How do cultural institutions balance being global and local?

Watch the following video featuring Mikel Ellcessor, General Manager of WDET in Detroit and a…

Is crisis necessary for change?

  Sometimes, but it’s risky. By Gail Crider Crisis generally means loss of strategic perspective,…

How does an organization manage the succession of its founder?

Andrew Walker, Director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, stresses the importance of establishing strong communication with the board and with the community.

What should a leader consider when approaching change?

Jana La Sorte, Founder & Creative Director of Ambassadora, discusses the importance of being upfront an open about what the change will mean for the organization.

How should cultural institutions approach change?

Aaron Dworkin, Dean of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the University of Michigan, discusses the importance of thinking about oneself as a social entrepreneur rather than an arts administrator.

Can brainstorming be an effective tool in building a culture of collaboration and innovation?

Sutton and Hargadon examine how and why an organization, in this case, IDEO, uses brainstorming sessions. They’ve modified the criteria in Hackman’s effectiveness model to include three factors to consider when using brainstorming as a significant process in your organization.

Creating a Sustainable Management System

After years of incremental efforts to reduce energy use and be more sustainable, the Denver Zoo decided to take a more strategic approach.

What is your approach to succession planning?

George Sparks, President and CEO of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, stresses the importance of creating a sustainable system that cultivates leaders.

How have you engaged your staff to cultivate new leaders?

George Sparks, President and CEO of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, talks about the executive’s role in helping staff members create a plan for the future.

What advice would you give to leaders thinking about succession planning?

George Sparks, President and CEO of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, suggests that leaders hire people who will push them and to openly discuss their plans for the future.

What does sustainability mean for arts and culture organizations?

Laura Zabel, Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts, suggests that an organization is simply a tool in service of the mission.

How has your organization reacted to changes in the competitive landscape?

Kim Sajet, President and CEO of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, talks about her organization’s decision to give away its three-dimensional objects.

How should cultural organizations react to the significant changes in their competitive landscape?

Gordon Hewitt, an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at the Stephen M Ross School of Business, discusses the importance of challenging your assumptions.

Orchestras at the Cross Roads

Jesse Rosen, President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras, provides a clear-eyed view…

A Counter-Intuitive Approach to Making Complex Decisions

Giving our minds time to process information when not consciously focused on the decision facing us can result in better outcomes, especially for more complex decisions.

Sparking creativity in teams: An executive’s guide

Creativity is not a trait reserved for the lucky few. By immersing your people in unexpected environments, confronting ingrained orthodoxies, using analogies, and challenging your organization to overcome difficult constraints, you can dramatically boost their creative output—and your own.

“That’s the Way We (Used to) Do Things Around Here”

An article exploring the cognitive barriers at the individual level to change and suggest a more effective way to work with the brain’s wiring rather than against it.

If you were to build an arts organization today on what aspects would you focus?

Abby Marcus, General Manager of The Playwrights’ Center, talks about the importance of flexibility in arts organizations.

Business has much to learn from the arts

A wry, brief paean to the arts and what the world of business has to…

Take Back Your Attention

In this post, Tony Schwartz gives some helpful hints for maintaining focus.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop rallies troops in brutally honest “burning platform” memo

This post very clearly illustrates a wonderful formula for change taught at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan: Discomfort x Vision x First step = Change

Stop Blaming Your Culture

The authors argue one is most likely to succeed using an organization’s existing culture to help change behaviors in the shorter-term. These behaviors can in turn change the culture in the longer run.

Outcome vs Process Oriented Thinking

Research on decision making in consumer behavior, perhaps with broader implications for nonprofits.


The book is divided into short segments with titles such as “Workaholism” and “Reasons to quit” and one of my favorites, “Emulate chefs.” So, if you need a break from the holiday food frenzy or from your great stack of reading, try this book.

Ditch Performance Reviews? How About Learn to do Them Well?

This article highlights some of the challenges to productive performance reviews as well as suggestions for how to overcome them.

