Strategic Decision-Making in the Performing Arts: The Power of the Hedgehog Concept

In the dynamic world of the performing arts, strategic decision-making is essential for success. However, making the right decisions can be challenging, especially when balancing artistic vision with financial considerations. Building upon the Hedgehog Concept from Jim Collins’ Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t, let’s look at how it can guide strategic decision-making in the performing arts, with a focus on program book publishing and audience development.

Understanding the Hedgehog Concept

Derived from the simplicity of the Hedgehog’s view of the world, the Hedgehog Concept involves finding the intersection of three key elements: what you are deeply passionate about, what you can be the best in the world at, and what drives your economic engine. In the performing arts, this means identifying the organization’s core strengths, such as bringing the performing arts to the local community, artistic direction, or stage production.

Identifying Core Strengths in the Arts

Performing arts organizations can identify their core strengths by evaluating their artistic vision, expertise, and unique offerings. This can involve assessing the quality of their productions, the strength of their artistic team, and their ability to engage and retain audiences.

Aligning with the Mission

Once core strengths are identified, they can be aligned with the organization’s mission for strategic planning. For example, if an organization’s core strength is bringing the performing arts to the local community, it can focus on community engagement initiatives and outreach programs. If artistic direction is a strength, it can focus on producing high-quality performances that resonate with its audience.

Outsourcing Weaknesses

It’s also important to identify weaknesses and consider outsourcing them. For example, if program book publishing is not a core strength, it can be outsourced to managed services. This allows the organization to focus on its core strengths while ensuring that all aspects of the production, including program book publishing, are of the highest quality.

The Case for Outsourcing Program Books

Publishing program books in-house can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, taking away from the organization’s core mission. Outsourcing program book publishing to managed services can align with the Hedgehog Concept by allowing the organization to focus on its core strengths. This can result in cost savings, access to specialized expertise, and improved quality.

Strategic decision-making is essential for performing arts organizations to thrive in a competitive landscape. By applying the Hedgehog Concept and aligning core strengths with the organization’s mission, organizations can make informed decisions that lead to greater success. Outsourcing program book publishing to managed services is just one example of how organizations can leverage their strengths to improve efficiency and focus on their core mission.

Onstage Managed Program Book Services can assist performing arts organizations in their journey from good to great. Our expertise in program books, whether all print, digital, or a mix, ensures a seamless transition that elevates your organization and pleases your patrons.

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