A.1 Financial & Leadership Strengths & Weaknesses for Utah Symphony One of the biggest weaknesses with the Symphony is their financial health. The Symphony has not been successful in previous years with their fundraising attempts, which means they are not bringing in as much cash. Add to that the fact that they have higher expenses due to owing their employees year round salaries, and increases in salary every year, thanks to the collective bargaining agreement. 60% of the Symphony’s program expenses go towards salary, benefits and payroll taxes. Another weakness is that government grants are on the decline and the USO is set to receive $220,687 less in 2001-2002 than previous years. Due to the symphony receiving less from the government, it can cause the symphony to be less profitable without that cash flow coming in. One of the biggest things to be concerned about from the Symphony’s perspective is that their surplus is projected to shrink by more than $114,000 during fiscal year 2001-2002, from $116,308 for $2,048.
This is of serious concern to the organization, as this allows them to cover expenses that are not able to be made up from the selling of tickets to performances and fundraisers. With government grants also decreasing, the symphony needs to figure out a way to turn their finances around. A financial strength for the Symphony was that it was designated as a Group II organization, and their endowment of $10 million as of January 2002 is more than the $8.8 million average of this group. The Symphony playing over 200 concerts during the 2000-2001 season is partly to thank for their endowment being more than the average for their group. This makes the USO more attractive to potential donors. The Symphony’s performance revenues are up slightly from FY 2000-2001 ($3,836,513) to FY 2001-2002 (4,516,308), and even though it is only a little less than $700,000 more, it is still a positive sign. While their financial health is more of a weakness, a big strength that the Symphony has is their leadership.
Keith Lockhart was hired as the music director in 1998 and has led the Symphony since then. Prior to joining the USO, Lockhart was a conductor for the Boston Pops Orchestra, as well as the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestra. He has also lead numerous concerts (over 600) as well as creating over 50 television shows. The Symphony is in good hands with Lockhart as their leader, he has proven himself to not only be a great creative leader, but has also developed relationships with the musicians. Keith Lockhart is extremely important to the symphony, so much so that it has been stated that if he does not support the merger, it would not go forward. A leadership weakness for the symphony is that both the CEO and Chairman plan to leave the organization prior to the merger. With two important positions being vacated, it can cause upheaval and lead to a loss in confidence in the organization. This can lead to less money being donated. Another weakness for the organization is Keith Lockhart. While he is also a strength, his a weakness due to his being resistant to change. He has the ability to stop the merger from happening and he isn’t sure if he fully supports the merger. A.1.a Steps to Address Weaknesses
The financial health of the Symphony is the biggest weakness. If the merger were to take place, Anne would need to guide the symphony into better financial health, much like she did the Opera. Anne has a proven track record of being able to increase donations while at the same time decreasing debt. The collective bargaining agreement is cause for major concern for Anne, and is something she must move on quickly to be able to avoid it causing more problems. While Anne is known in the Opera circles, she must now prove herself to the musicians. Anne needs to convince the musicians that she genuinely cares about the Symphony, that her focus is not entirely on the Opera and that she wants to see the Symphony succeed for years to come. She also needs to convince them that she’s not trying to take benefits away from them, but at the same time, she needs to worry about the financial health of the symphony.
The CBA is partly to blame for the draining of the surplus account, and with the musicians scheduled to receive an increase of 12.9% in salaries during the next year, followed by a 6.8% increase the year after, Anne needs to find a way to lower the costs of salary and benefits. I would recommend that Anne bring in a third party mediator to act as an unbiased voice to hear both sides. A mediator would give both sides a chance to speak their mind, and the mediator works with them to help find common ground. By taking the mediation route, it could help avoid a potential strike by musicians if Anne were to come in and immediately try to dissolve or modify the CBA. If Anne is able to successfully mitigate this issue, then this would go a long way in helping to secure the future financial health of the Symphony. One of the other financial weaknesses pointed out was that of the declining government grants.
