Inciting a Free for All: Empowering staff, breaking down silos and changing a culture

By    Nov 1, 2012

Matías Tarnopolsky, Director of Cal Performances, arrived at a time when the organization faced substantial internal and external challenges. Within the institution, some of the staff was wary of change after recent layoffs. Externally, the organization lacked a strong connection with its community. Tarnopolsky created the Fall Free for All – an open house of free music, dance and theater performances – in response to both of these issues, giving staff a chance to work together on a large-scale project while reconnecting with the community in a meaningful way. The outcome was overwhelming, with twice as many attendees as the staff had anticipated. The Free for All has now become an important annual event for both Cal Performances and the Berkeley area.

Learning objectives:

To learn how a leader can effectively lead a cultural shift within the organization through staff empowerment and breaking down silos