• Articles

    People Matter.

    What are you working on? Do you have a hobby or skill that you pursue outside of your day job? Some people build model train sets, others go ice skating. Some folk coach Little League baseball, and others knit. What’s your hobby? (Tell me in the comments below). It’s interesting that over the past 10 days or so something has come to light in my world prompted by several emails following my “Keeping up appearances” post last week. That something is a project. No, a Project. Well, to be perfectly honest, it’s a “Major Project.” Much of the encouragement and advice you’ve shared in comments, tweets and emails has been…

  • Articles

    Unexpected advice and a possible way forward

    What an incredible week. My last blog post “Keeping up appearances” attracted the most views I’ve ever had, as well as the most comments. Thank you! It is clear that many of you believe a small group of advisers or friends with whom you can share disappointments is a good thing, but even better is a mentor or two. I must admit to constantly referring back to the same handful of people on many matters, but unfortunately I have yet to come across a mentoring candidate in my industry who is on the same playing field/ experienced in what I’m trying to do/ ignoring staid industry norms. Not even the…

  • Articles

    Keeping up appearances

    I recently received some rather disappointing news. Normally, no-one would know except my poor wife who would end up tolerating my pottering around the house and moping through the kitchen cupboards kidding myself I needed something to munch on. But the rest of the world wouldn’t know. Blog posts would still appear on schedule, uplifting tweets would still get posted, and the occasional Facebook message would continue to find its way into the ether. Students would continue to strive for goals just out of their current reach, audiences would cheer and applaud, and colleagues would continue to rely on the ever-smiling, ever-present, ever-reliable SPB to be there for them. All…

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    A day in the life of you…

    Can you help me? I’m not sure what ‘being productive’ means anymore. Perhaps you can share your thoughts below. Many times I’m asked “What do you actually DO?” Today (yesterday, by the time this is published) I accomplished the following: Shopped for a new suit, baked some cookies, had a lunch meeting and then an afternoon chat, kept up with most of my emails and social media, completed an online training and prepared the content of a new financial report schedule for my team, watched some audience development, volunteer and photography tips videos on Youtube, and read Ken Blanchard’s book “Full Steam Ahead.” Yes, you read that correctly: I read…

  • Articles

    World Orchestra Summit

    “I’m about to turn the orchestra world on its head and spin it around a few times.” Stephen P Brown The current state of orchestras in the USA is embarrassingly unsound, to say the least. The Western World’s orchestral industry has been decimated by highly inflated costs and drastically reduced public interest. Orchestras all over the world are exploring options for future survival, a few unsuccessfully. I believe the basic foundation blocks upon which the “Industry” or “Establishment” has been built have been cracked for some time and are now crumbling under the weight of so many bandages. Whilst in college some 20+ years ago, I warned of orchestras failing…