arts axis llc
random thoughts

arts axis llc founder and president Andrew Taylor writes a weblog on ArtsJournal.com. The Artful Manager explores both deep and fluffy issues surrounding arts and cultural management, marketing, and support.

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Strong opinions, weakly held
Posted on Monday June 25, 2018

The yelling and pointing in our current civic environment keeps me going back to futurist Paul Saffo and his mantra: “strong opinions, weakly held.” In his extensive work exploring the present and divining the future, he found this combination to be a productive path toward more robust thinking. As he described it back in 2008: […]

The pyramid and the wheel
Posted on Wednesday May 30, 2018

There are countless ways to categorize collective human action (by legal entity, by sector, by formal/informal structure, by tax status, by geography, and on and on). But sociologist/political-scientist/historian Johan Galtung suggests there are essentially two types: thick-and-small (“the wheel” or “Beta”) and thin-and-big (“the pyramid” or “Alpha”). In Galtung’s framing, “small/big” describes the size of […]

Fostering intuition
Posted on Wednesday May 16, 2018

One of the remarkable attributes of experts in a discipline or domain is how quickly they can assess and respond to a complex moment. In a flash, it seems, they cut through the noise, “see” the key components, and “read” the essential patterns that define the best range of response. Whether it’s a grandmaster chess […]

The Adjacent Possible
Posted on Tuesday February 27, 2018

So much of leadership, management, and change narrative is about “gap analysis.” The thinking goes that we achieve a desired future by describing a bold vision, defining our current location, mapping the gap between here and there, and then planning and adjusting our route at check-points along the way. This is what grant proposals and […]

Da Vinci’s BFF, the CPA
Posted on Wednesday February 21, 2018

It’s common modern practice to consider art and commerce in opposition to each other, and artists and accountants as cartoonish polar opposites, as well. But it wasn’t always so. About 520 years ago, art and commerce, artist and accountant, lived with and learned from each other through the lives of Luca Pacioli and an up-and-comer […]

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