Managing Under Complexity: Where is Einstein When You Really Need Him?

An interesting article on how we think about complex situations.

The biology of business: Homo administrans

An interesting article on the science of management

The Zombie Workplace Survival Guide

Just in time for Halloween, the Harvard Business Review blog offers tips for combating the four contagions that create a zombie workplace — “where creative people and good ideas disturbingly molder.”

How do boards of directors add value to nonprofit organizations?

Dr. Rob Wiltbank of Willamette University talks about the importance of a board’s point of view for nonprofit organizations.

How do boards of directors add value to nonprofit organizations?

Dr. Warren Boeker of the University of Washington talks about the importance of clarity of the board’s role and useful performance metrics in nonprofit organizations.

What Can Baseball Tell the Nonprofit World About Measures and Measurement?

A fresh look at empirically driven outcome measures; from the “moneyball” guys. What do you think of the lessons they take away from the example?

Principles Workbook: Steering Your Board Toward Good Governance and Ethical Practice

A workbook designed to help organizations assess and strengthen their governance practices.

Why Bosses Ought to Be More Interested in What is True Than What is New

With the ever-increasing temptation to focus on what’s new, it’s important to remember that most of our challenges (and their solutions) are not so new.

What’s a Children’s Chorus Leader to Do?

A case study on board leadership and organizational growth, featuring a response by NAS CEO Gail Crider.

Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

A fascinating animated talk by Daniel Pink about the surprising things that do (and don’t) motivate people.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Edward Nichols, President and CEO of History Colorado, discusses the need for a clear vision and staff involvement to create change in his organization.

The New Work of the Nonprofit Board

This article describes how to leverage the collective knowledge and networks of your board of directors so they are able to provide your organization with the strategic direction and support it needs.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Kathy Keele, CEO of the Australia Council for the Arts, discusses the need for vision, patience, and staff alignment and engagement to successfully lead change in an organization.

How should arts and culture organizations approach succession planning?

Sally Sterling, an executive search consultant within Spencer Stuart, talks about what boards should be thinking about when planning for succession.

How do you find the right talent for your organization?

Sally Sterling, an executive search consultant within Spencer Stuart, shares her experience in finding the right person for the job.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Sally Sterling, an executive search consultant within Spencer Stuart, discusses the importance of organization-wide involvement and buy-in when creating change.

Motivated Multitasking: How the Brain Keeps Tabs on Two Tasks at Once

For those convinced they are adept multi-taskers, a slim line of defense against the prevailing wisdom that it can’t be done.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Peter Poulos, Senior Director of Communications and Sales at the Detroit Historical Society, discusses the need for leaders to articulate a clear vision and create an inclusive process to successfully implement change in an organization.

Start With Why, Simon Sinek

I recently heard Simon speak at a Dance NYC conference, and his book is as good a review of the importance of mission (although that’s not what it is about) as any I have ever read. You can watch him on TEDx and get a taste of his thinking.

Making Emotional Case for Change: Interview with Chip Heath

An interview with Chip Heath on bringing about change in your organization by appealing to more than just logic.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Cheryl Sobas, Head of Exhibitions at Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, discusses how education helps staff have a more strategic approach to their work, including increased decision-making, collaboration, and awareness of impact.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Howard Spector, Executive Director of P.S. ARTS, discusses the importance of having the right people, providing learning opportunities, and maintaining mission focus to successfully lead an organization through change.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Charmaine Jefferson, Executive Director of the California African American Museum, discusses leading organizations through two types of change – problem-solving in times of crisis and continual assessment and evolution.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Jon Moscone, Artistic Director of the California Shakespeare Theater, shares how his approach to leading change has become increasingly collaborative over the course of his career.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Jocelyn Hale, Executive Director of The Loft Literary Center, discusses the needs for a clear vision and stakeholder engagement when leading change in an organization, especially as a new leader.

Online Course Inspiring & Motivating Arts & Culture Teams today!