Managing arts organisations

In ihrem neu erschienenen Buch schreibt Dr. Lidia Varbanova über die Kunst der strategischen Führung eines Kunstbetriebes. Hier kommen Management-Wissen, konkrete Erfahrung in der Unternehmensführung zusammen mit den Eigenheiten in der Führung eines Kunstbetriebes.

Die strategische Führung in einem Kunstbetriebes bleibt eine grosse Herausforderung. Für viele Führungskräften in Art Institutions doch noch Fremdland.

Nachfolgend die Kurzbeschreibung des Buches.
"It looks at the unique characteristics of organisations in the arts and culture sector and shows readers how to tailor a strategic plan to help these diverse organisations meet their objectives. Innovation and entrepreneurship are considered in the book as important vectors for sustainable development. We spoke with Lidia about the need to think and act strategically, about the elements of a strategic plan, and examples for strategic management".

Varbanova, Lidia, Strategic Management in the Arts, Routledge Chapmann & Hall, 2012

ISBN: 0-415-53003-3 - Kann bei bestellt werden.


Hier die Zusammenfassung des Buches von Frau Lidia Varbanova: “Strategic Management in the Arts”

"Strategic Management in the Arts looks at the unique characteristics of organisations in the arts and culture sector and shows readers how to tailor a strategic plan to help these diverse organizations meettheir objectives. Strategic management is an essential element that drives an organisation's success, yet many cultural organizations have yet to apply strategic thinking and entrepreneurial actions within the management function. Varbanova reviews the existing theories and models of strategic management and then relates these specifically to cultural organisations. Also included are sections on entrepreneurship and innovations in the arts, considering the concept of a 'learning organisation' - an organisation able to adapt its strategy within a constantly changing, complex environment. The book is structured to walk the reader through each element of the strategic plan systematically. With a fresh approach, key questions, examples, international cases to connect theory with practice and suggestions for further reading, this book is designed to accompany classes on strategic planning, cultural management or arts management".


Nachfolgend Teile eines Interviews von Herrn Dirk Heinze mit der Autorin:

Dirk Heinze: From managing the arts to strategic management - what is the difference, and why it is important to manage strategically?

Lidia Varbanova: In the global situation of ongoing scarcity and decreases in financial support for the arts at all levels—from local to international—in which the majority of arts organisations operate today, it becomes more important than ever to understand and apply strategic management concepts and practices in arts organisations, especially considering the angle of innovation and entrepreneurship. Managing strategically is important, because arts managers should be aware of the constantly changing external environmentand how the organisation could not only survive in a long-term, but could find an effective, healthy and sustainable model of operation. It is important to manage an arts organisation or a project in a strategic mode for
the following main reasons:

  • To not only define the mission, vision and strategic goals, but to communicate them effectively to key internal and external groups that influence organisation’s performance;
  • To be able to prioritise and focus programmes and activities based not only on satisfying but creating future clients’ needs;
  • To implement on an ongoing basis innovations in all areas: not only in the creative programming, but in applying new methods of work, seeking new fundraising sources, elaborating new ways of distribution and marketing;
  • To understand well the competitive advantage of an arts organisation and its innovative and entrepreneurial potential;
  • To choose the optimum way to balance creative programming with management actions, marketing approaches and fundraising methods within a specific external context, including a cultural policy model in a country;
  • To better attract and increase collaborators, investors, funding organisations, audiences and partners in a long-term;
  • To become self-sustainable in the future, considering development of an “intrapreneurial” climate in the organisation;
  • To see the “bigger” picture in the overall ecosystem where arts organisation operates.

There are many more reasons for arts managers to manage strategically, as well as practical tools and methods elaborated in the book.

Dirk Heinze: Which elements a strategic management plan includes?

Lidia Varbanova: Theoretically speaking, the overall process of strategic management has several main phases: strategic thinking, strategic analysis, strategic planning, implementation and monitoring of the strategic plan, and finally: strategic reflections. Being myself both academic and practitioner in the arts, I believe that the elaboration of a strategic plan is a situationspecific
and organisation-specific: there is no ready formula about its content and elements. To be effective, this document should have two main parts:

  • Strategic section, answering the questions: Where do we want to be? Where are we now? It elaborates the mission, vision, long-term objectives and an analysis of the external environment and the organisation’s performance, as well as the main strategies chosen.
  • Functional section, helping an arts organisation to elaborate specific areas of organisation’s development in a long-term, such as artistic programming, planning of communications and marketing, planning of human resources and finally: financial planning, including fundraising and revenue growth.

All functional sections need synchronization with the strategic part of the plan, as their aim is to develop the practical aspects of management and make it more concrete in the long run.

Das Interview mit der Autorin führte Herr Dirk Heinze.

Quelle: Arts Management newsletter - Issue No. 112 - December 2012, Seite 13ff.

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