All posts filed under: strategy

How to set up a community engagement program that is diverse and inclusive.

In many ways, Los Angeles could be considered an arts education desert. Children are not afforded the opportunity to receive sequential learning in the arts. At Colburn, I was asked to develop a pipeline of learning that was sequential in nature and helped students in the program develop the skills necessary to thrive.The school altered its mission, ever so slightly, to reflect a new way of thinking about how we engage with our community. Instead of providing “Access and Excellence,” we now provide “Access TO Excellence.” It’s incredible how changing one word makes such a difference in our vision for programming.My guess is that some of you are thinking. “Wait, if we pursue excellence, isn’t that an elitist pursuit?”My answer is simple. Programming is not elite if it’s diverse and inclusive!If organizations are going to tip the scales towards excellence, they should be offering the same type of training that any family of means could provide for their children. At Colburn we have developed programming rooted in excellence for about 200 students. This is the …

8 steps artists can take to achieve their three year strategic plan.

Yesterday, I wrote about ways artists can create a three year strategic plan. Here are eight steps to take your ideas from planning to action. Set Incremental Goals—Take the strategy statement you created from the previous post and start to set some goals for how you will accomplish the work over the next three years. I like to think in quarters over three years because your goals become more attainable when you split them up. That means that you have 12 checkins with yourself to see if you’re accomplishing your established goals. Set Categories—I would suggest breaking down your goals into three buckets: Work/Life Balance Goals, Financial Stability Goals, and Artistically Fulfilling Work Goals. Within each category you might have 3-5 goals you’d like to accomplish. Write them beneath each category. Set Benchmarks—For example, instead of saying “I’d like to have more artistically fulfilling gigs in three years,” say “By July of 2018, I’d like to have a minimum of three more artistically satisfying performance opportunities.” This gives you a way to evaluate how you’ve done …

Career planning for artists: Why a three year plan of action is the new ten.

What do you see yourself doing in five to ten years? That’s a big, important, overwhelming question. In my experience, five to ten years is too long of a runway to come up with a concrete plan of action. Think about all of the things you’ve done over the last five to ten years. You’ve likely had some major life changes in that time. Planning that far into the future isn’t really a productive exercise in our fast paced world. When I advise artists, instead of asking them to map out the next ten years, I ask them to picture their ideal career in three years. Three years gives my clients enough time and space to think about what they want to do, come up with a plan, and act on it. Here are some steps you can take to come up with a strategic plan for your life and career: Forget the pathways that have been prescribed to you — To start any strategic planning process, I always encourage artists to consider the variety of …

Launching a new ensemble, organization, or business? Read this, Part IV.

This is step 4 of a series of posts designed to help you launch a new ensemble, organization, or business. Before you read this post, make sure you start with this post, followed by this post, and this post. Here are some steps to help you research and identify the resources necessary to launch your idea. One of the most important aspects of launching a new venture is to think deeply about the resources you will need to launch your idea. There are three recommended steps to this part of the process: Research—Seek out online resources, books, and interviews with successful individuals who have experience doing similar work to the new venture you’d like to launch. Tip: When conducting research, focus on the over arching conceptual of what is being said instead of specific venture being covered; you will discover that knowledge, in any form, can be applicable if applied correctly—even from a seemingly unrelated subject matter. Recommended Resources: Pat Flynn The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses Business Model …

The reason why higher education values time served rather than competency.

I remember vividly, my undergraduate degree. Semester after semester, I took 20+ credits, balancing private lessons with ensemble work, education courses, and my general studies. On top of that, I worked as an RA and held a few odd jobs over my time in school in order to make ends meet. The accumulation of work often buried me so deeply that I remember finishing each semester feeling like I had made it through the race but didn’t really have anything of quality to show for the work. One of the biggest reasons many of us are over stretched during college is that higher education values the amount of time we are physically in a classroom, rather than our ability to show competency. In Cracking The Credit Hour, Amy Laitinen takes an objective look at the state of higher education. This is a must read for all and here are a few takeaways from the report: The Credit Hour—the unit of measurement that determines competency for college students—was developed in 1906 by Andrew Carnegie. The reason for this …