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  • Barry's Blog: April 2005
    CONTENTS I Introduction to this Update Blog II Public Policy Debate The debate surrounding the Rand Report on Making the Case for the Arts III Bits Pieces Link Connections news from around the country IV Post Tsunami Personal Notes I was in Thailand December 26th and got caught in the Tsunami This is just a personal account of the experience and if you aren t interested please skip it Hello everyone And the beat goes oo He s baaaack I INTRODUCTION You broke my heart cause I couldn t dance you didn t even want me around but now I m back to let you know I can really shake em down well do you love me Hello My name is Barry Hessenius and I was the Director of the California Arts Council state agency for four and one half years Prior to that I was the President of the California Assembly of Local Arts Agencies for four years For the last three years as Director of the Arts Council I wrote a Weekly Update email that was sent to some 10 000 people in the arts field mostly in California It was a way to stay in touch with my field to share ideas and thoughts about issues facing the arts in my state and a means to transmit information about programs projects services events and the like that I thought were of interest to some or all of my constituents It was also a way to try to build a sense of community among the divergent and geographically separate sectors of the arts field in my state More often than not happenings in one sector had a relationship to others I had become a Blogger before Blogs were invented or before I knew what the term meant I tried to make the update stand out by introducing each item with a song lyric heading I used to practice law and represented rock and roll artists in the 70 s and early 80 s I also tried to personalize the updates and make them more friendly and folksy so as to make reading them more appealing to people who received them I always included a Table of Contents so people could skip to items of particular interest and tried to alert people to sections of the update that were from time to time of a more personal nature so that they could either take those sections with a grain of salt or avoid them completely if they so desired As I resent unsolicited intrusion into my own email box I tried not to waste peopleâ s time with too much of my own self indulgence I was delighted that these Updates were so warmly received Over time many of my fellow Executive Directors around the country subscribed and were kind enough to pass the word along in their states so that the list of recipients continued to grow beyond California I enjoyed doing them and since leaving the Arts Council it is one of the things I have truly missed People have been encouraging me to start a new Arts Weekly Update Blog that would have a national perspective and after conversations with Anthony Radich at WESTAF I have put together a new ARTS Blog Update to be distributed by WESTAF on a pilot basis beginning this week Thank you Anthony I have changed the name slightly so as to avoid any confusion that this is the old Update I did for the CAC or that I am any longer the Director or affiliated with the CAC in any way I will try to provide items that will be interesting entertaining and most of all useful and relevant to your work in the arts no matter what you do or where you do it Aimed primarily at those who work in the nonprofit arts sector as it says on the logo news advice and opinion for the arts administrator I hope it will also have relevance to the wider audience of arts supporters While I will search other sites for information that might be of interest to pass on I will try not to duplicate other blogs and newsletters I am not being paid anything for doing this Update and the opinions I express will be solely mine for which no one else will be responsible While an appointee of the Governor in California I had to be somewhat circumspect in voicing my thoughts I now have a greater degree of freedom of expression Like everyone else I am opinionated I believe however that the arts must be a bipartisan issue and thus I avoid for the most part directly challenging or alienating either side of the political spectrum at least needlessly There is a huge inventory of issues facing the arts that will provoke people to debate and disagreement issues of potential major impact issues that need to be discussed and explored I seek to identify and offer some thoughts on these bigger policy issues facing the arts with the hope that I might help to facilitate more dialogue within our community I also hope to use the platform to invite from time to time leaders in various sectors of the arts community to carry on public policy blog discussions and hope that readers will participate in those discussions by adding their own comments see item II about an Artsjournal blog discussion If you find the Update of value and worthwhile I would very much appreciate it if you would forward this or any subsequent Update to friends and colleagues and people on your listserv or mailing list or otherwise circulate it or news about it in your states and communities to your fellow colleagues staffers board members volunteers audiences and constituents and ask them to consider subscribing so that the list may grow We will have a link for subscribing to the Update and an archive of past Updates on the site www westaf org blog and if you might consider putting the link on your websites I would appreciate it If you don t like it find it boring or for whatever reason don t want to receive it you need only click the UNSUBSCRIBE link and enter your email address to quickly remove your name from the list Some weeks the Update will be short usually much shorter than this one others weeks longer Some weeks I may not be able to get it out at all If you have something you think I might pass on via the Update an issue you think important to comment on positive or negative reactions to my editorial opinions news about some successful program or project that others should know about or any thoughts or ideas about how I might make this vehicle work for people in the arts I would appreciate hearing from you Please add me to your email newsletters Most of you who are reading this were on my original list and are familiar with the Update I hope you have been well and that I am still welcome in your email boxes I have missed you all over the past year I very much appreciate your consideration and your help Thank you A special thanks to Matthew Saunders and Mary Headrick at WESTAF for all their help and to Theresa D Onofrio for the initial design of the Blog logo II RAND