Well This Was Unexpected (Again)

In July 2021, we took a quick look at the sudden and unexpected departure of then San Francisco Symphony CEO Mark C. Hanson. At the time, I indicated this type of abrupt departure raises eyebrows. Fast forward several months and Hanson turns up as the new CEO at…wait for it…Baltimore. According to the orchestra’s press statement announcing the appointment, he assumes the role on April 21, 2022. If you don’t follow …

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Turn Of The Screw, Politics And Fundraising Edition

While balancing political ideology across stakeholders has always been a core task for executives and fundraisers, that world has fundamentally changed over the past several years. It’s a topic we’ve examined across several articles. And the orchestra field certainly isn’t alone. To that end, Drew Lindsay published a pair of articles at The Chronicle of Philanthropy examining this issue from the broader perspective of the larger nonprofit sector. It’s worth pointing …

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I Wish I Could Say Things Are Better

Back in 2014 I wrote an article about the emergence of strategic decision making that was defined more by extreme voices at either end of a political spectrum than anything else. Keep in mind, this was a full year and half before the 2016 national election. At the time, those extreme voices were still moving from the status of fringe voices, to the tail that wags the dog, to the whole canine. …

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#TBT So Much Job Description Word Salad

I’ve been reading a number of job descriptions (JDs) as of late and while they’ve been steadily improving over the past few years, something happened in 2021 and I’m seeing more and more of the boilerplate, jargon filled, word salad nonsense that defined JDs from years past. This is especially true of executive director and CEO positions and for candidates, that should be giant red flag. Pardon me for stating the …

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A Post-Pandemic Tip: Disconnect From Distractions

Holly Mulcahy recently published an article at Neo Classical that references a long-standing crisis management guideline from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that stresses the importance of fundamental priorities. Here’s an excerpt from the FAA’s advice that came to fruition after a December 1972 crash of Eastern Airlines Flight 401. The entire cockpit crew was so focused on a non-critical task of investigating a malfunction of a landing gear position indicator …

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