A couple great things I’ve learnt from TLCC that really helped me out.
Before going – do your research
There are questions you are going to want to solve. Have a list.
- Some will require testing with the Devs.
- Some will be pestering the Vendors/Sponsors.
- Some will require bugging Tessitura Staff
Stalk people (responsibly)
Remember that list? Look up the people who likely have the same issue and meet up with them. In my case it’s about emailing and finding a time to catch up or say “hi” at an event. It’s less creepy than it sounds. We are there to network and solve problems after all.
Best things to have when I need a hand from someone …
- A value add. Sometimes a collaboration is enough. Sometimes you can intro someone to someone else. It’s always good to be able to exchange help though and mutually grow from the experience.
- A two way conversation. Listen and learn as well as talking about your own issue. Listening is a great way of solving your problem and follow up with an open ended question to dig deeper.
- Keep it short. We all have many things to see and do. When you have an ask try to not monopolise someones time and catch up for more later. You will bump into the same people about 100 times over the week.
- Speaking on bumping into people – I’ll often find myself introducing people to other people that have like interests. Two people are a conversation. Three people are a network.
- More business cards. I ran out on the first day when chatting to people about my presentation. They are great to have and a good way to keep the conversation going.
- Follow up. A thanks is always nice and also you can expand your network with Linkedin invites or whatever works for you.
- Thanks cost nothing. If your moved or excited about something a quick thanks can really make everyones day.
The thing with Tessitura is that people are incredibly keen to share. It’s a great community. Keeping these things in mind really help with my anxiety and occasional bouts of impostor syndrome.
So this is my first work conference overseas for Sydney dance company and I’m in San Diego California. We got in a day early and spent some time seeing the sites, mostly the San Diego Museum of Art and the Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. The Globe is a Tessitura Network member so I’m going to call that work, tax deductible work.
First day of the conference is today. Lots to take in. Also lots of faking it. Not the skills. I have some of those and am happy to ask for help where I need it. Mainly the social aspect. My anxiety has been swinging wildly in and out. When it’s in it’s hard to focus on tasks or make decisions and the world feels like there is an ugly after taste that I can’t quite work out. When it’s not there I can get a little over the top like I’ve finished a gruelling test. Modulation is tricky.
People in SD are very nice. I’ve heard that tourists say that a lot about wherever they visit. Drowning in a foreign culture can leave you appreciative of the smallest things and less likely to be demanding. But regardless people here have been great.
I’ve reached out too a couple of people to talk about things I need help with or to give a hand in return. I’m going to see how that goes. Anyway of to see how it goes. Wish me luck.
I recently listened to a wonderful Ted talk by Adam Grant on Givers, Takers and Matchers and how people described by this metric fare in the workplace and how successful they and their businesses are. Yes it’s a metric, and yes that’s something to do with why I like what at first look reads like self-help/HR fuzz, ie: it’s well thought out and supported in evidence, rather than just being opinion masquerading as metaphor used literally.
Givers are the kinds of people who pitch in to help with others work, are generous with advice and open to sharing. Takers are the kinds who are self first and will collaborate only if it benefits their advancement. Matchers are the majority who will tailor their behaviour to the situation, balance their behaviour to the situation and/or share conservatively with their resources.
Intriguingly the statistics point out that the way to increase the success in your team is not to hire more givers but to weed out the takers. A single giver in a team will inspire collaboration in matchers. Conversely a single taker will create an environment of distrust and reluctance to share. Sharing in a taker environment leads to a feeling of idea theft and burnout for givers who end up doing the work of others rather than their own making them unproductive. It’s in these environments that givers rate as the most unproductive members of a team.
What was especially interesting was adding the agreeableness metric. I won’t regurgitate what Adam says much better than I can. However in listening to this really gave me cause to rethink my many work places that I’ve worked in over the years and how I and my teams have functioned.
I truly believe that it’s the responsibility of management to manage the dynamic of their team to achieve results. It’s also true that often middle management is promoted without any supportive training. I do find it difficult to support the opting out that management does with regards to team dynamics. My thought is that it is created by
- Senior management regarding managing as either a reactive task or a logistical one
- Middle management not having the opportunity to prioritise team dynamics and falling back on solo projects and reactive leadership
Of course I’ve encountered many managers over the years who were very team orientated and it’s been a dream for similar reasons. I also think this applies to corporate, amateur and government organisations alike.
Anyway Adam Grant’s lectures are short fun and evocative and well worth a listen. Enjoy!
I was chatting with a pal yesterday about the relevance of performing arts in the contemporary landscape and so when I came to work today with a little extra time to spare I started researching. Firstly I was thinking about my 9-5 job at one of the biggest not-for-profit theatre organisations in the world, but as I went along I realised that a lot if not all of the digital practices used globally by arts organisations are applicable to individual artists and small performing arts collectives.
I’ll start first my linking Aaron Bisman’s (Director, Audience Development for Jazz at Lincoln Center) talk about digital engagement and what it’s worth to us. The goal here is connecting with your audience, engaging with them and of course converting them to your product (buying stuff essentially). Some of the key take homes is to be platform agnostic – don’t just instagram or facebook but go out to all platforms appropriately and allow people to share and trend your work.
Where I started with my research was Kevin Giglinto (Vice President for Strategy and Special Initiatives, Chicago Symphony Orchestra) on leveraging New Media. What the really means is how the CSO used live streaming to engage with audiences. The message here is clear again – be platform agnostic. You only help yourself be shared.
The good thing about all of this is not only that your work gets out there to be consumed and talked about but you are also allowing people to be swayed by your work and convert. That means more bookings for you and it can come in many forms. For a jobbing actor that can be anything from more ticket sales to your gig or bookings by producers to do their gigs. The former is better for your soul and the latter is better for your bank account.
I’ll finish with a quote from Aaron Bisman
“Your content should be niche, Your community should be inclusive”