Prior to coming to UOC, Anne was the general director for the Boston Lyric Opera where she was able to pay of a $450,000 debt, increase the endowment, as well as increasing the number of performances from 1 to 3. During her time at UOC, Anne has been able to increase the budget from $1.5 million to $5 million. It is stated that “she was particularly successful at fund-raising, in some instances successfully soliciting donations from entities outside the state.” (Ager & Delong, 2005) As mentioned earlier, the government is not handing out nearly as many grants as it did in the past, and coupled with the CBA, this has caused the Symphony to experience a lot of financial pressure. Anne has been extremely successful in the past with growing budgets and fundraising, and if the merger takes place, for the symphony to survive, Anne will have to use her strengths to help raise money for the organization to ensure that it is financially stable for years to come. With both the CEO and Chairman both leaving at the end of 2002, this is cause for concern.
This will leave a big hole for the Symphony to fill with two high level executives both leaving at the same time. This could also cause further financial problems as it could lead to a decline in investors as they could then not have as positive an outlook on the future of the Symphony with no clear person to step in and take over. Anne should plan to spend as much time as possible with the CEO and Chairman to ensure she has a firm grasp on the day to day running of the organization. Anne will also need to make sure that she communicates with the employees and the supports of the Symphony and Utah Arts and reassure them that though these two men are leaving, the organization will be able to continue to run as smooth as it does currently. To help Keith Lockhart feel more comfortable during the transition, Anne will need to use her power (personal) and charming personality to convince Keith that the merger is the best thing for the Symphony.
She should schedule several face to face meetings with him to communicate all the plans and be as transparent as possible. She needs for him to trust her in order for him to get on board with the merger. She also needs to define what his role in the organization will be going forward. Most people are scared of change, but once transition plans are communicated out clearly, then a most people come on board. To ensure a successful transition with Keith, Anne will need to remain transparent and open, and reassure him along the way that this is the best thing for the Symphony so it can be financially viable for years to come. A.2 Financial & Leadership Strengths & Weaknesses
The Utah Opera’s financial strengths are numerous, but include growing the endowment to $5 million, large surplus and owning its own production studios. By January 2002, the endowment for the Utah Opera will have grown to $5 million. This is a significant strength for the Opera because it means that the Opera is bringing in more revenue, and also shows that their business model is working. The Opera owns its own production studio, which sits on 2.9 acres of land, and also has a large inventory of costumes (this includes 17 sets). The Opera is able to rent the costumes out which brings in additional revenue, but also if the Opera were ever to encounter financial struggles, the land and/or costumes could be sold off to help relieve debts. It is projected that by the end of fiscal year 2001-2002, the Opera will have a surplus of $473,002. This is a sizable surplus and gives the Opera wiggle room should they encounter any financial difficulties down the road. This also signifies that the business model is working since the Opera is able to pay all its debts and still have cash left over.
This money can be invested back into the organization or used to help offset an increase in salaries and benefits for its full time employees. While the Opera has a lot of positive financial strengths, it also has some weaknesses including a decline in performance revenues, and rising expenses. In 2000-2001 the Opera generated $1,028,177 in performance revenues, however in 2001-2002, the revenues dropped by almost $300,000 to $733,900. This is something that needs to be watched to ensure that revenues do not continue to drop. If they continue to drop it will cause a significant drain on the organization’s financial resources. While the organization is still operating with a surplus, their surplus actually decreased by $109,407, and the majority of that can be attributed to the costume rentals and their expense rising in general. While it is nice that the Opera has all these sets and costumes available for rent, theoretically it should be pulling in more revenue than it costs you to rent them out, but that is not the case for the Opera.
