On post mortems and transparency
A great post from Arts Marketing on transparency has me thinking about the direction of this blog. In general, our blog functions as a hub of what we're doing, but it focuses on the positive, omitting negative reviews and internal conflicts.
On the one hand, I think that's right - this blog should be a positive window into what we're doing, and it should tread carefully where the feelings of our artists are concerned. But, I agree with Chad that ultimately, it is healthier for a company to tends towards openness. The truth will out, and staying ahead of it gives you credibility.
The truth is also, of course, more interesting than spin, and therefore better at creating interest and connection in our process.
That said, most of our Pretty Theft post mortem should remain internal, but I can say it was our hardest and best post mortem yet - specific, honest, with an eye towards solutions rather than endlessly rehashing problems. Communication and clarity of organizational structure remain challenges for us, even after all of the work we did at our last retreat. It seems each show demands a new variation on our working arrangement, and while that flexibility is a strength, it can lead to confusion and ultimately, frustration. Identifying at the beginning of each process a clear hierarchy of decision making, clarifying expectations, and communicating time lines is something we're doing, but can definitely improve upon. Finding a way to give our Members a sense of ownership in all of our projects, regardless of their personal level of involvement, needs further attention. We need to continue to articulate to others how we work aesthetically, and how that method can flex to include contrasting working styles. And finally, the difficulty of wearing both financial and artistic hats makes certain decisions complex.
But despite those challenges (and others that shall remain mysterious and internal), I was extremely proud of the passion and relentless attention to detail that lead to our successul production of Pretty Theft. We learned a great deal, further clarified core values, worked with some great new (and familiar) artists, and shone light on a beautiful play. On to the next!
And what, dear reader, are you thoughts on organizational transparency? And Ensemble structures? Please share...