Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Update: Music and the development of good organizations

Some time ago, I wrote about the transfer of the assets of the Symphony Orchestra Institute, an organization founded by Paul Judy "to improve the effectiveness of symphony orchestra organizations, to enhance the value they provide to their communities, and to help assure the preservation of such organizations as unique and valuable cultural institutions," to the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester.

Today I see that this has led to the creation of the Orchestra Musician Forum "to enhance the professional development and broaden the perspectives of musicians who are participants in North American symphony orchestras and other musical arts organizations." Their Web site will be formally launched in January 2006. That sounds like good news, and it sounds like the assets SOI created will continue to be available.

There's one important difference in my reading of the purposes of the two organizations, though. SOI was focused on the organization, which included musicians, administration, and boards, while OMF seems focused on musicians. Without begrudging musicians a valuable resource, I wonder if anyone has Paul Judy's vision that organization development has something important to offer symphony orchestras and that we would make better progress if we treated symphony orchestra organizations as if they were systems.

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