Friday, 27 July 2007

Last day at school!

During our last morning, Arvind Bhambri continued his lecture on strategic alignment and renewal. Looking at the question of what a new director can do, Arvind pointed out that often in a new role, a director will be confronted by issues that need immediate attention (usually issues that will have been inherited.) These are issues that are best taken care of immediately and since a new director is still in a honeymoon period, there is some grace allowed in terms of effecting change.

A director will then get to know her team and direct reports. This is a time to identify where the current challenges reside, and where the question: What can i do for you? should be asked. Also a crucial time for laying the ground for trust and establishing a sense of the director's leadership.

We looked at how Strategy implies Actions:

To survive in the present, short term actions are required

To create a new future, actions are taken, stakeholders are tapped, alliances are built and audiences are created/recruited.

We further discussed the concept of slipstreaming, where you target your efforts to where the ratio of impact will be maximized.

In strategic thinking, we need to think about:

potential competitors



complementors (whose existence increases the value of what you have)

Here, you work with the following question: Are there some services or products in our institution that enable some other supplier or stakeholder to add value to us? (this needs to be a mutually beneficial relationship where the equation also adds value to the complementors.)

In my mind, Arvind's session was the most informative and useful in terms of allowing me to rethink some of my own approaches, as well in terms of providing some very useful examples of how to work more strategically in a community environment. Arvind was thanked with a spontaneous standing ovation from the whole group when he concluded his presentation. We were all impressed by his extremely clear thinking, his ability to synthesize complex questions and to help us focus our own critical thinking.

During the last part of the afternoon, Phil Knowlen helped us to reflect on how we can try to maximize the benefit of our re-entry into our work environments. We also went around the room and discussed how we will integrate some of what we have learned during the last three weeks. A colleague commented that what we have received represents a mini-MBA in arts administration. I concur!

Tonight, closing dinner at the Getty followed by poolside entertainment. I move out tomorrow morning! It's been swell! The team here has been wonderful and the program itself more than i had anticipated. Great work, Getty crew!


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