REPORT ON ARTS RESEARCH AND MAKING THE CASE DEBATE Try try try to separate them it s an illusion You can t have one without the other Several weeks ago Arts Journal com a daily weekly arts newsletter edited by Douglas McLellan held a public policy blog discussion group addressing the recent Rand study which called into question the validity of studies in support of the value and impact of the arts on areas ranging from economics to education and questioned whether or not the arts might be better off embracing more intrinsic value arguments in their favor The question put to a panel of some of the arts community s best thinkers was whether or not there was a better case to be made for the arts The discussion lasted a week with insightful intelligent postings back and forth by the panel that included among others Bob Lynch Americans for the Arts former NEA Chair Bill Ivey Andrew Taylor head of the Bolz Institute Ben Cameron Executive Director of the Theater Communications Group and Phil Kennicott Culture Critic of the Washington Post and was augmented by a score of people from the field who added their thoughts and comments The content of the discussion centered on the pros and cons of focusing on the intrinsic value s of the arts vs the more empirical data in support of the economic educational and other benefits of the arts There were numerous points about defining what the arts are and to whom are we making the case there were pleas to approach the task from a more realistic perspective and for more field organization and there were serious questions regarding the Rand study itself It would be a mistake for the arts community to accept the Rand study on its face to now turn away from the arguments we have used quite effectively and instead embrace exclusively the intrinsic arguments a mistake to allow either the negative media coverage that has already surrounded the study or the conclusions of the study itself to stand unchallenged I have worked with the Rand Corporation before and hold them in high regard but I share with others serious reservations about the Rand report not its motives but it s methodology and its conclusions I doubt five percent of all social economic educational research is flawless that doesn t mean it is invalid nor that it is valueless The economic and educational benefit studies of the past decade have served the arts community well they have in fact worked as the progress we have made aptly demonstrates The arts should of course use every argument they can possibly muster for multiple target audiences and it may indeed be time to include the intrinsic arguments as a greater part of an overall strategy They aren t mutually exclusive they complement each other But to conclude that the studies are flawed and that as arguments they don t necessarily work is an assertion that may or may not be true and may ultimately beg the question There are doubtless multiple reasons why the arguments we have used any and all of them may not yet have got us where we want to be The reason we aren t there yet may have nothing to do with the arguments themselves but more to do with the lack of political power we wield In truth legislators and decision makers frequently embrace studies that support positions they want to take and dismiss and diminish those that support positions they oppose and they often take positions more for political reasons than for other reasons While the Rand study is a wake up call and asks important questions it also over simplifies the issue and does us a disservice in that regard The policy and political implications concerning the study need a lot more analysis and discussion within our community and we should not take the Rand findings as gospel The arts should not let the Rand Corporation s image and stature intimidate it into blind acceptance of its report as doctrine I have talked to a lot of people who followed all or part of the Artsjournal s fascinating blog discussion and there is widespread applause for the effort and the content of that discussion Clearly we need more public policy discussion in our field on a variety of issues The weblog device seems particularly well suited for this kind of enterprise Unlike conference panels the weblog allows for far greater in depth discussion of issues and more time for those participating to digest ideas and respond with well reasoned points The participants of the Artjournal s blog all with busy schedules nonetheless seemed to enjoy the exercise and found time to take and keep the discussion at a very high level of thought Moreover the format allowed for a more conversational style and that made reading the postings easier and more enjoyable for everyone I hope we see more of these I urge everyone to go to www Artsjournal com muse and review the discussion of last weekâ s policy blog and if you aren t a subscriber to Artsjournal you should be it is a wonderful clearinghouse of ideas and news links and there are a number of arts related blogs available to sample as well go to www artsjournal com and subscribe on the upper right hand side My favorite arts blog is Andrew Taylor s The Artful Manager I don t know Andrew but he is consistently insightful more often than not right on the money has a wonderful writing style and knows his stuff I read him all the time and recommend him highly Go to the Artsjournal to subscribe to any of the blogs It s easy III BITS PIECES Old enough to remember the Dave Clark 5 song LINK CONNECTIONS As a regular feature of this Update I will try to pass on links that I find that I think may be of use or interest to you including links to current research Here s a few www opensecrets org This site allows you to find out who gives money and how much to those running for public office directly via PACs and 527 funds Type in the name find out how much they gave and to whom Cool Looking for a job Check WESTAF s job site www artjob org Here are three other good sites listing nonprofit jobs throughout the country www nonprofit jobs org www deepsweep com www philanthropy com jobs http nces ed gov programs digest d03 tables dt215 asp This is a government site with tons of statistics on education broken down every conceivable way including by state Understaffed Internship in a Box is a PDF guidebook by Careerphilly com that includes information about how an organization can design a customized internship program for high school undergraduate or graduate students Definitely worth downloading Got a great link you re willing to share please let me know NEWS FROM AROUND I will also try to pass on news of what is going on around the country in the arts field that I think will have widespread interest if you