"And the beat goes on.................."
I have done scores of interviews over the years. There are easily another fifty people in the field that I know I would like to interview. And there are probably several hundred beyond that who would make for a great interview.
In crafting questions for these interviews, I try to highlight big issues that, while the interviewee may have specific personal thoughts, hopefully are questions the answers to which, a larger audience might find informative and relevant to their own situations. Hopefully the person being interviewed, and those reading the responses each learn something. As the interviewer, I almost always learn something new from the process.
So, here's an experiment. Let me do a brief interview with you. Right now. Here are my interview questions for your consideration. In answering them, I hope the process may help you to develop and clarify your thinking about some issues, and by so doing, even suggest new thinking for yourself.
If anyone out there would like to answer these questions (or any of them), please send them to me (in writing, together with your brief bio) via email and if there are any responses, I will consider publishing some of them. But even if not, I hope, as an exercise, that this gives you something to think about.
So - get comfortable. Your answers can be as long or brief as you think appropriate.
1. What is your assessment of how the recent election (at the local, state and federal levels) will (or won't) impact your work (if at all), short and long term?
2. What are your plans and strategies to increase staff morale, commitment and ultimately productivity this year?
3. What is the single biggest issue your organization faces?
4. Diversity and equity dominated last year's issues for arts organizations. How big are those issues to your organization in reality?
5. From time to time, there is talk about mega issues that may (or may not) impact the arts in the future. An example is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the problem of job displacement and a rearrangement of disposable income. Are these kinds of big topics the kind of thing you spend any time at all thinking about?
6. What does your community still not know, and still not "get" about your organization, and what are you planning to do about that?
7. What trends are you watching closely, and why?
8. What are the things you believe are important to you and your organization that you simply don't have the time or resources to pursue, and what does that mean for your organization?
9. Where do you see yourself in five years (not your organization, but you personally).
10. If you could change one single aspect of fundraising - what would that be?
I think your answers to these questions, might surprise you, and they certainly ought to give you some information about your job. I am almost sure those answers can lead you down new avenues of thinking. I hope so anyway.
Perhaps some of you might even consider trying to interview others in your organization and share the results. Ask pointed questions that are specific to your organizations and situations. There really are never any right or wrong answers.
I hope you have a good week.