This short video on demographic change is as fresh and needed today as it was a decade ago when I created it. The questions I posed for the performing arts have only become all the more urgent in this ongoing COVID pandemic reality – and in may ways they still beg to be fully answered by the live arts – as well as other sectors, like health care, housing, social services, technology.
Also, it should be obvious that the labour shortages we see now across almost every sector aren’t merely a COVID effect but largely a demographic effect. The COVID part seems more specific in that people who need to work are working but they aren’t as willing to earn low wages, and want reasonable working conditions. In fact, labour market participation is up in younger age groups as COVID recovery has advanced.
9 years ago, in March 2013, I wrote a call to action for the performing arts presenting sector. It was an adjunct to the seminal Value of Presenting Study that I wrote to instigate sectoral action to secure the relevance of the sector in the mid- to long-term.
These Reflections and Recommendations were: 1. Strategy and organizational design to nurture capacity for change, strengthen relevance and resilience, come into the 21st century organizationally, in terms of marketing, programming and so forth 2. Building Meaningful Statistical Frameworks – Culture Satellite Account and Mapping the sector 3. Strengthen / Role in Communities – invest in competencies and professional development as a community leader, design for community impacts, ongoing awareness raising of value and benefits of the performing arts 4. Demography and Access – Know your community and your market; Access for seniors (technology-enabled), Partnering with Indigenous peoples, Partnering with recent Immigrants (EDI) 5. Digital Technologies – embrace online and mobile distribution of live arts, create a cross-functional working group to explore digital distribution in the live arts 6. Redefining Competition (focus on non-arts industries) – Define competitive value proposition (relative to non-arts competitors) 7. Experience Design – Brand-first relationship building (not merely transactional), secondary markets (digital impact)
Most of these feel as relevant as ever to me, showing how much more progress the live arts sector needs to make to join the contemporary world with all its complicated dynamics.
In light of COVID and the early stages of – and the vagaries of – COVID recovery in 2022, I have been talking about these 9 trends requiring urgent attention in the sector if it wants to rebuild better:
1.Mental health impacts
3.Loss of expertise and talent – COVID
4.Digital transformation of society
5.Climate change and touring
6.Need new business models re: return to gatherings
7.Ways to support local artists
8.Digital Dissemination platforms
9.Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
In part it feels like the more things change the more they stay the same. It also feels like perhaps some of us have learned enough to really tackle the big issues. https://lnkd.in/gJRdUyVx
I have been using the Alpha Strategies framework advanced by Alan W. Kennedy and Thomas E. Kennedy, after taking a Strategy Certificate executive development courses with Alan at Schulich School of Business about a decade ago. It has been a great vessel to place assessment and planning tools like research-based SWOTs or Business Canvas tool into a broader strategic narrative. Kennedy’s eight Alpha Strategies framework has held up well and has been a useful tool in my practice. It covers eight areas to consider in its strategic management: 1) Business Definition, 2) Production/Service Delivery, 3) Infrastructure (Intellectual, real and digital properties), 4) Financial Management, 5) Marketing and Communications (Audiences and Channels), 6) Organization Management (People), 7) Growth, 8) Risk Management.
With the COVID discontinuities, a heightened focus on serious climate change impacts and major social movements and their mid- to far-right-wing backlash, I will be adding “environmental” and “social” impact strategies in my practice from here on. (Political considerations play in each of these 10 realms, so I am not adding political as a dimension of strategy.) It will be interesting to see where solutions will go from here for my clients.
Thanks to host Kari Johnston who interviewed me as part of her Yukon Entrepreneurs Podcast series. Kari has been talking to Yukon business people about how they are deploying, leveraging, changing or transitioning their business models during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the case or Strategic Moves, demand skyrocketed as a result of our reputation for digital expertise and having championed digital adoption in the live arts sector in Canada over a decade. COVID simply unleashed the urgent demand to make sense of the digital world, as well as advancing on key organizational pressures, from equity, diversity and inclusion to elevating strategic planning work to a far more actionable, meaningful level.
On November 20, 2020, 31 Yukoners gathered via Zoom to talk to each other about big ideas from the starting points of:
How can we build a true Yukon digital platform to put our collective foot forward to the vast online population?
What would Yukoners and Yukon businesses have to build together to achieve such an awesome, global online presence? What kinds of content would we need to have, what kinds of digital technologies would we use to create awesome digital experiences, and what kind of visionary web presence would we create to be a global online force?
Here is the full zoom recording with annotated chapter markers as well as a written summary report:
https://yukonorganics.ca/ – sharing food orders to get high quality foods into remote locations at good prices (Scott McKenzie, Yukon)
Creative Lab North (Melaina Sheldon & Jayden Soroka, Yukon) – in development
ThePitch.ca: Online Showcase for the Performing Arts (Debbie Peters, Yukon) – in development
Yukon Transportation Museum – developing digital products and services (Janna Swales, Yukon) – in development
Guest speakers also contributed greatly to the conversation by expanding on approaches to digital technologies and opportunities: Tammy Lee, Culture Creates (Montreal), Margaret Lam, Bemused Network (Waterloo, ON)
As an online conference organizer you have an awesome opportunity to create something far better than what we are accustomed to in the physical world.
The sudden rush to digital due to COVID-19 has made video meetings an anywhere, anytime reality for many in the arts and culture sector, and beyond. From online staff meetings to live performances delivered digitally, one-to-one and one-to-many video conferencing has proven its ability to keep us connected, keep us working together and keep moving forward.
Early in the pandemic response in March 2020 we saw quick pivots toward digital events and conferences. They made clear: event organizers, hosts and speakers – many relative newcomers to these digital spaces – needed to make the leap toward digital engagement, learning and interaction.
The bottom line is: your digital conference or online event has real costs, requires different skills to produce and host well, and you have to figure out how to raise the revenue you need to make it sustainable.
Through Future Perfect, we have been researching and evolving a strong framework for a new breed of digital conferences which are more engaging, more accessible, more affordable, and minimize the digital divide that impedes communities with less access to high-speed internet from participating fully online.
PDF SERIES for download: How to design and deliver awesome digital experiences
The BC Museums Association and Heritage BC have embarked together on Future Perfect, an initiative funded by the Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Strategy Fund. Led by Inga Petri, Strategic Moves with invaluable support from Lynn Feasey, Points North Consulting, and Jason Guille, Stream Of Consciousness and Felicity Buckell.
As part of Yukon Innovation Week, Kari Johnston interviewed Inga Petri about her work in arts & culture in the digital world. I discuss my mission to help artists and arts & culture organizations use digital technologies in profound and new ways and build successful digital business models. It’s not about merely building a website, but about leveraging the latest web technologies and ways in which web 3.0 works to secure viable spaces for artistic and cultural expression and experiences.