have any item you think might fit in this section please let me know at the email address listed at the end of this update ARTS EDUCATION NEWS Rhode Island The RI state board of regents established graduation requirements based on proficiency rather than credits or seat time and the arts council successfully advocated with the regents to include the arts as a basic subject congratulations Randy Rosenbaum and all involved So starting with this year s ninth graders students will need to demonstrate their proficiency in one or more art forms in order to graduate The Arts Learning Network is a partnership with the state departments of elementary and secondary education and the office of higher education and others to define proficiency and build partnerships with the state s educators and professional arts organizations It s all described on http www riartslearning net which includes portfolio based examples of student work And in California San Francisco Unified School District is spending 100 000 preparing a master plan to make art an equal part of the K 12 curriculum http sfexaminer com articles 2005 03 22 news 20050322 ne06 cityschools txt while Los Angeles is in the middle of their ten year plan to make the arts part of the core curriculum http www dailynews com Stories 0 1413 200 257E24781 257E2776347 00 html IV POST TSUNAMI PERSONAL NOTES There but for fortune go you and I you and I I spent much of the summer and fall writing a book on Nonprofit Advocacy which I am now shopping to publishers and putting together one and two day workshops on nonprofit lobbying more on that in the future When I was finished in mid December I returned to Southeast Asia for my annual trek this is the 7th time I have traveled to Thailand and neighboring countries I was in Phuket Thailand December 26th when the Tsunami hit and because of good luck and the powers that be I am here to tell the tale It was close I felt the earthquake at about 8 45 in the morning I was reading a book laying on a divan in my rooms on the second floor of the guest house I always stay in some three hundred yards from Patong Beach I felt the building sway First I thought it was my imagination but it lasted several minutes and as I lay there I was pretty sure it was an earthquake I m a California boy and I know an earthquake when I feel it Most of the time anyway It was mild and nothing was knocked off any shelves or anything like that and so I knew it must be pretty far away I went back to reading my book and didn t think anything more about it I know diddley about tsunamis and the possibility of one never even entered my mind About forty minutes later I thought I would go down to the beach for breakfast Most mornings I had breakfast at a little restaurants right on the beach no more than a four minute walk from my rooms There are two main streets from the main road leading to the beach In between my guest house is on a small Soi street or alley in Thai and it veers in and around several buildings between my rooms and the main

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2005_04_01_archive.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Awards / Rewards
    I knew it I think it helped in motivating them to continue to do the excellent work they had been doing It was relative inexpensive to do and paid big dividends And it made the recipients feel good and that is important I think more organizations should do just that And not only with their staffs but with their Boards their donors and supporters and even partners and government authorizing agencies if applicable Of course rewards are always appreciated Days off special parking places bonuses salary increases increased decision making authority and other tangible expressions of thanks go a long way but I believe just the formalization of recognition and thanks is the key So I would urge all of you to consider who within your organization you might be overdue in acknowledging and thanking for their past and ongoing contributions and then do it Google trophy awards and you will be surprised how inexpensive you can get engraved awards Have a great week Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 12 50 AM No comments Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Creative Vitality Suite Defined by the 59 SOC codes used in CVSuite Subscribe via email Enter your email address Delivered by FeedBurner Subscribe via Reader Subscribe in a reader Barry s Blog is a service of the Western States Arts Federation WESTAF The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of WESTAF Followers Buy Barry s Book HARDBALL LOBBYING FOR NONPROFITS Barry learned political advocacy the hard way convincing the California legislature to multiply many fold its investment in arts funding In his new book Barry extracts the lessons of his long experience into a readable and impassioned tutorial that has broad application throughout the nonprofit sector John Kriedler former President Community Initiative Fund This is a powerful provocative and daring look at the ups and downs of fighting for beliefs The book straightforwardly mixes together simple clear definitions strong opinions new ideas and in your face strategies all designed to help the good guys win Robert L Lynch President CEO Americans for the Arts Hardball Lobbying is an essential tool for every nonprofit leader who wants to see systems change and public dollars flow to the causes they care about Tim Wolfred Psy D Director of Leadership Services CompassPoint For those who want to begin a nonprofit I can think of no better guide and toolkit that Hardball Government students should read this as an insight into decision making as Barry explains how government and groups interact with one another at all levels Hardball is definitely not a book to collect dust but one to get dog eared highlighted debated and used Representative Adam Schiff U S Congress 29 th District California Click here http amzn to d1whZU HIRE BARRY TO SPEAK AT YOUR CONFERENCE email barryarts comcast net HIRE BARRY TO LEAD WORKSHOPS in Advocacy full and half day sessions customized to your situation Managing the

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2016/01/awards-rewards.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Life's A Pitch