In 2000-2001 fiscal year, expenses for rentals were over $20,000 more than the revenue it brought in. In 2001-2002 fiscal year it is projected that the expense for this program will be $108,673 more than the revenue it brought in. This particular program is actually costing the organization money, when it should be a constant revenue stream. The Opera’s expenses have risen by quite a bit from the previous year, their total expense have increased by more than $480,000 from year to year. This is something that will need to be addressed. When it comes to the Opera’s leadership strengths, they all point back to Anne Ewers. Anne has a long history of leading Opera companies. She has been with the UOC for 11 years and has a proven track record for fundraising and directing operas. During her 11 year tenure with the opera, the organization has seen its budget grow from $1.5 million to $5 million. She has also proven to be extremely successful with fundraising, even being able to solicit donations from out of state.
Throughout her career, Anne has been the stage director for more than 60 productions, not just in the United States, but international as well. When she was the general director for the Boston Lyric Opera she was able to retire a $450,000 debt, build an endowment fund for the organization, as well as increased the number of productions the company performed. While the opera has great strengths in leadership, it also has a couple of weaknesses. Leslie Peterson, who is the Director of Operations, as well as the daughter of the founder of the Utah Opera, decided to resign from her position citing concerns about the merger and directions of management. This could be cause for concern among potential donors, as well as the employees and artists of the Opera. This is also cause for concern since Leslie was Anne’s direct report, and had numerous areas reporting to her.
Now Anne has no one to act as a go between and manage those areas, so it is all her, while also still running the day to day functions of the opera. Having someone as influential as Leslie comment on her concerns, it could persuade others that the merger is not a good idea. While most would consider Anne a great strength for the organization, there are some who see her as a weakness. Some members of the community have stated that while she is great at fundraising, they do have concerns about her “people management skills and what many who work with her describe as an autocratic style in dealing with staff. At times she makes unilateral decisions and fails to consult with those who are expected to implement these decisions.” (Ager & Delong, 2005) A.2.a. Steps to Address Weaknesses
When the merger takes place, Anne will need to mitigate the financial weaknesses of not only the Symphony, but also the Opera. The Opera has experienced a decline in revenue from performances from year to year. One thing Anne can do to mitigate the decline in revenues is to either hire an outside marketing firm to assist the director of marketing in a publicity campaign, or hire a small staff to create an internal marketing department that would be responsible for all marketing campaigns going forward. In this case, the smartest move would be to have an outside firm come up with a campaign and then they can look into possibly hiring a small staff in the future. Anne needs create a lot of publicity to get the public excited about the Opera and get them to come to performances, which would hopefully lead to increase in revenues from ticket sales. If the merger takes place, that could also create some free publicity and draw interest. As I mentioned earlier, the organization has seen a significant increase in their expenses over the previous year.
One program that could be looked at as a significant chunk of the increase in expenses in the costume and production set rental program. This particular program is causing an increase in expenses, and they are actually spending more money renting costumes out than the revenue it brings in. To mitigate this, I believe Anne should suspend this program temporarily until they can take a look at the business plan for it and figure out a way to generate more revenue than expenses. If the Opera is renting out these items, it should be a majority revenue stream with very little expenses. This is something that needs to be examined closely as it could be a good money-maker for the organization if run right. Along with the reviewing the rental program, Anne needs to get a breakdown of all expenses being incurred. The income statement has everything grouped into buckets but a detailed statement is needed to see where cuts or program modifications can be made to help mitigate rising expenses.
