Tag Archives: Year in review

7. Society short changes itself when it values only the product of an artist’s labour.

Credit Robin Uchida with this Yoda-like utterance of something so obvious that it’s almost invisible.  In a nutshell, he pointed out the 21st century challenge of understanding the value of artists to society in terms of everything they contribute other than the objects they produce. Why? Because the reality is that the vast majority of artists, for…
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6. Sooner or later, a brilliant idea will stall if the boring fundamentals of structures and systems are wrong.

We’ve got a client, whose name I won’t mention (other than to say that it’s the acronym for Artists Know It’s Necessary), that acquires, outfits, manages, services, and programs space for artists.  They create studios in places and prices that would otherwise be inaccessible, and they do it in a manner that makes artists feel…
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5. Project design, not authority and mandate, is the most important determinant of success.

Projects are rightly conceived as separate from the daily, ongoing operation of an organization. Yet they are as dependent for success on sound structures, systems, policies, principles, and practices as is any business operation. A multi-year plan to create a building, occurs at the confluence of many streams, each with its specialized subject matter experts…
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3. Leadership is not a commodity, and so is more reliably cultivated than acquired.

The habit of buying leadership persists in corporations of all kinds, but nowhere more than in the arts.  It’s amazing how old names pop up in new places. Elsewhere, familiarity breeds contempt, but in arts management, it engenders trust. Performance, ability, and achievement are relegated as factors by organizations seeking instead a steady hand, preferring like…
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