    Time is the most precious commodity and wasting time on a failed pitch makes no sense on any level Two we can learn something from every pitch large and small successful and unsuccessful and being aware of recognizing when we are pitching and then learning from what worked and didn t work may well make us better pitchers in the long run Because we are all pitching constantly it might help if we pay attention to the phenomenon A good pitch has some identifiable threads 1 Brevity it gets the idea across quickly 2 Substance the idea has merit and legs and deserves consideration 3 Realism the idea is do able on every level 4 excitement the pitch promises a valuable experience and 5 Benefit realization of the substance of the pitch is beneficial to both the pitcher and the pitchee But even if all the elements are top form a pitch may fail And as all pitches are on many levels personal the benefit being pitched must be accepted as such by the person to whom it is being pitched Even when we are not pitching something specific thinking like a pitchman may have benefits Communicating with others in a concise organized and brief way is a good habit Making that communication interesting and appealing as well as reasoned and realistic makes for increased success in getting across our thoughts A successful pitch is rarely an argument for or against something it s rather a portrait of the benefits of embracing that which is being pitched That is usually the call of the person being pitched something Sometimes we succeed sometimes we don t Such is life Go through an entire day and note how many pitches you make small and large intended and unintended And note too which ones were weak and why and which ones worked better and why And at the same time be aware of people pitching you Awareness ought to help you make better pitches and thus more successful ones Have a good week Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 12 34 AM 1 comment lindaessig February 21 2016 at 6 51 PM Hi Barry Here s the advice I give my students about pitching Tell your audience why we should care about your work and what impact it is designed to have Remember that a good pitch tells a story it has a beginning a middle and an end and culminates in asking the listener for something attention funding partnership etc Richard Branson billionaire creative industries entrepreneur says a good pitch has five characteristics or elements Paraphrased these are 1 What s in it for the listener 2 Concrete and specific 3 Emphatically asserts value 4 Sustainability 5 People power i e connect Happy pitching Linda Reply Delete Add comment Load more Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Creative Vitality Suite Defined by the 59 SOC codes used in CVSuite Subscribe via email Enter your email address

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2016/02/lifes-pitch.html?showComment=1456105889791 (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Generalists v. Specialists
    isn t shared What is lost in such a case In some cases the loss while not immediately recognizable can be measured in lost production and turn over rates as those who are treated even if unintentionally as cogs are less motivated to have the organization s best interests at heart And even our executive leaders the ostensible generalists among us are today increasingly required to be specialists themselves most frequently as fundraisers Time and lack of money dictate that the myriad of daily critical small tasks take precedent over thinking as a generalist So even their positions as those who have the space and resources to consider the whole picture is compromised and degraded even they are becoming only quasi generalists Theoretically Board members fulfill that role to a degree but do they Even Board members are recruited for their specializations and assigned niches in how they can help the organization Focusing on the whole of the organization is often relegated to an annual planning retreat process But shouldn t it be rather an ever present on going process The fact is that we need both we need specialists and we need generalists The pendulum seems to have swung towards more specialists So who s minding the store as it were in terms of continually considering the big picture and how to fit within that big picture Is the answer in many cases nobody How then do we pay attention to that big picture What can we do within the structures of our organizations to make sure we are always considering ideas to advance our purposes and missions and I mean big ideas not the little though important ideas that have to do with our own areas of specialization I think there are two things we can do without much trouble First talk about it openly What are people s thoughts about the role of generalists within the organization And second figure out how everyone in the organization staff board volunteers supporters etc can be encouraged to be generalists at least some of the time so we can tap into that collective creativity that can help our organizations not just to survive but to thrive We have to value the role of the generalist without asking anyone to shutter their role as specialist That is the true multi juggling of tasks Have a great week Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 12 31 AM No comments Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Creative Vitality Suite Defined by the 59 SOC codes used in CVSuite Subscribe via email Enter your email address Delivered by FeedBurner Subscribe via Reader Subscribe in a reader Barry s Blog is a service of the Western States Arts Federation WESTAF The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of WESTAF Followers Buy Barry s Book HARDBALL LOBBYING FOR NONPROFITS Barry learned political advocacy the hard way convincing the California legislature to multiply many fold

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2016/01/generalists-v-specialissts.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Legacy Project Report
    some with no plans to stay involved and others with definite plans to stay involved 4 those contemplating retirement in the near term and 5 those who might retire in the near term It also became clear to us that within each of these classifications the reasons for exiting the field might be very different Most but not all are voluntarily leaving although for many that decision is was not easy Others are being forced out either by term limits confrontations political considerations as appointees or otherwise These categories have a combination shared and unique needs as they face the challenges of transition The challenges are broad and varied and include 1 making the decision to move on timing announcement succession and transition including advice and counsel as to legal logistical and other matters along with questions of health care retirement support and surviving and thriving in older age 2 unpacking and downloading their knowledge base with or without specific invitation to do so and 3 landing what comes next if they want something to come next About 70 percent of our