There were two excellent articles in the Chicago Tribune over the weekend dedicated to the ongoing executive search process to replace Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) president Deborah Rutter.
First up is an article published on 1/31/2014 by Tribune music critic John von Rhein which provides a meticulous review of the CSO’s history in order to better understand where it is today. And be careful not to miss the bits about the hall renovation.
Next is an article published on the same day by Mark Caro, which takes a closer look at Rutter’s accomplishments along with details such as key members on the search committee.
A Few Thoughts On The Search Process
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the CSO has a unique internal culture and any performing arts organization this large and complex would benefit from a thorough, and independent, administrative and board audit to help define where strengths and weaknesses currently exist. Feeding this data in the search parameters will only help avoid potential errors or oversights when identifying and reviewing candidates.
Based on my professional experience, this is the one area within an executive search process where most groups fall short; as a result, they may do a superb job at creating executive criteria to help identify who they want, but that’s not the same as identifying who they need.
The bigger the organization, the more important this step becomes.