Status Quo = Higher Profit?

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, Joe Patti made a fascinating connection with something Vu Le recently published at Nonprofit AF where he encourages consultants to resist the payoff that often comes with pushing clients out of status quo comfort zones. At our best, consultants help bring in a new perspective and certain skills and tactics that could really help an organization and its important work; plus, we help sustain the …

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What’s The Problem?

Moneyball is one of those movies that never gets old and one of my favorite parts is the “What’s the problem?” scene where Brad Pitt, who played Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, is frustrated with his scouts when they refuse and/or are incapable of thinking differently about their core problems. Nutshell: it’s the setup for the film’s overarching story of calling BS on conventional wisdom and the struggles involved with …

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Sometimes The Best Message On Why The Arts Are Important Doesn’t Need Quantification

Even before the pandemic, the orchestra field had its hands full addressing its relevance in contemporary culture. Unfortunately, financial pressures of the pandemic have started to reignite counterproductive guns or butter debates. While that’s nothing more than a logical fallacy trap, we don’t have the luxury of ignoring it. But instead of getting sucked into the conversation, change the topic. A good source of inspiration is and article by Arthur C. …

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I’ll See Your Study And Raise You A Proposal

Recently, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) released a report examining how arts and culture institutions that accepted Payroll Protection Program (PPP) handled staff layoffs. It’s a good report and if you’re interested in a deeper dive, you can find some good analysis and commentary from Hakim Bishara at and Joe Patti at Butts In The Seats. These initial studies provide useful context for ongoing analysis …

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Speaking Of Change…

Recently, my wife posted a note on her Facebook wall that garnered a great deal of feedback: What’s genuinely interesting is the range of perspectives coming in; some believe it applies to a specific stakeholder group while others take an inward view. Then there are those that adopt a more empathetic approach and look at it from the point of view of a new or infrequent ticket buyer. For my money, …

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