legacy panel members had recently within the past three years retired when they took the survey Nearly 60 percent of retirees continue to attend conferences and symposia 50 percent serve on one or more arts organization boards 36 percent work as consultants 43 percent are or plan to be mentors to upcoming leaders and 28 percent are writing or plan to write for publication Asked to rate the importance of issues from the perspective of the retirees to be considered by the field as it faces the coming wave of Boomer retirements 100 percent of panelists rated imparting unpacking knowledge and experience to be important very important or critically important and 93 percent rated imparting information about key relationships important to the organization as important to critically important Similarly 93 percent ranked making the decision to retire the exit transitioning process and financial issues in retirement as important to critically important Maintenance of personal and collegial relationships was rated important to critically important by 86 percent of panelists post retirement health coverage was rated 79 percent and post retirement options allowing continuance of making a contribution was deemed important by 71 percent The individual interviews provided more nuanced perspective about these answers Senior leaders as the survey showed are interested in and concerned about how knowledge expertise interpersonal connections and organizational trust are transferred from retiring leaders to next generation leaders However for the most part their sense of how and to what degree they should be responsible for the transmission of both explicit knowledge e g relevant data and organizational protocols and implicit knowledge e g the benefits of personal relationships with trustees donors policy makers or other stakeholders depends upon whether they are currently leading an organization or already retired Senior organizational leaders see the preparation of trustees staff donors and incoming leaders for transition as an important part of their jobs while they remain in their positions On the other hand most expressed a strong belief that once retired senior leaders should intervene with either their own previous organization or other organizations i e as a consultant or trustee with restraint and only when invited by trustees or by their successors Similarly interviewees while shying away from being designated as mentors in any formal sense almost universally expressed the pleasure and satisfaction they have felt in the opportunity present or past to teach and guide younger staff of their own organizations and to prepare them for leadership roles in the field A few sustained those relationships with younger leaders after retirement although their point of view shifted and they provided continued advice and information only when asked for it In general our panelists are careful to steer clear of any assumption that just by virtue of their long experience and deep knowledge they automatically have useful information to impart to younger generations Several explicitly noted that younger leaders already endowed with their own experience should be trusted to know what they do and do not need to learn from their elders Most senior leaders were very concerned about the financial constraints imposed by retirement Several commented that not being able to afford to retire is a key reason why they in particular and the Boomers as a generation are staying too long in their positions and thereby crowding out the next generation of leadership Nevertheless most did not believe that there was any field wide or blanket responsibility to provide financial assistance to departing senior leaders There was some feeling that very long serving and very effective retiring leaders ought to be recognized by their trustees through some form of transition funding But for the most part interviewees noted that these matters are contractual and ideally should be dealt with as part of the hiring process Retiring senior leaders were eager to hear from members of the next two generations about their expectations both of Boomer leaders and of arts organizations Better communications among these cohorts could undoubtedly lead to more effective service to the field by both outgoing and incoming leaders II Incoming Leaders While our panel had only a few members within the Gen X and Millennial cohorts both they and Boomer respondents had thoughts on the issues of concern to and for mid career and emerging leaders All respondents noted that the interests and concerns as well as experience of Gen Xers and Millennials were distinct that their life experiences attitudes and ways of doing things are as different from one another as they are from the Boomer generation For example Gen Xers are now in general in mid career and middle age and are the likeliest successors to the Boomers retiring now and into the next decade but demographics suggest that their cohort may not be large enough to constitute an adequate pool to fill all the positions likely to open up in the near to mid term future Millennials may well be tapped for a portion of those positions On the other hand Millennials because they are an even larger cohort than Boomers and because they tend to take maximal advantage of professional training and development opportunities may generate a far larger number of trained and skilled arts leaders than there are positions for them to fill at least at the level of professionalism they expect Asked in the survey to rate the importance of issues from the perspective of the incoming leaders to be considered by the field as it faces the coming wave of Boomer retirements panelists placed greatest priority on 1 the challenge of maintaining important organizational relationships during and after the leadership transition and 2 the related challenge of garnering trust and respect for the incoming leader In the interviews there was general consensus that it is the responsibility of the organizations to address both of these challenges as part of the governance obligation to ensure board and staff continuity generally through succession and transition planning Among retiring Boomers there was no consensus on how best to help and support the incoming leadership some suggested a minimalist approach merely to be accessible for consultation others suggested providing detailed written thoughts observations and information There was general agreement among the Boomers as noted previously that no advice or counsel should be offered by retirees except that which the incoming leadership specifically asks for While there was agreement that the transfer of knowledge from