Say What?

Adaptistration People 091There’s a thoughtful post from Joe Patti that goes a long way toward reminding us about the serious repetitive text syndrome problem that exists through most nonprofit performing arts fields.

Patti’s article highlights sound bites related to education efforts and I wholeheartedly agree that’s one area where repetitive text syndrome is at its worst.

Here are a few more that seem to so frequent, :

“Each year [ORCHESTRA NAME] inspires, engages, and enriches [INSERT NUMBER] area students.”
– Every US orchestra

“We believe music education programs are a pillar of our mission and are proud of our work building the next generation of musicians and music lovers for more than [INSERT NUMBER] decades.”
– From an orchestra that hasn’t seen an increase in attendance since 1998

“If only our business could learn to communicate more like orchestra musicians, we’d be more profitable.”
– Biz Exec right before hiring Music Paradigm

“Orchestra should be more business minded.”
– Same Biz Exec after joining the local orchestra’s board

“The [ORCHESTRA NAME] is committed to serving every neighborhood and community throughout the city…”
– Big Budget Orchestra

“We don’t have the resources or the energy, or whatever it is, to slot ourselves into a logical relationship with the [INSERT MINORITY] community.”
– Former CEO of the very same Big Budget Orchestra

What else would you add to the list?

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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