The program expenses also contributed to a rise in expenses for the organization, with those expenses expected to grow by more than $320,000. These expenses are related to production costs and vary according to the performance scheduled. Anne needs to come up with a formal performance schedule which will help to stabilize the organization because it will allow the different members of the management team to plan ahead. With a formal schedule set, management can begin pushes for publicity further in advance and get the public excited about the different performances, which will hopefully draw more people in, which raises performances revenues and helps to offset the program expenses. A.3 Analyze Balanced Scorecard for Each Company
Symphony Balanced Scorecard
Strategic Goal: Being financially stable with sufficient annual profitability Critical Success Factor: Having fundraising sufficient to allow ticket prices to stay the same as last year Measure: Having profitability increase in coming years (from $116K to $500K a year) Analysis: The Utah Symphony currently has several financial weaknesses, and while having the goal for profitability to increase to $500K is a great goal, at this point in time I feel that they need to be focused on achieving that via different route than fundraising. Fundraising is very important, but even more important for the Symphony right now is the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The Symphony really needs to focus on renegotiating this agreement with the musicians. If they can agree on a CBA that doesn’t increase the salaries of the musicians as much as the current agreement does, and also allow for discussion on benefits, then that would go a long way in decreasing the program expenses for the symphony. That could help with their goal of increasing the organization’s profitability while also helping to control expenses. Once they renegotiate the CBA, then definitely by all means look towards fundraising as another opportunity to bring in revenue to the organization, but I feel the CBA should be looked into first. Customer
Strategic Goal: Being attuned to their desires for world-class performances Critical Success Factor: Hiring top quality talent
Measure: Receiving feedback from exiting patrons
Analysis: The customer piece of the scorecard correlates nicely with the organization’s vision to be a world-class symphony. The organization acknowledges that the best way to do this is to ensure they hire top talent and deliver great performances. The measure for this goal is great because the only way they will truly know how well they are doing (and if they are meeting their goal) is to solicit feedback from the paying public. With Keith Lockhart serving as the conductor for the symphony, and one of the strengths of the organization being that Lockhart is very supportive of the musicians, then I believe he will do what it takes to ensure they continue to hire the top quality musicians needed to put on world-class performances. Internal Processes
Strategic Goal: Having flexibility in decreasing expenses due to fundraising gaps Critical Success Factor: Renegotiating contracts with musicians Measure: Improving profitability
Analysis: This is a great goal and one that badly needs to be met based on the previous discussion of the organization’s strengths and weaknesses. The CBA that is in place is a big reason why the Symphony is experiencing financial problems. As discussed previously, the orchestra’s salary, benefits and payroll taxes currently represent 60% of the program’s total expenses. These expenses are going to continue to rise if the contract is not renegotiated since currently the agreement calls for an increase of 12.9% this year and 6.8% next. The current contract is placing an extremely heavy burden on the organization’s finances and renegotiating the contracts is one of the best ways to increase the profitability of the organization in the future. Learning and Growth
Strategic Goal: Including a wider variety of symphonies offered to appeal to a more varied audience Critical Success Factor: Having a successful marketing campaign that advertises different symphonies to younger audience Measure: Having improved ticket sales and returning audience Analysis: While this section is not explicitly talking about the financial state of the organization, the fact that the goal is to offer a wider variety and the measure to improve ticket sales speaks to the organization’s commitment to increase its profitability. By the organization focusing on this goal, it will help it not only achieve some of the other goals on the score card, but also will help improve the financial well-being of the organization. Utah Opera Balanced Scorecard
Strategic Goal: Being financially stable with an increasing reserve fund Critical Success Factor: Raising additional funds and having endowments realized Measure: Improving reserve fund amount
Analysis: As discussed previously under the financial weaknesses for this organization, one thing they need to focus on is rising expenses. The Opera is already financially stable for the most part with a nice reserve fund. While I appreciate that they want to grow it to ensure they have a fall back should something happen, I believe at this point in time their focus would be better spent looking at ways to combat rising expenses, which in turn would help grow their surplus in the long run. The organization is losing money on programs such as the renting of costumes, when that should be a steady revenue stream for it. I believe a better goal would be to focus on the decline in ticket sales and increase of expenses. They need to come up with a way to cut expenses, which as I said earlier would grow the reserve fund even more in the long run. Customer
Strategic Goal: Having regionally and nationally acclaimed opera performances Critical Success Factor: Excelling in quality performances