retiring leaders to the incoming leaders would be of value there was no overarching consensus on the best way to effect that transfer Mentoring or the more preferred term coaching in some form was enthusiastically supported by some and dismissed as unimportant or unworkable by others Some dismissed any kind of impersonal online brokering in favor of the development or continuation of personal relationships others supported the role technology might play in facilitating knowledge transfer if the appropriate platforms and approaches could be established Several interviewees suggested the establishment of some kind of knowledge bank that would match those with knowledge to those who wanted to be matched but with no agreement on what form that might take Further discussion could usefully identify which types of knowledge e g operational interpersonal historical might best be transferred through which mechanisms e g in person via databases or via more sophisticated social media approaches to which constituencies individual leaders organizational units or the sector as a whole There was support for insuring that the history of both specific organizations and of field trends such as arts funding arts education and cultural policy be captured and disseminated and there was substantial support for a project that might record and preserve for the future oral or written interviews with those who have lived that history firsthand Some interviewees noted that the arts as a field celebrate story telling and that stories of the field s history are worth preserving Additional issues for the younger cohorts of leaders include inadequate pay and compensation packages the dearth of vertical promotion opportunities within the sector inadequate opportunities to have real impact on outcomes and as a result of those challenges questions about whether leadership positions as they open will actually be attractive or desirable to the available younger leaders The panelists expressed deep concern about the potential that Millennials especially may be uninterested in committing their efforts to the leadership opportunities that currently exist in arts organizations and in the sector as a whole and may choose to exit the field entirely rather than working with existing organizations or creating new ones as means of transforming the sector We repeatedly heard that 1 unless compensation in the field increases dramatically and becomes competitive a percentage of Millennials will choose not to stay in the sector 2 unless there are ways for Millennials to access promotion opportunities at early stages of their careers more Millennials will likely move to other sectors and 3 Millennials want to make a real impact in their work irrespective of where they sit within an organization and will gravitate to opportunities to have such an impact Finally these younger leaders need to be excited Boomers should remember that they gravitated to and stayed in the field in earlier days precisely because they were excited by the arts and by the potential to make a difference in their communities Millennials want no less III The Organizational Perspective The survey asked respondents to rank the importance of issues from the perspective of the organization from which the senior leader is retiring that need to be addressed as the field confronts the coming wave of Boomer retirements Panelists ranked two issues as having the highest importance notification about the leadership transition of the organization s board staff donors funders and clients and maintaining the key professional relationships with donors funders and supporters that were enjoyed personally by the retiring leader The search process for the replacement leader was ranked as of nearly as great importance followed by financial severance exit contract obligations to the retiring leader In the interviews panelists clarified their belief that organizations must engage in both succession planning to prepare for leadership turnover at both board and staff levels in advance of any specific leadership change and transition planning to manage opportunities and challenges involved in the actual process of leadership change Panelists also agreed that once a leadership transition is announced it is the role of the board chair and board rather than the exiting leader to lead a process of transitioning key professional relationships with donors and others The retiring leader should participate in that process when and if asked to do so by the board chair Similarly while the survey responses also placed high importance on helping the incoming leader get up to speed and helping the incoming leader to establish confidence within the institution panelists in the interviews stressed that the retiring leaders might not be in the best position to assist or mentor incoming leaders Board leadership should determine the best way to orient and coach incoming leaders The distinctions between succession planning and transition planning and the importance of both to the good governance and sound operation of every organization was the most common and strongest recommendation made by our panelists Such planning is largely honored more in the breach than the observance and yet it responds to the most basic and one of the most urgent requirements for organizational success Again this is an issue for nonprofits in general not just arts nonprofits Our panelists believe that arts organization boards and executives need to be educated about the importance of succession and transition planning Well developed plans address all the concerns raised by senior leaders in our survey and interviews from transfer of knowledge to brokering relationships between incoming leaders and key stakeholders to ongoing staff mentorship and trust building within organizations to finding fair ways of recognizing and compensating the long service of retiring leaders where appropriate Regarding the question asked in the survey about whether organizations have a responsibility to provide adequate compensation including retirement support to senior leaders several interviewees thought that the field could benefit from thinking more realistically about compensation for all staff Given how poorly most small and medium sized organizations are able to compensate staff and given the higher expectations of younger entrants into the field about compensation as well as work life balance and related issues panelists saw this issue as an existential challenge to organizations and to the sector One noted that this is not an arts issue so much as an issue for all nonprofits and that whether or not organizations can afford to offer pension or retirement programs