The mood at our visual arts center doesn’t feel right. Somehow, we’ve lost touch with our purpose. We’ve drifted. Each staff member is doing his or her own thing. We think it’s still working. But we don’t feel cohesive and purposeful anymore.
We’re stalled at our theatre. We don’t feel artistic excitement anymore. Battles about our future direction are wearing us down. What should we do?
Our historical society’s collections came to us over the years without any real thought or planning. Now we need to clarify our purpose and role in the community. How do we decide who we are?
When our performing arts center was in its infancy, we didn't think to worry about systems and procedures, clearly defined roles or channels of communication. But now we realize that things aren't working. What can we do?
The question of leadership is at the crux of each of these situations. How are plans made? How are decisions rendered? How does the communication flow? In short, what is the best way for trustees and staff to work together to advance the organization’s mission?
Just as a financial audit reveals the fiscal health of an organization, Management Consultants for the Arts, can assess your organization’s performance, measuring it against stated objectives.
There are various forms of analysis we can conduct, two of which are described briefly below, and in greater detail in our publication, “Organizational Analysis: Beyond the Looking Glass”:
A brief organizational analysis is much like a snapshot of your organization. We show how it works today. We examine the relationships between trustees and staff – where consensus does and does not exist, how the parties relate to one another.
We then compare this snapshot with the organization’s mission and objectives. Has the organization strayed? If so, how can it be brought back? Or, should perhaps the mission be revised to reflect a changed environment? Just as importantly, are initiatives in line with available resources?
A full organizational analysis begins with extensive research into your organization’s history, financial standing, staffing and board. We interview all key players through one-on-one discussions, group sessions and, when appropriate, one- or two-day retreats. Occasionally, surveys or questionnaires are used.
The Final Product
We provide a comprehensive written document detailing our diagnosis of your organization’s health in terms of mission, leadership and direction. Where needed, we may recommend restructuring, job description revisions, and redefinitions of roles or perhaps alternative modes of governance. The aim of our recommendations is to ensure that board, management and staff work together to further the organization’s objectives.
The analysis, whether brief or full, can be used as a baseline study to improve the effectiveness of the organization in the short term, or as a springboard for strategic planning. Some clients request organizational analysis on a regular basis.
Management Consultants for the Arts is ideally suited to assist in this process. Besides offering an objective, third–party view, our staff’s years of familiarity with the cultural community ensure that their counsel is rooted in practical experience.