Management is about people. Still it looks like, that the culture of management is less developed particularly in the field of artistic and cultural institutions, although e.g. conductors need to have the utmost management skills in order to lead a bunch of “individualists” together to one orchestra with one sound, says Monika Picker, business coaching expert whose clients are among others members of Belgrade Philharmonic String Quartet
- How can managers help to improve the management in the field of culture and to attain financial self-sustainability and enhance the operation of cultural institutions?
Management is everywhere the same, if in a financial or in a cultural institution or in in NGO. Management is about people. Still it looks like, that the culture of management is less developed particularly in the field of artistic and cultural institutions, although e.g. conductors need to have the utmost management skills in order to lead a bunch of “individualists” together to one orchestra with one sound. But also in managing an orchestra a high degree of sensitivity on the one hand and cold management skills are needed.It is about organization, self-discipline, goals, strategy etc. Very important in that issue is not only management but also Branding and marketing. I was born in Salzburg, the city of the Salzburg Festivals – famous all over the world. And my family owns a business in this city in 4th generation. Salzburg is a place where art and business meet.
- Do you think that the future of institutions like the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra lies in public-private partnerships? In Europe Orchestras are within the state realm. However, as the genius approach of the BF did show, the real boost did come after private partners in the first place as sponsors were taken in and involved in the dealings of the Orchestra. So I firmly believe that an institutionalisation of this public-private partnership will further increase the success of the BF. We have good examples for public- private partnerships in Salzburg and a long and fruitful tradition in that. In my work as Business coach I concentrate on solutions and success. Motivation is also an important factor in public-private partnership because an individual burns for an idea and if you burn for music you want also others to burn for it. Private partners are often more engaged in supporting the results of excellent work. And they are proud of their musicians and orchestras. Just as they are proud of good results in business. But music is more than profit.
- What are the benefits of coaching in culture management in general, and in Eastern Europe in particular? As I said, there is little difference in the art of management between culture organisations and plain businesses. A manager is facing always the same problems, as for example to create an functional teamwork, find his style of leadership , creating a productive and inspiring corporate culture. Coaching is a creative possibility to enhance the management capacity of any individual. Not only in Art and plain business. Even the best tennis player of the world is working with a coach, so do the top managers. And why not Musicians and Orchestras? In some countries the profession of culture manager is already established, however, I have not met many in Eastern Europe, but I am convinced that any country needs many of them. It does not mean selling art for profit, it is simply supporting the process of opening the pleasure of music to a broader audience and enable more people to enjoy the eternal beauty of music. The more people are involved in this process the better will be the results. Management tools are used for success and better results. Why not use them to make more people listening to music.
- What are your impressions of Belgrade? As I have been living in Belgrade already in the middle of the 2000 years – at that time also with our children, it is even nicer to come back to my beloved Belgrade. I mostly enjoy the flair of the metropolis with a southern, almost Mediterranean touch. I enjoy the food, but mostly the people, their openness, warm friendship and still their strong character. I enjoy working and living in Belgrade and am happy to contribute with my work to the further successful development of Serbia. I spent the happiest year of my live in Belgrade and hope that this will last for many years more.
- Further plans?
Enhancing the idea of the Art of Business coaching as advancing in the art of management in all areas. Coaching is focused on making your life easier, give you a possibility to develop your skills, and try new things. It is not magic but can ease your life. The more people have a personal profit from Coaching the more people will understand the benefit of a coach. I will continue to work on that goal.