Looks Like Concern Over COVID Related Injuries Has A Ceiling

I am officially declaring defeat on finding a pair of CEO guests to for the executive decision maker installment of the series of podcasts I was doing about what orchestras of all budget size should be considering when planning for post-COVID concert activity.

It is genuinely disappointing to see that this is such a third-rail topic among executives and if nothing else, that should raise the alert level among musician stakeholders.

Fortunately, artistic decision makers and musicians were entirely willing to engage these challenging questions head-on and you can benefit from their candor in both Shop Talk episodes on this topic. If you’re a musician who is concerned about injury due to the physical demands of overly demanding programming, you need to approach your committee to see what they are doing to make sure it isn’t a concern. Because even if executives aren’t comfortable addressing the issue publicly, they can’t ignore an orchestra committee knocking on their door asking about it.

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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