Measure: Having sold-out or near sold-out performances
Analysis: I believe this is a needed goal for the organization, since they are already experiencing a decline in ticket sales. With the decline in sales, it is a good indicator that more than likely the customers are not happy with the performances being offered currently. If the organization works on offering better performances, that will lead to an increase in ticket sales (sold-out or near sold-out performances) which will help with declining surplus and rising expenses that the organization is currently seeing. Internal Processes
Strategic Goal: Maintaining financial stability and attracting top talent Critical Success Factor: Having successful negotiations with selected performers Measure: Measuring profitability and having reviews notating quality of performances Analysis: Maintaining financial stability is not a big issue for the opera at this point in time, but it could be if they do not do something to combat the declining ticket sales. I believe that the critical success factor for this goal is key, as well as the reviews notating quality performances. As long as the opera is able to successfully negotiate with the performers and avoid a situation like the symphony is in with the collective bargaining agreement, while at the same time working to control rising expenses, I believe that the opera will have financial stability for many years to come. Learning and Growth
Strategic Goal: Ensuring production of high-quality performances, perhaps five a year Critical Success Factor: Measuring endowment fund growth and increased ticket sales Measure: Having capital need covered by revenue from ticket sales Analysis: This particular goal of ensuring high quality performances and increasing tickets sales speaks to the underlying theme (and noted weakness) of declining ticket sales. It also speaks of growing the endowment fund, which can be achieved by an increase in ticket sales, performances and as noted previously in other areas, combating rising expenses. One of the strengths of the opera is that they do have flexibility when it comes to their performances, which is why increasing to 5 a year should be easily attainable by the organization. B. Merged Company Balanced Scorecard
Vision: To become not only a nationally, but world-renowned cultural center. Business Model: To increase ticket sales and endowments by offering different performances that will attract a broader customer base. Financial
Strategic Goal: Reduce overall expenses as a percentage of the profits. Critical Success Factor: Reduce overall expenses by reevaluating the costume and props rental program; negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the Symphony musicians Measure: Total overall expenses sees a reduction; the organization is financially stable Customer
Strategic Goal: Broaden the customer base for both the symphony and opera Critical Success Factor: Offer a performance schedule that will appeal to the customers of the symphony and the opera Measure: Tickets sales do not reflect a reduction in the customer base Internal Process
Strategic Goal: Integrate the business processes of both companies Critical Success Factor: Review the org chart to reduce or eliminate redundancies in positions Measure: An organization that has been slimmed down and is flexible enough to meet future demands and challenges Learning and Growth
Strategic Goal: Capitalize on synergistic opportunities that benefit both organizations Critical Success Factor: Everyone in both organizations benefits from the sharing of resources, skills, knowledge and negotiating power. Measure: Stronger position in future negotiations and the knowledge of the combined organization is more diverse C. Strengths and Weaknesses of Merged Company
Reduction of overall expenses
With the renegotiation of the CBA, the merged company’s financial situation should be more stable The strategic goal under the category of financial in the merged company’s balanced scorecard is one of the biggest strengths. The merged company’s vision is to become a world-renowned cultural center and by the organization reducing its overall expenses, it can help contribute to this vision. The first priority of the newly merged organization should be to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the symphony musicians, which will be a key step in ensuring that the finances of the new company are stable. Once the symphony musicians’ contracts have been renegotiated, the executive leaders can take a better look at where the organization is since currently the musicians contracts account for almost 60% of the program’s expenses. Financial Weaknesses
Declining ticket sales will continue to put a strain on revenues Declining of government grants not addressed
The merged organization has a financial goal of reducing overall expenses, which will help make it more financially stable, however nothing addresses the fact that ticket sales are declining. If the merged organization continues to see a drop in ticket sales, then any surplus that is gained by the efforts to reduce overall expenses will be null and void, as it will cause the organization to dip into the surplus to make up for the loss of revenue. There is also no mention of the declining government grants. These are extremely important to stability of the organization, and money that is counted on each season to help make ends meet. There needs to be a major effort in shoring up this funding source as, well as pursuing other potential sources of funding outside of the government grants. Customer Strengths
Stabilizing ticket sales