for staff they could and should offer access to financial information and retirement planning resources so that staff are educated and able to make informed choices for themselves Another interviewee speculated that both nonprofit arts organization boards and arts funders could benefit from discussions about the importance to the success of the field of more realistic staff and leadership compensation and the value of considering increased compensation as part of the larger field wide discussion about what constitutes adequate capitalization of cultural organizations On the other hand as one interviewee said Get real I m worried about just making payroll this week IV Sectoral Perspectives Several concerns raised in relation to outgoing senior leadership incoming generations of leadership and or arts organizations as collective entities also lend themselves to consideration at the sectoral level Preserving and transmitting outgoing leaders knowledge What knowledge needs to be preserved and made available to subsequent generations of leaders what mechanisms are most effective for recording and providing access to that knowledge and how that access is provided are separate though intertwined questions There is some consensus that operational knowledge has value in allowing leaders to proceed more efficiently than when they only can learn through trial and error and that formal including digital mechanisms could be developed for transfer of operational knowledge Implicit or personal knowledge that is knowledge not susceptible to being formalized or written down or sometimes even verbalized can only be transferred through long term personal interactions that build mutual understanding and trust There was agreement that this kind of knowledge is valuable and highly desirable but no consensus about how best to create sectoral level opportunities for leaders to learn from one another We suspect that this is an intra generational as well as inter generational question The continued participation of senior leaders in the sector even in retirement Our limited research strongly suggested that most retiring senior leaders are not exiting the field but only their current often long held positions Most expect to continue to be active either through a career capping new employment position a move into a consulting role or participation as board members or advisors How can they best be mobilized in support of the next generations of leadership There is concern on the part of some of our panelists that their influence could be unhelpful because not relevant to the challenges incoming leaders confront How can we explore further what aspect of senior leaders legacies are useful and what are not Support for and preparation of incoming leaders to succeed in their new positions is important to the sector as a whole What are the opportunities at the individual organizational and sectoral levels that can be amplified and supported The senior leaders in our panel generally expressed a desire to support incoming leaders Younger leaders both those in our panel and others with whom panelists have discussed this question are also eager to take advantage of the opportunity to learn from their predecessors At the organizational level it was generally agreed that it is a governance responsibility to ensure that incoming leaders succeed and to make resources available to them accordingly At the individual level personal mentorship can help At the sectoral level the question of the success of incoming leaders is tied to broader questions about the changing role of the arts and arts organizations within our communities and our society What changes in the sector will ensure the committed participation and leadership of Millennials and even younger generations V Recommendations 1 Engage in additional and share research and information about intergenerational leadership concerns with other entities also interested in strengthening leadership in the arts e g with the Hewlett Foundation and Grantmakers in the Arts We are aware that similar conversations are cropping up in other parts of the nonprofit arts sector and hope that the findings of our panelists can contribute to broader conversations 2 Create intergenerational opportunities for senior mid career and early career leaders to communicate and exchange ideas with one another about leadership development and the needs of the sector Both our interviews with the Legacy panelists and our conversations out in the field conveyed a hunger from leaders at all levels to learn from one another about how

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2016/01/legacy-project-report.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Time Off
    extracts the lessons of his long experience into a readable and impassioned tutorial that has broad application throughout the nonprofit sector John Kriedler former President Community Initiative Fund This is a powerful provocative and daring look at the ups and downs of fighting for beliefs The book straightforwardly mixes together simple clear definitions strong opinions new ideas and in your face strategies all designed to help the good guys win Robert L Lynch President CEO Americans for the Arts Hardball Lobbying is an essential tool for every nonprofit leader who wants to see systems change and public dollars flow to the causes they care about Tim Wolfred Psy D Director of Leadership Services CompassPoint For those who want to begin a nonprofit I can think of no better guide and toolkit that Hardball Government students should read this as an insight into decision making as Barry explains how government and groups interact with one another at all levels Hardball is definitely not a book to collect dust but one to get dog eared highlighted debated and used Representative Adam Schiff U S Congress 29 th District California Click here http amzn to d1whZU HIRE BARRY TO SPEAK AT YOUR CONFERENCE email barryarts comcast net HIRE BARRY TO LEAD WORKSHOPS in Advocacy full and half day sessions customized to your situation Managing the Generational Divide in the Workplace The Business Side of the Music Industry email barryarts comcast net Popular Posts Widget by Blogger Buster Blog Archive 2016 11 April 1 March 4 February 3 January 3 Generalists v Specialists Legacy Project Report Time Off 2015 57 December 2 November 4 October 6 September 4 August 8 July 4 June 8 May 5 April 3 March 5 February 4 January 4 2014 68 December 6 November 4 October 7 September 6

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2016/01/time-off.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: The American Middle Class Continues to Shrink - Implications for the Arts?
