#TBT Thinning Out The Sacred Cow Herd

Recently, a colleague mentioned how much she enjoys sacred cow topics here at Adaptistration and it got me wondering how much the phrase has actually appeared over the years. Turns out, not that much; only five times over the course of more than 3,700 articles.

Here are some of the more intriguing offerings.

One from 3/12/2013 railed against off-putting no-photo policies inside concert halls before/after the event.

Time To Slaughter A Sacred Cow

In June from the same year, the same topic found its way into mainstream media after pianist Krystian Zimerman cancelled his recital mid performance because he say a patron allegedly recording the performance with a Smartphone

Join The Sacred Cow Barbecue (unless you live in NYC)

A post from 6/28/2010 challenges the notion of what passed for sacred cow conversations at that point in time. It’s an interesting read from the benefit of hindsight since we know how a number of the hot topics at that time either fizzled or turned out to be all talk and little to no action.

Look Before You Leap

The final instance is a simple pointer to an article and cartoon by Theoatmeal.com’s Matthew Inman, where he examines the sort of thinking that goes into sacred cows and how much better our options can be when we just get over our bad selves.

The Thinking Person’s Approach To Dealing With Sacred Cows

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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