If the merged company wants to achieve its vision and goal of becoming a world renowned cultural center, diversifying the audience is a big step towards that. The company should come up with an outreach plan that reaches out to the Salt Lake City community and surveys them to see what types of performances they would want to see. The more diverse performances that are offered, the better likelihood that a bigger and broader audience will be reached. The critical success factor for this goal was offering a performance schedule that will appeal to the customers of both the opera and symphony, if they do this, ticket sales will start to stabilize. The whole idea is that they offer a better schedule that appeals to both customer bases, and will hopefully alleviate the idea of “seasons” or “slow periods”. The merged company needs to offer year round entertainment, not just seasons. Customer Weaknesses
May lose some established customers
A “normal” performance schedule could prove difficult to satisfy both customer bases For the newly combined organization to become a world-renowned organization, it must first start with its customer base in the Salt Lake City and surrounding areas. If the organization does not wish to alienate its current audience, it needs to be careful with not completely changing around the performance schedules. It was noted in the case study that the Utah Symphony already performs a year round schedule, given that, it is definitely hard to figure out when the opera is going to be able to perform, as well as adding other types of programs. Internal Process Strengths
Standardized operating procedures
More efficient organization
Anne Ewers (along with the rest of the executive team) will be able to come up with a set of standardized processes that will be able to be implemented across both organizations since the newly combined organization will be fully integrated with each other. Standardizing processes is extremely important for the joining of the two organizations, as well as creating a sense of fairness and balance across both sides. This will also help the newly merged organization to be more productive and efficient. The critical success factor for this goal was to review the organizational chart and reduce or eliminate all together any redundancies between the two organizations. By doing this, it will allow for a reduction in salaries and benefits being paid out, while also forming a tighter chain of command. This is not something that will be welcome by the employees, since it more than likely will result in several employees losing their jobs, but is absolutely necessary for the organization to be more efficient. There is no need to have to directors of a single area. Internal Process Weaknesses
Bad practices expanding to new organization
Morale could be affected by cuts to staff
Prior to the merger, the opera was in much better financial health than the symphony. Though not all of this is be blamed on the business practices of the symphony, but probably a good majority could be. This would be a huge weakness to the newly combined organization if the bad practices that affected the symphony were to come to the new organization. One thing to note is that while the business practices need to be integrated, they also need to be examined closely. Probably the best thing to do is to look at both companies and pick and choose different things from each side that would benefit the new company, which will hopefully eliminate the bad business practices from coming to the new company. Staff morale could take a big hit with the layoffs that will be necessary once the companies are merged.
Though the staff that is left behind could struggle with this (could be seen as taking a former colleague’s job), it is a necessary piece of integrating the two companies, reducing redundant positions and eliminating extra salaries and benefits. It will be extremely important for Anne Ewers and other executive level staff members to be transparent with the staff about the reasons why cuts have to be made, as well as sharing the vision for the new organization. This will help with the staff trusting in the new executive team, as well as reinforcing the sense of community that will be needed to help the new organization move forward. Learning and Growth Strengths
Synergistic opportunities could lead to balanced decision making a smoother transition with less resentment among staff Eliminating or reducing expenses due to combing resources
Anytime there is a merger between companies, it is extremely important that stakeholders needs and opinions are taken into consideration during any decision making process. With a synergistic approach from the very beginning, the executive team will be able to ensure that all sides are considered and that differing perspective and opinions are heard. This approach can help lessen any resentment that could come as a result of the merger from the staff, making the transition much smoother. With the merger it will give the newly formed organization an opportunity to combine resources, which will allow for it to be much more efficient from an operations standpoint, than the two individual organizations could have ever been. Combining resources will also allow for a reduction in expenses which plays into all the goals and helps the new organization to be on better financial footing. Learning and Growth Weaknesses
Organizations could possibly be too different
Executive staff inexperienced
Though it’s great to try and explore any synergistic opportunities that come up, there is a possibility that the organizations could be too different, and this would not be possible. Prior the merger, there had been several people who expressed concerns about the merger due to the organizations being too different, and afraid that one or both of the individual organizations could lose its identity in the merger. Anne Ewers will have to be extremely careful when trying to merge the cultures and business practices of each organization into the combined organization, as each side will have strong opinions about the right way to do something.
