Archive | November, 2012

Darth Vader demonstrating no tolerance for failure

The Empire Strikes Back

EXTERIOR PLAIN OF HOTH MINNEAPOLIS – HELICOPTER SHOT – DAY: A white snowscape races toward camera … the MAIN TITLE quickly recedes, followed by a roll-up. Episode V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK… Although certainly not science fiction, the recent opinion piece co-authored by Minnesota Orchestra Association (MOA) board chair Jon Campbell and MOA negotiation chair Richard K. Davis and published in the 11/28/12 edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune still managed to contain what some might consider a rather cinematic tone. There were bad guys, victims, and loads of anguish all set […]

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No Confidence Vs. Full Confidence

On 11/27/2012, the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra issued a notice that they had unanimously voted No Confidence in Minnesota Orchestral Association (MOA) President and CEO, Michael Henson. Although the measure requires no contractually obligated action on part of the MOA board, it does escalate the tone of an already bitter dispute. Although the musicians have a long list of reasons to justify their vote of No Confidence, they did not request or suggest any actionable recourse. However, musicians negotiating committee chair, Tim Zavadil, did hint at the potential for getting the […]

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After all, it is the gift giving season.

Let There Be Transparency: The Minnesota 990s

Maybe it’s the approach of the holiday gift giving season, but I felt compelled to crack open my consulting document vault (which is usually closed to all but paying clients) and put together all of the Minnesota Orchestra Association (MOA) IRS Form 990s I have on file into a single downloadable file. Given the recent events uncovered in Graydon Royce’s Star Tribune article from 11/26/12 and growing armchair analysis throughout online outlets, it seems appropriate to provide this sort of transparency to any interested party. Although there are a few gaps (98-99 […]

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In Minnesota, The Game Is Afoot

The Minneapolis Star Tribune published an article on 11/26/2012 by Graydon Royce that may very well be one of the most influential examinations of the ongoing labor dispute between the Minnesota Orchestra Association (MOA) and their musicians. Of particular note, Royce reports that the MOA intentionally obfuscated financial troubles in 2009 and 2010 with the intent of exacerbating conditions in 2011 in order to increase negotiation leverage in 2012. Royce’s apparently uncovered this information following his review of MOA executive committee notes where he uncovered the following item. “Balances in 2009 and […]

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What We Need Is Another Abraham Lincoln

Back in 2005, I published a post titled What We Need Is Another Henry Ford that suggested stagnant management techniques and outdated operating models were pushing the orchestra field toward trouble. Although a popular post for its time, reader email was dismissive and in some cases, outright hostile in response to what might as well have been heresy (remember, 2005 predates comment functionality). Fast forward seven years and the field is now full of new model discussions while too many organizations are suffering under the strains of insular leadership identified several years […]

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