There are many potholes on the road to Financial Adaptation. One of the biggest is our unwillingness to be honest about the true challenges that we face. The goal of the first day of the TCG Financial Adaptation Arc was to try and attack, and overcome, that issue.
I wish I could take credit for how well that first Homeroom session went, but the credit belongs to Tim Shields. He opened the first session by modeling the sort of honesty and vulnerability necessary to adapt. He talked about challenges, both past and current, and how his organization was working through them.
Once he was done, he asked for questions.
Now I’ll admit, at this point I was nervous. I was worried that this room full of smart people were going to sit on their hands and save all of their real thoughts for the bar later on that evening.
Then one hand popped up and someone shared a concern.
Then another participant provided an answer for that concern.
The energy in the room changed. People were looking at each other, listening to each other, and trying to help each other find their way.
At that point, Tim and I could have just left the room. They didn’t need us. They didn’t need any experts. They just needed a bit of encouragement to be honest, a strong example of how that works, and then everything else takes care of itself.
Over the rest of the conference, those who picked the Financial Adaptation Arc will receive plenty of knowledge on all sorts of relevant topics.
But for that knowledge to move towards wisdom and ultimately action it takes that desire for honesty.
The group is well on its way.
Adam Thurman is the director of marketing for Court Theatre, one of the largest nonprofit theaters in Chicago. During his tenure, Court has had some of the highest grossing production in its 57 year history. He is also the founder of Mission Paradox, an organization devoted to connecting art and audience. He authors a widely read blog on the arts, marketing, leadership, diversity, and other issues at MissionParadox.com. He has been featured in the LA Times, Time Out New York, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Artist Resources and TedxBroadway. Adam is a former board member of the League of Chicago Theatres and has served on the Illinois Arts Council’s Advisory Panel. He has been recognized as an Emerging Leader by Americans for the Arts and the Theatre Communication Group (TCG). He is also a member of the TED mentor program and provides support and counsel to TED Fellows.