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pARTnership Movement Profiles: A Singing Media Mogul and a Choreographing Management Consultant

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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We have covered it here before, CEOs and business leaders who find their artistic practice very integral in the success of running their business. Let’s cover two more leaders who have proven that arts and business do indeed complement each other and make for valuable business lessons.

 

WHO: David Steinberger

 

WHAT: Juilliard-trained vocal artist, also CEO and cofounder of comiXology, an Amazon.com subsidiary that’s the largest distributor of digital comic books

 

SAY WHAT?!: In 1998, after graduating from Juilliard, Steinberger abandoned his artistic dreams of singing at The Met and instead began training Wall Street bankers and lawyers to present to audiences–first at Credit Suisse and then as a temp assigned to different firms.

 

He’s won a business plan competition while still an MBA student at NYU, raised an estimated $2.85 million in venture and seed financing in comiXology’s early days, lead annual “ask me anything” open forums at San Diego Comic Con, and orchestrated an Amazon buyout in April 2014 – proving he has built a lucrative business career getting others to listen to him.

 

QUOTABLE: To this day, he credits singing for helping him find his business voice. “When you’re performing solo–just you and your pianist, which I love to do–you’re very exposed. You learn to be really, really prepared before going on stage”.

 

TO BE HEARD, FIRST YOU MUST LISTEN

THEN, YOU MUST LEARN TO BREATHE

FINALLY, YOU MUST FOCUS

 

READ MORE: Singing Opera Helps This Media Mogul Find His Business Voice

 

 

WHO: Sydney Skybetter

 

WHAT: A choreographer, curator and consultant focusing on issues of change, choreography and technology. Both his TEDx talk and Twitter give great insight into the work and research.

 

TELL ME MORE!: He’s catalyzed innovation inside organizations ranging from The National Ballet of Canada to Hasbro, Bloomberg Philanthropies to the University of Southern California.

 

He produces an annual symposium called the Conference for Research on Choreographic Interfaces (CRCI) to gather dancers, ethnographers, computer scientists, artists and others to think about how we choreograph our devices, and how they choreograph us. Oh, he’s also faculty at Brown University.

 

QUOTABLE: “If you want to fire people and ratchet up efficiency, hire a suit. If you want your team to ideate and move seamlessly together, hire a choreographer.”

 

READ MORE: Meet The Choreographer Shaking Up Organizations By Chasing The Silences

 

Photo: Steinberger via Fast Company and Skybetter via Safety Third Productions.

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Feedback Tips From the Metropolitan Opera

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Feedback Tips From the Metropolitan Opera

Whether your business is going through an organizational change or focusing on employee performance, setting clear expectations and creating a feedback plan for managers can have a real impact on employee retention. According to The National, six percent of Fortune 500 companies have already replaced traditional annual review performance rankings, primarily due to the need for more constant feedback, and the number is growing.

 

A Forbes article also makes the case that feedback is particularly important for millenial employees. "Many millennials have received adult feedback throughout their earlier years; they’ve often had close involvement from parents in their education and close support and encouragement from teachers and mentors at school. The contrast can be jarring when they arrive at their first professional position and suddenly have nobody who’s interested in telling them how they’re doing."

 

Executive coach Barry Goldberg recently had the opportunity to listen in on Arkansas' auditions for the New York Metropolitan Opera and noted some key takeways in Arkansas Business that managers can use when offering feedback to employees. For example:
 

  • “Here is what I wrote down…” Share specifics about what worked and what didn't. Be direct and fearless.
  • “What I think you should do is…” Offer clear recommendations. Show by example, if possible.
  • “I want to encourage you to…” Provide solid feedback about what is working.
  • “Please let me know how it is going…” Offer encouragement and create accountability.

 

To learn more about Goldberg's feedback observations, read his article here.

 

Has your arts training helped you be a better manager? Tell us about it on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email us at partnership@artsusa.org.

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Get in the "Arts Zone" with 'AutoZone: The Opera'

Posted by Nicole Glotzer & Patrick O'Herron
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How does AutoZone get in the "arts zone"? By presenting 'AutoZone: The Opera', of course!

 

It may come as a surprise that the American automotive parts and accessories retailer is not just obsessed with carborators and fan belts, but also supports many artistic endeavors in Memphis, home of the company’s headquarters, including local opera company Opera Memphis. AutoZone has been a key partner in Opera Memphis’s 30 Days of Opera, a public-outreach initiative that aims to integrate opera into everyday life. 30 Days of Opera features “pop-up” recitals, master classes, and other operatic performances. Since its launch in 2012, the program has reached more than 50,000 people at over 80 locations throughout the greater Memphis region, presenting over 100 operatic events.

 

The five-minute 'AutoZone: The Opera', performed as part of the 2013 30 Days of Opera, features a cast of characters lamenting their car problems in song to an AutoZone customer service representative. The piece aims to showcase AutoZone’s major corporate culture highpoints, including Customer for Life, 5 on the Phone, and Trusted Advice. It is a clever example of a company utilizing the performing arts to reach and engage new audiences and enhance its brand. Click on the video link below to view the full (highly entertaining) performance.

 

 

In addition to Opera Memphis, AutoZone also partners with ArtsMemphis, the Children’s Museum of Memphis, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Orpheum Theatre. The company is a true champion of arts support, and we applaud all its efforts to get in the "arts zone."

 

For more information on AutoZone's deep commitment to the Memphis community, visit AutoZoneInc.com.

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