elect and the other was from the JAX musicians’ negotiating committee. As it turns out, the paper apparently edited the latter letter without indicating the modification.

writeOn 12/31/2012 the newspaper published the complete letter in their editorial page blog along with the following statement:

Note to readers: The Times-Union recently published letters from both the Jacksonville Symphony Association and the musicians’ union regarding their contract dispute. Due to space constraints, a shorter version of the union’s letter was published. Here is the complete version.

There is no mention on whether or not the letter from the JAX board chair elect was edited but the musicians’ committee letter certainly makes more since in its complete form compared to the edited version but it also reinforces the value in brevity with communication, a topic explored in greater detail back on 11/15/2012 in an article titled (ironically enough) Some Advance Hindsight For The Season Of Discontent.

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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