Red Pill/Blue Pill: Effective Data Driven Decision Making (Hint: Take The Red One)

I’m very happy to announce a third conference appearance this Spring: the 37th Annual Association of Arts Administration Educators Conference! #AAAE18 runs from May 31 – June 2, 2018 and takes place in Houston, TX.

The Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) consists of more than 150 member programs, all training and equipping students in arts leadership, management, entrepreneurship, cultural policy, and more. AAAE serves as a convener, a resource, and an advocate for formal arts administration education.

Given the focus of this group, it made sense to switch up the usual sessions I’ve been doing and drill down into skill building attendees can put into practice right away: effective data driven decision making.

If you want to build a data-driven culture but aren’t sure how to get started, this session is what you’ve been looking for.

Session Description

red pill blue pillOrganizations that successfully cultivate a data-driven culture reap a multitude of benefits, from better stakeholder understanding of decision making application to an ongoing commitment to measuring both static and dynamic outcomes.

Nonprofit performing arts organizations are doing a better job at collecting lots and lots of data. However, creating a culture where decisions move beyond gut instinct are fraught with challenges. Not the least of which is inadvertently fostering mission-oriented outcome bias.

While this session will help attendees better understand tools and techniques, it also focuses on fostering a healthy transitional environment composed of numerous, influential stakeholders. Session topics include:

  1. Owning analytics.
  2. Proactive (Red Pill) vs. Reactive (Blue Pill) analysis.
  3. Empowering your team members with analysis.
  4. Reporting vs. Analysis.
  5. Depersonalizing mission driven decision making.
  6. Owning outcomes.

Joining me on the session is longtime colleague and conference session colleague, Ceci Dadisman.

The session’s date and time will be posted as soon as it has been confirmed. In the meantime, swing by the AAAE conference website to learn more.

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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