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Leadership Without Easy Answers

Some of the greatest achievements in history have been brought about by people who were…

The Transformational Model of Leadership

James MacGregor Burns revolutionized leadership studies in 1978 with the concept of transformational leadership. In…

4 Practices serve as Pillars for Adult Learning: Learning-oriented leadership offers a promising way to support growth

This journal article is a brief and accessible look at the author’s research in adult learning.

Creating High-Impact Nonprofits

This is a study of twelve high performing nonprofits, all in existence for more than ten years, organizations that faced similar social, political and economic circumstances.

Being the Boss: the 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader

The book is a distillation of Linda Hill’s almost 30 years at Harvard Business School (HBS) where she has studied what effective managers do and how they do it.

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

The book is based on the work of a core research team who asked, “What are the crucial differences between intelligence diminishers and intelligence multipliers and what impact does each have on organizations?”

Leading with Passion: Change Management in the 21st Century Museum

Based on her extensive interviews with 42 directors of international art museums, Dr. Suchy describes a four-part leadership model that could apply equally to all cultural organizations.

Real Leadership: Helping People and Organizations Face Their Toughest Challenges

In the chapter, “The Transition Challenge: Moving from One System of Values to Another,” Dean Williams outlines the necessary steps in orchestrating a transition.

Leadership and the Psychology of Turnarounds

This short article provides managers with a quick look at methods that can be used both restoratively and preventatively to create an open, respectful and productive organizational culture.

Of mental models and doorknobs

In a rapidly changing environment, examining and recognizing our mental models is essential if we are to shape organizations that have the resilience to adapt to change.

Finding Your Funding Model

Peter Kim, Gail Perreault and William Foster of the Bridgespan Group argue organizations often have a clearer vision of what their programs will be in five years than of the funding that will support them. They offer a road map for leaders seeking to develop appropriate funding models for their organizations.

The Innovator’s DNA, or More Disruption

What do you think? Can innovation be learned? Does it flow from the individual to the organization? Does it require staggering genius?

Who Is Governing Whom? Senior Managers, Governance and the Structure of Generosity in Large U.S. Firms

Interesting new research from Christopher Marquis and Matthew Lee at Harvard Business School on key structural drivers of corporate philanthropy, including gender, CEO tenure, and board structure.

Public Service, Advocacy and Institutional Transformation

A provocative post by Nina Simon on Musuem 2.0 discussing the role of museums (or…

A Logo Is Not a Brand

Brands aren’t just logos- they are a huge range of things that contribute to customer perceptions.

Note on Technology as a Strategic Tool

How can organizations embrace new IT models to maximize workflow and productivity while reducing IT costs?

Orchestras at the Cross Roads

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

IBM’s Centenary: The Test of Time

The article points to a useful question for cultural leaders: does your artistic mission need to be so intimately tied to a specific “technology,” and if it does, what additional challenges should you therefore expect to face as a leader?

When Business Meets Culture: Ideas and Experiences for Mutual Profit

In this book, eight academics look at the strategic, cultural, and marketing parallels between for…

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.

Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles”

Eli Pariser, the former Executive Director of MoveOn.org and their current Board Chair, highlights the hidden and growing impact of online filters on Google, Facebook, and throughout the internet in this TED video.

HBS Elevator Pitch Builder

There’s a handy (and fun) tool available online from Harvard Business School to make elevator pitch writing easier by focusing on the questions that matter most.

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.

Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results

The two sides of strategy: collaboration and competition, covered in the book “Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results”

OpenIDEO

Are there ways to take what makes each of our arts institutions unique and capture that experience through technology? Is it just the “end product” that engages our communities, or are there opportunities throughout the entire process of creation and presentation?

A New Type of Hybrid

A comparison of the nonprofit and commercial models, and the introduction of a hybrid that may be more appealing.

“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.

Rethinking Capitalism

In this video interview on Rethinking Capitalism, Michael Porter (of Porter’s Five Forces fame, among…

Business has much to learn from the arts

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

Disrupting College

Clay Christensen and his team at Innosight Institute apply Christensen’s model of disruptive innovation 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.

How leadership matters: The effects of leaders’ alignment on strategy implementation

A short research publication about how leaders influence the implementation of strategic initiatives and the…

An Optimist’s Tour of the Future

As arts organizations face an increasing number of challenges, it might help us all to lighten the load by “unlearning” some things – Matt Ridley sketches out what a few of those things might be.

Outcome vs Process Oriented Thinking

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

The Lowdown on Arts Downloading

Is your organization making its performances available outside your ‘regular’ venues? Do you think this will bring new audiences into your venue…or just let them see your work from afar?

The price behind the choices we make

This piece from last week’s Marketplace is good food for thought given the increasing competition for audiences’ time and money.

Should cultural institutions be in the business of “romance” or “precision”? Ask your newcomers

Alfred North Whitehead posits that learning naturally proceeds in three stages: romance, precision and generalization. Are you in the business of romance or precision?

Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science

The arts aren’t under the microscope of evidence-based funding today, but this shift in the thinking around us is already starting to inform the thinking of the program officers and donors upon which we rely.

Rework

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.

Why Can’t Kmart Be Successful While Target and Walmart Thrive?

What can arts organizations learn from the successes and failures of these three discount retailers?…

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.

We Make Do: More Time Is Better, But Budget Is King

Given the challenges facing both those who have facilities and those who want access to facilities, are there opportunities for communities to work together to overcome these challenges?

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

An interesting article on how we think about complex situations.

Why Can’t Big Companies Solve Big Problems?

How to enable hybrid thinking to solve problems in your organization.

Faith, Hope and Charities

An interesting article on the relationship of trust between charities and the public.

All Together: A Creative Approach to Organisational Change

This report describes the Royal Shakespeare Company’s creative response to external changes that allowed it to grow while staying true to its core mission.

RSA Animate – Extraordinary ’21st Century Enlightenment’

From the RSA in London, a gaggle of animated videos from their public events series.

Stealing Fire: Creative Deviance in the Evolution of New Ideas

A different look at how you create break-through innovation.