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Leading Change

Much of our work introduces frameworks meant to help arts leaders improve their organizations. Putting those frameworks into action requires change, but how does one lead change in an organization? We developed this online video catalog of arts leaders talking about just that. These video “snapshots” from arts and culture leaders reflect the wisdom of a broad and diverse field.

The Planks for Leading Change

Inspired by the HBR article, “Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail,” Nancy Koehn offers these nine planks (and their sequence) necessary for leading a successful change effort. 

VUCA

VUCA is an acronym used to describe situations or environments with high levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

Making Innovation Happen

Jeff DeGraff, professor of management at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, outlines what it takes to make innovation happen.

Finding Resources for Innovation

Jeff DeGraff, professor of management at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, answers those who say they don’t have enough money to experiment.

Competing Values

Jeff DeGraff, professor of management at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, introduces the concept of competing values.

Creating High-Performing Teams

Paula Caproni, professor of management at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, outlines the keys to creating high-performing teams.

How do you re-engineer a cultural institution with a long history and numerous stakeholders?

Brian Ferriso, the Marilyn H. & Dr. Robert B. Pamplin, Jr. Director of the Portland Art Museum, talks about how incremental changes over time have built a sustainable and vibrant path for the Portland Art Museum.

How do cultural institutions break down internal silos?

Ken Neufeld, former president of Victoria Theatre Association, talks about that organization’s experience in cross-departmental collaboration.

What does “sustainability” mean in the arts and culture field?

Scholar, lecturer and teacher, Diane Ragsdale, asks some important questions about sustainability in the arts – what it means for organizations and for the field.

How does a leader effect change?

Mary Lou Aleskie, Director of the Hopkins Center for the Arts, talks about the importance of balancing data and passion.

As a new museum director, what are your main goals and priorities?

Eric Shiner, Director of the Andy Warhol Museum, talks about the importance of a realistic, pragmatic approach to change.

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.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Patricia Mooradian, President of The Henry Ford, discusses the importance of a passionate leader, a deep knowledge of the organization and a clearly communicated plan when leading an organization through change.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Kenneth Fischer, former President of the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan, shares his experience leading change at UMS and stresses the importance of getting smart, experienced, passionate people involved and staying out of their way.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Julie Stapf, Director of Marketing for the Hartford Stage Company, discusses the importance of building an environment of trust and fostering a sense of ownership when leading an organization through change.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Michael Stotts, Managing Director of the Hartford Stage Company, discusses the importance of transparency and consensus-building when leading an organization through change.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Patricia Walker, Chief Operating Officer of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, discusses the importance of getting the right people behind an idea and getting staff buy-in when leading an organization through change.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Susan Broad, Executive Director of DuPage Children’s Museum, discusses the importance of transparency, trust and working with staff when leading an organization through change.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Alison Segebarth, Director of Marketing for DuPage Children’s Museum, discusses the importance of communication, flexibility and momentum when leading an organization through change.

What is a cultural asset map?

Ian David Moss, Research Director for Fractured Atlas, discusses his work on the Bay Area Cultural Asset Map for The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Rebecca Hunter, Executive Producer of the Redmoon Theater in Chicago, discusses her experience leading drastic change in the face of a cash-flow crisis.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Mike Yankovich, President and CEO of the Children’s Museum of Denver, shares his insights about how a leader can motivate and build consensus when leading change.

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.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Erin Elman, Dean of Continuing Studies at The University of the Arts, discusses the need to build consensus, use data to inform decisions and accept mistakes when leading an organization through change.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Barbara Ceiga, Vice President of Public Operations at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, discusses the need to get the staff aligned with directional change to successfully effect change.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Joanna Naftali, Executive Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago, discusses the challenges of leading change in a small arts organization as a new executive.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Jessica Deutsch, Marketing and Publicity Manager for Milkweed Editions in Minneapolis, discusses the importance of engaging the collective wisdom of an organization’s staff when leading an organization through change.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Greg Carpenter, General Director of Opera Colorado, discusses the value of anchoring change to a strong, articulated vision.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Linda Hafer, Executive Director of The Art League in Alexandria, Virginia, shares her insights about building consensus when implementing change in an organization.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Kelly Ruggirello, President of the Pacific Chorale in Orange County, California, discusses how to approach organizational change as an opportunity for relationship building with constituents.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Tom Scharf, Executive Director of the Swallow Hill Music Association in Denver, shares his three critical steps to leading change in an organization.

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 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.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Dr. Gary Vikan, Director of The Walters Art Museum, discusses how the creation of a culture of shared responsibility and education enables and reinforces change in an organization.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Peter Jablow, President and CEO of the Levine School of Music, discusses three types of people you may encounter within your organization when leading change and the need for sensitivity and patience to implement change successfully.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Kate Lorenz, Executive Director of Hyde Park Art Center, discusses some of the challenges of leading change in an organization, from negotiating the diverse interests of stakeholders to being deliberate about prioritizing which changes to pursue.

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.

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.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Ben Donenberg, Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Shakespeare Festival/LA, shares how his approach to leading change has shifted from being unilateral to collaborative over the course of his career.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Terence McFarland, Executive Director of the LA Stage Alliance, discusses how critical listening is to creating a compelling vision and leading an organization successfully through change.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Dr. Michael Hager, President and CEO of the San Diego Natural History Museum, shares his experience leading his organization through a major shift in mission and culture.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Rachel Fine, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, shares her experience leading her board of directors through the development and adoption of explicit board expectations.

How does a leader effect change in his organization?

Sean McManus, Senior Director at Film Independent, discusses responding to and leading change in the constantly changing film industry.

Do arts institutions need to change their business models?

Tracy S. Harris, Chief Financial Officer of The BondFactor Company and NAS board member, discusses the need for innovation in arts and culture organizations.

How does a leader effect change in her organization?

Tracy S. Harris, NAS board member, talks about the need for vision, benchmarks and collaboration to create an organizational culture that embraces constant change and improvement.