Living in a Time Warp

Like many of you, I've been digesting the news about the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy notice for the past few days, and I've held back from commenting because it's too easy to rush to judgement.

That’s why today I was glad to read a blog post on the blog "Arts Market On…" which captured a lot of what I've been thinking. Here's a key excerpt: 

"One of our field’s many dragons is that we want a mid-20th Century performing arts system in a 21st Century world. We don’t want the pain of recognizing that our consumer tastes, interests, budgets, and technology have so dramatically and fundamentally changed our arts consumption and behavior that we aren’t ever going back."

The emphasis is mine because our company focuses on the technology aspect. We're constantly running up against thinking along the lines of, "Sure, we want to adapt to the present — but we also want to keep doing everything we've done in the past." Long ago I learned about Schumpeter's version of "creative destruction." That's what's going on now. Old ways of operating are being supplanted by new modes; it simply may not be possible to do both at once.

What I see in our industry is a chasm between a (generally) younger generation of managers who embrace new technology (soaking up and innovating using things like Facebook and Twitter) and a generation of more senior managers who seem to want to do as little of this as possible, and simply sweep it under a rug as fast as they can.  

Seems to me as an industry, we should be embracing the future, because if not, we may be seeing more destruction than creation.   


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