Another thing to consider is that there is no one on the executive team that has any experience with mergers. Scott Parker has experience with healthcare mergers, but no experience when it comes to the arts industry. Though this point is moot because he plans to leave at the end of 2002. The likelihood of being able to find someone to bring on board that does have experience with merging symphonies and operas is slim to none, as these mergers are extremely rare. Mergers are extremely complicated even under the best circumstances when you have a team with experience, but because no one on the current team has any experience with them it is concerning and a definite weakness. D. Identify Issues
One of the issues that could come up for the newly formed organization is with fundraising. As it was noted in the case study, arts organizations rely heavily on ticket sales and fundraising (individual, endowments, etc). This will be no different for the new organization. Decreases in government grants, endowments and income available for investing have put an increase in pressure on organizations to rely more heavily on fundraising. This means that while the newly combined organization is no longer competing against each other, it is still competing against all the other arts organizations both in the Salt Lake City area and outside of it for donations. Human Resources
Once the organizations are combined, one of the first things Anne should do is to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the symphony musicians. There is always a possibility that negotiations with the symphony musicians will not go well though. The symphony musicians have already expresses their opinions on the merger and they are not positive. As the case study noted, the musician accused the USO of listening to merger talks only so they could open and negotiate new terms for the collective bargaining agreement. The musicians are used to having strong negotiating power and coming out on the end with a very nice compensation package, due this, they could be unwilling to submit to the demands of the newly merged organization. This could lead to talks breaking down and ultimately the musicians could decide to strike. Customer Satisfaction
One issue that could come up with customer satisfaction is that patrons are not happy with the merger and do not wish to support it. As noted in the case study, there was already a lot of opposition from customers on both sides to the merger. It is entirely possible that some customers may never be truly onboard with the merger, and as a result that could lead to a decline in ticket sales. D.1 Mitigating Actions
It was noted in the case study that Anne Ewers has an extensive and successful background with fundraising in the past. She will need to call upon that strength of hers to try and raise as much funds as possible for the new organization. She will need to make sure she gets the staff at all levels included in this push, and one way to do that is to give incentives to the staff. She should also have weekly meetings with everyone involved to come up with new ideas, as well as a check in to see what they have accomplished over the past week. It could also been beneficial for her and her marketing director to look into possibly hiring an outside marketing firm to help with the fundraising push. They could do some initial outreach, which could help boost the new organization’s reputation and recognition, which could then lead to new fundraising opportunities. Human Resources
To help ensure that the negotiations go as well as they possibly can, Anne Ewers should look into hiring a third party mediator to help with dispute resolution. Dispute resolution is much friendlier and faster, and could help to resolve any conflict in a much less combative way. Anne should use a mediator who has experience with collective bargaining, by doing so, she will be much more likely to reach an acceptable agreement for both sides, than if she attempted to renegotiate by herself. Her people skills have already been called into question, so this is the best route to go so that she can try to get an agreement in place that appeals to both sides, as quickly as possible. Customer Satisfaction
Anne Ewers and the rest of the staff of the new organization will never be able to make everyone happy, but one way to ensure that the majority of the customers are happy is to reach out to them. She should assemble a task force that will focus on the wants and needs of the combined customer base. This taskforce should gather customer opinions on what sorts of performances/shows the audience would like to see, their opinion on what the organization could better and ideas for serving the community. The executive team and board members should take this information and then act on it by incorporating the feedback into various strategies of the new organization. This is the best way to keep their customer base happy.
Ager, D. L., & Delong, T. J. (2005). Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: A Merger Proposal.