Performink is reporting on several theatre companies that have been awarded grants to "redefine how they do business." The granting organization is the Nonprofit Finance Fund and the moneys are helping theatres across the country retool their processes. Most companies are using the funds for audience development and incorporating new technologies.
Wouldn't it be wonderful, however, if this money could truly be used to redefine themselves not simply expand? What if these organizations used the money to look at everything from their mission statements, to their organizational structure, to the space they perform in, and the plays they pick. Sure change is scary and a company never wants to change their identity. If you have a model that is successful, why change it?
Yet change is not the name of the game here. Redefining processes is. If a process is successful, can you articulate why? Can every member of your staff (not just the development team) instantly tell a patron why they should be donating to the theatre as well. Does every play advance the mission? Does the mission shine through in everything you do. Or is the mission you wrote 40 years ago as relevant today as it was then?
Any organization should be constantly doing this, however, how many organizations honestly say that they are. If you have the funds to really take a look at what you are doing the opportunity should be jumped at. Hire a consultant to come in and give an outsider's point of view. Take the time to hold a retreat to get away from the stress of the daily operations and really talk about what you do, what your passions are, and what could be improved.
Self knowledge is not only a tool, but power. If you know who you are you can better take on tasks. You know what you are able to take on and what challenges you face.
Happy Birthday: Paula Vogel (b. 1951)