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Turning A Failing Organization Around Essay

1624 words - 6 pages

Problem Turning a failing organization around is one of the most interesting activities inmanagement. When organizations see themselves in that downward spiral, their managers mayfeel that they are unable to stop the pace of negative change. That worry and that downwardmomentum can be very powerful. At the same time, it sometimes takes only a key impetus todeflect that movement and turn things around.Consider the following example from another "industryExampleLEAD STORY-DATELINE: The New York Times, February 20, 2002. The last decade has been difficult for many major metropolitan orchestras in the U.S.Through most of the 20th century, orchestras, along with art museums and opera companies,were at the center of the cultural life of big cities. The 1990s were a time of considerablestrain for the orchestra industry, which was faced with declining audiences, changing tastes,and technologies that offer substitutes for live performance. Especially in the late 1990s,orchestras in cities like Denver, Hartford, and New Orleans all faced life threatening, and evenin some cases, terminal crises. In 2001, the St. Louis Symphony was facing such a crisis. Itslong-time musical director had retired; it was losing money year after year; a referendum toprovide more public financing to cultural organizations failed; public and corporate support wasdeclining; the musicians were requesting substantial pay raises in their collective bargaining;and unlike other major orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony had not built up a significantendowment that could generate a stream of investment income.First paragraph summary: Orchestras "were" at the center of the cultural life most of the 20th century - that changed with consumer tastes 90s were a time of "strain"o declining audiences = declining sales or businesso changing tastes = loss in market shareo technologies face life threatening crises = there IS a better producto musicians sought higher pay = competitive employment Clearly, changes were needed, and the Kinzer article describes a series of moves thathave started a major turnaround for the orchestra. The business leaders in St. Louis persuaded theBoard to accept outside help from W. Randolph Adams, who started as a consultant to theorchestra and was then hired as its president. Adams took a series of steps to reinvigorate theorchestra. Initial actions included opening the financial statements of the orchestra to themusicians union so they were more accurately informed about the orchestra's condition. Themusicians, faced with a request for a big reduction in pay, decided to collaborate with the newmanagers and to take a more active and participative role in the future of the orchestra asan institution, rather than just counting on it as an employer. Some changes involved reducingthe size of the orchestra's program by cutting the number of concerts in some of its series,and by divesting its music education...

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