Workplace Culture Jargon That Needs A Timeout

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A snarky tweet from @OrchestraSay the other day got me thinking about workplace leadership jargon that can use a timeout. When the executive director says "My door is always open." They really mean: 1. This sounds like something a friendly person says2. This counts as trying to care3. You are all witnesses to me being magnanimous4. Piss off — Shit Orchestra Musicians Say (@OrchestraSay) January 20, 2020 An “open-door policy” is …

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More Decisions, But Resolution Remains Elusive

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The beleaguered Grand Teton Music Festival (GTMF) continues to make its way through the rapids of a nasty labor dispute and what is apparently a division among board members. In the face of growing pressure from an array of stakeholders that included the music director, musicians, donors, and a large swath of former board leaders and donors calling for his removal, GTMF President and CEO, Andrew Palmer Todd, announced his resignation …

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Disrupting Musician Employment Agreements

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In her 2015 book, Reinventing Dell: The Innovation Imperative, Heather Simmons, former Dell General Manager and Executive Director of Marketing from 1992-2005 wrote “Those who disrupt their industries change consumer behavior, alter economics, and transform lives.” I couldn’t agree more, but even though disruption inside the classical music field is a tall order, it shouldn’t preclude us from looking for opportunities. As someone who has worked for more than two decades …

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A Better Way To Find New Answers To Old Questions

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In the process of interviewing Seattle Symphony Orchestra stakeholders about their new musician pension plan, one item that stands out is the approach both sides adopted in order to arrive at their outcome. While it certainly falls into some of the parameters for interest based bargaining, what really struck me is how much more it aligns with the “Yes, And” approach toward improvisation. If you aren’t already familiar with it, I …

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In The Game Of Executive Musical Chairs, Philly Can’t Find Someone To Sit Down

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At a time when both the LA Philharmonic and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced new CEOs within the span of one day, the Philadelphia Orchestra continues to be vexed by finding someone to fill their top executive gig. On the other side of that coin, Philly may have pulled out the chair for one or more candidates only to see them walk away. In another context, the timeline for all three …

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