Archive | Executive Affairs

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Breaking The Glass Ceiling Back In 2004

One of my all-time favorite interviews is from 2004 with Marianne Lockwood. At the time, she was serving as executive director for Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) after spending 20 years with the ensemble growing it from a tiny vanity ensemble project into one of the first, and arguably, only genuine new model orchestral performing arts organization. Although female executives were certainly not unheard of at that time, there were far fewer than we enjoy today. In that sense, Lockwood was a genuine pioneer but a female executive was only the tip […]

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Examining The Value Of Morals Clauses

A morals clause, a provision in a contract or work agreement that prohibits or penalizes certain behaviors, have been around since the early part of the 20th century but by and large, they haven’t entered into mainstream employment agreements throughout the performing arts field. For the most part, they really aren’t applicable and/or the salaries involved didn’t rise to a level that would trigger these sorts of concerns. But the steady rise of the top-tier executive class, and its associated signing bonuses, frontloaded perks, and $1+mm salaries, may bring about unintended consequences […]

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If You’re Over 40 And Make Decisions About your Org’s Website, You Need To Watch This Video

We’ve all been in one of those meetings where important decisions need to be made about something crucial to an arts organization’s success and the senior executive responsible for making the decision seems hell-bent on a direction that screams out-of-date and out-of-touch. That’s HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) decision making at its worst. Although experience is worth its weight in gold, it doesn’t come without baggage and effective executives will be vigilant about preventing those failings, which I like to call experience anchors, from interfering with progress. One area within the field […]

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How To Stop Saying No To Ideas

Experience is a wonderful thing; it provides leaders with the ability to analyze a large amount of variables in short order while simultaneously arriving at a decision with a reliable degree certainty that it is indeed the best course of action. After a certain career threshold, this skill becomes a second skin, you wear it so comfortably that you don’t give it another thought. But how often do you take the time to think about what let you develop that ability? Odds are, it wasn’t due to mentors and managers shutting down […]

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San Diego Opera Paid Ex-Execs $1mil

The end of the 2013-14 season was a turbulent time for the San Diego Opera (SDO); its ex-General Director, Ian Campbell, declared that the city could no longer support his vision of grand opera and as a result, the organization should be shuttered. An influential faction with the SDO board decided to go along with the plan but things went sour for Campbell’s plan and the SDO is alive and well thanks to the positive influence of a coalition of stakeholders and supporters. But it seems that Campbell managed to get one […]

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