When It Comes To Sexual Misconduct, Are We Treating Symptoms Or Trying To Cure The Disease?

The 10/27/2018 edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer published an article by Zachary Lewis that begins to examine some of the more profound questions following their decision to dismiss William Preucil and Massimo La Rosa for sexual misconduct.

Adaptistration People 135According to statements from the Cleveland Orchestra, the organization has adopted two measures from the investigation’s report:

  1. They established a telephone number “operated by an independent party to enable anyone associated with the Orchestra to report anonymously, if they wish, violations of the new anti-harassment policy, the ethical principles, or the law.”
  2. The board approved a “revised anti-harassment policy that makes clear that the Orchestra expressly prohibits all forms and gradations of sexual misconduct and sexually harassing behavior. Clear consequences are outlined for anyone who violates the policy.”

Undoubtedly, these are both excellent measures and the orchestra’s executive decision makers deserve recognition for those measures.

Having said that, and to borrow an adage from the medical profession, both measures appear to be directed more toward the symptoms of an environment that allows sexual misconduct rather than addressing the disease.

We’re going to take a deeper dive into these issues tomorrow along with examining the investigator’s report.

In the meantime, what do you think about these two measures; are they sufficient to prevent any future transgressions?

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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