As I was looking back in the archives for content to post on while on vacation, I was surprised to see that I was writing back the dangers of the sentiment that “arts organizations should be run like a business” a decade ago.
I cited a piece in The New Republic discussing that manufacturing in the US began to decline when leadership started to be drawn from people focused on finance rather than operations.
“Harvard business professor Rakesh Khurana, with whom I discussed these questions at length, observes that most of GM’s top executives in recent decades hailed from a finance rather than an operations background….But these executives were frequently numb to the sorts of innovations that enable high-quality production at low cost. As Khurana quips, “That’s how you end up with GM rather than Toyota.”
At the time, I expressed my concerns that leadership of arts organizations might become increasingly divorced from the metaphorical manufacturing process if those making decisions had never deeply engaged in creative pursuits.
I linked to a post I made in 2004 about observations that the back office at an orchestra was seemingly disassociated from the performances.
Thoughts on whether this situation has gotten better or worse in the last 10-15 years?
Is it a good sign that in the last couple months, you can’t turn around without seeing an article praising what California Symphony Executive Director, Aubrey Bergauer, a tuba player, has accomplished? Or is she just an outlier?
Subscribe via Email
Enter your email address to subscribe to Butts In The Seats and receive notifications of new posts by email.