Don’t Ask Me How I’m Doing If You Don’t Really Care

I’m going to steal something today from Joe Patti; specifically, his post from 1/3/2017 where he shares some insights from serving on the evaluation panel from ArtsHacker’s Most Creative People In Arts Administration.

Adaptistration People 085In his post, Patti dives into the deep end of one submission that ultimately tied for top honor: Aubrey Bergauer’s blog at California Symphony. One of the posts that struck Patti is one that caught my attention as well but I promptly forgot to reference it in my post about the recipients from 12/30/2016.

I’ll let you gather the real meat and potatoes from Patti’s article but if you’re the type of reader who just can’t when it comes to click-throughs, he examines the importance of being earnest when it comes to crafting patron surveys.

In a nutshell, if you don’t plan on implementing change on something, don’t ask about it; or at the very least, explain to the respondent why it is beyond control.

Thanks to Patti for remembering to write something that slipped my mind and kudos to Bergauer and her colleagues for their work at the California Symphony blog.

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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