Another Indianapolis Symphony Exec Is Out

If nothing else, when Gary Ginstling officially begins his tenure at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) on March 18, 2013 he won’t be burdened by executive dream team building concerns. In this case, all but a few of those billets are currently empty and on March 4, 2013, the ISO announced yet one more impending vacancy: Jackie Groth will be leaving her position as VP of Finance and Strategic Planning.

help and escapeGoth has been simultaneously serving as interim CEO throughout the course of the ISO’s very public and very bitter labor dispute and her scheduled departure three days before Ginstling’s arrival leaves a solitary senior VP, the ISO’s General Manager, to spearhead the welcome wagon.

The vast executive void presents as much of an unusual opportunity as it does a challenge and it may pay off for Ginstling if he can manage to put together a team of the right people at the right place at the right time.

Who knows, by the end of the 2013-14 season we may be talking about the ISO’s miracle turnaround.

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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