Post 3000

Today is Adaptistration’s 3000th post and after having dinner with a colleague last evening, I decided to postpone what was originally scheduled and instead focus on one of his questions that caught me entirely off guard (in a good way).

Adaptistration People 045Specifically, he asked me what I hoped to achieve from all of this blogging at the end of the next 10-15 years and it was a genuine stumper in that I’ve never really taken the time to consider that sort of vision oriented planning. Certainly, I know what I want the platform to be about and make careful observations on how it has changes over the years but I can’t recall every thinking that far into the future.

In general, reflective exercises extending a decade or more forward are not something I regularly spend time doing in a public space; in fact, it feels awkward using “I” as many times as I have so far in this post. Nonetheless, this article will need to be an exception to the rule due in no small part to the fact that it’s difficult to envision future impact from an independent perspective.

But back to the question at hand (while simultaneously attempting to avoid inductive reasoning) here are some thoughts on what I hope to accomplish when the day to hang up my keyboard finally arrives.

  1. I would be grateful if Adaptistration helps prevent good managers from turning bad.*
  2. Providing those entering the field with a much broader, yet thorough, perspective on how it has evolved and why that history matters.
  3. Help prevent an incoming manager with real potential from leaving the field due to the host of reasons fueling the bonfire that is arts admin attrition.
  4. Inspiring individuals to regularly advocate for transparency and internalize the ability to maintain an unbiased view of stakeholders and their actions, regardless of their position in the field.
  5. Marginalize the impact of the growing cultural-industrial complex.

But enough navel-gazing, I’m grateful to my colleague for nudging me in a direction not frequently traveled but we’ll be back to business as usual with tomorrow’s post (the latest in the equal pay for equal work series and something that may be closely tied to item #4 for some readers).

*By bad, I mean becoming so bitter and jaded that pride in accomplishment is only a memory while each day is consumed more by identifying ways to pay back wrongs (perceived and real) and horde control.

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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