Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Function of Management Is to Produce Results

Daily Drucker 16:  Is your organization delivering the results it should?  If not, articulate your mission.

The Houston Symphony has just created a new mission which elevates community building to the level of artistic quality.  I am choosing to not re-create this new mission, but instead point out what I feel like the desired results should be, in my own words.

1.)  Deliver a high quality musical product, no matter the genre.
2.)  Provide a wide variety of concerts to the public, at a variety of access points (price, location, etc.)
3.)  Leverage local partnerships to deliver our talent to the entire community.
4.)  Provide long-term financial stability for the organization and its workers.

The Spirit of an Organization

Daily Drucker 15:  Figure out what each of your employees' or colleagues' strengths are and develop these strengths to help people perform better.

No writing exercises required.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Managerial Attitude

Daily Drucker 14:  What actions can you take now to impart a sense of managerial responsibility into your workforce?

Management needs to be honest with their workforce, and keep them informed of important decisions or issues.  While some may be confidential, an employee who is kept knowledgeable and informed will feel more a part of the organization, even if they do not have a say in the final decision.

Another way is to create a forum that invites discussion and criticism to be filtered back up to the top level.  Often times these employees are on the front lines - dealing with customers and working through workflows and systems that are decided on by people many levels above them.  The best ideas may come from these individuals, and they need to be collected for evaluation.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Management and the Liberal Arts

Daily Drucker 13:  What is your plan to develop yourself in the humanities and social sciences?  Develop such a plan today.

Working in the performing arts for my entire professional career, I believe I have a solid handle of how the active arts work and thrive in a city.  I do, however, still have some hesitation about museums.  In 2015, I will make it a goal to visit more museums and seek a new level of comfort with them.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Practice comes First

Daily Drucker 12:  Are the premises that you base your decisions on obsolete?  Do you need a new intellectual framework to win in the market, as it exists today?

As the Symphony currently undergoes a strategic planning and organization consultation process, some of our current models will be changed to better align with trends and facts in the current market.  Some indicators have already shifted (lower package sales, less lead time for single ticket sales), but these need to be integrated into the model as facts, not just trends.

What is missing is the understanding about the difference between our current audience and our potential audience.  If we knew how to influence casual patrons to purchase, and the one-time purchasers to return again, we would be able to grow the breadth and depth of the audience base.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Management and Theology

Daily Drucker No. 11:  Do you have any colleagues who are truly evil?  Is there anything you can do about it?

To label a co-worker as "evil" would be quite dramatic.  The word "evil" is defined by maleficence and intent to injure with knowledge and forethought.  However, I do believe that some co-workers are selfish and often put their own interests and future before the good of the company.  While not evil, they are hindering the company from being as productive or effective as it could be if they were not in the way.  Some employees may be completely in the dark about how their process or method of acting is hindering the company from moving forward.  In my observations, most people know that what they are doing, from coming in late to not getting the work done in a timely manner to using company resources for personal projects, consciously know they are stealing from the company, but will continue to do it until they are caught.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Management as the Alternative to Tyranny

Daily Drucker 10: What steps can you and others take now to improve the performance of the institution for which you are responsible?

1.)  Ensure the collection of accurate data
2.)  Using said data, evaluate the past and current audience and their preferences
3.)  Create profiles of patron groups, and determine if the Symphony needs to change in order to continue to serve or attract them (via communication preferences, programming, etc.)

Friday, January 09, 2015

The New Corporation's Persona

Daily Drucker 9:  Focus on your organization's values, mission, and vision, and consider outsourcing everything else.

Unless a time will come when musicians will show up virtually to work, the core symphony experience will never be outsourced.  But the organization can, and should, outsource in places where it does not have core competencies.  Partnerships with organizations that can be our advocates and and representatives out in the community at schools and community events.  Eliminate the management of music competitions and provide the talent pool for the judges and coaches.  Focus on the production of the music, and hire the talent to do the rest.