    to the health of our organizations Why or why not While there may be little we can do to alter the changes to the middle class knowing its possible impact might help us to formulate strategies and approaches to deal with the challenge Of course figuring that out is likely a complex undertaking Theorizing about it while inexact might still be worth the effort I leave that to others I certainly don t know the answers to these kinds of questions But I believe those answers are important if not to definitively uncover at least to consider My own belief is that a declining middle class is bad for virtually everyone in society including the health of arts organizations but that is just my own bias Something to think about perhaps Have a great week Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 10 49 PM No comments Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Creative Vitality Suite Defined by the 59 SOC codes used in CVSuite Subscribe via email Enter your email address Delivered by FeedBurner Subscribe via Reader Subscribe in a reader Barry s Blog is a service of the Western States Arts Federation WESTAF The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of WESTAF Followers Buy Barry s Book HARDBALL LOBBYING FOR NONPROFITS Barry learned political advocacy the hard way convincing the California legislature to multiply many fold its investment in arts funding In his new book Barry extracts the lessons of his long experience into a readable and impassioned tutorial that has broad application throughout the nonprofit sector John Kriedler former President Community Initiative Fund This is a powerful provocative and daring look at the ups and downs of fighting for beliefs The book straightforwardly mixes together simple clear definitions strong opinions new ideas and in your face strategies all designed to help the good guys win Robert L Lynch President CEO Americans for the Arts Hardball Lobbying is an essential tool for every nonprofit leader who wants to see systems change and public dollars flow to the causes they care about Tim Wolfred Psy D Director of Leadership Services CompassPoint For those who want to begin a nonprofit I can think of no better guide and toolkit that Hardball Government students should read this as an insight into decision making as Barry explains how government and groups interact with one another at all levels Hardball is definitely not a book to collect dust but one to get dog eared highlighted debated and used Representative Adam Schiff U S Congress 29 th District California Click here http amzn to d1whZU HIRE BARRY TO SPEAK AT YOUR CONFERENCE email barryarts comcast net HIRE BARRY TO LEAD WORKSHOPS in Advocacy full and half day sessions customized to your situation Managing the Generational Divide in the Workplace The Business Side of the Music Industry email barryarts comcast net Popular Posts Widget by Blogger Buster Blog Archive 2016 11 April 1 March

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2015/12/the-american-middle-class-continues-to.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: How Political Power Really Works
    of politics is a mistake First the theory assumes no opposing education effort This is rarely the case The second and more important reason the education is the key theory fails lies in the nature of politics and politicians And in describing politicians and their behavior he concludes Access is calling a politician and having him take your call He listens to what you want and may or may not do it It is what most grassroots leaders end up settling for Power is the ability to tell a politician what you want and either get it or deliver substantial pain maybe even get a new politician at the next election No matter what you will make it harder for the politician to win re election costing him extra time and money If the politician loses every other elected official will fear you and your group If the politician wins he and other politicians will remember the extra pain you caused him And he will know you may do it again or worse When you return to continue fighting for what you believe in you will find him and his colleagues more willing and surprisingly sometimes more gracious though do not count on the latter personal pleasantness is cheap coin And finally this As the late Everett Dirksen said When I feel the heat I see the light I ve said as much repeatedly When a vote is problematic Forget your stories they don t really matter Sorry Forget your value It doesn t really matter Sorry The righteousness of one s cause may provide cover that a politician can use to justify their vote but it only sometimes will get the vote you want in the first place Our victories in the arts such as they have been have come about because there was basically no reason for the yea voters not to support us But we all know that our victories have been small not anywhere near what we need or want And we are often on the defensive in response to attacks As often as not the arts have been the lighting rod for right wing political groups who use opposition to the arts for other reasons including inciting their base and in their fundraising We simply don t have the political will to amass the power that Mr Rothfeld describes I urge you to read Mr Rothfeld s article It isn t that long I think you will find it an eye opener It s very specific practical political advice If people want some kind of reasonable gun restrictions or if the nonprofit arts want more funding and specific legislation passed this article intelligently sets forth the way the game is played You may not like it or him or his beliefs but his advice to his constituents and to anyone who has an agenda is in my opinion spot on And the fact that gun rights as his and other groups define them are so

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2015/12/how-political-power-really-works.html (2016-05-01)
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