In a poker tournament there is a concept called a "blind". It is essentially a bet that you have to put in before the hand is dealt. The blind rotates so that every person in the table eventually has to pay it.
What makes tournament poker difficult is that the blind keeps going up. If in hour 1 of the tournament the blind is X, by hour 7 of the tournament the blind might be 20X.
Essentially what the blinds do is punish inaction. It means that you can't just sit there waiting for ideal opportunities. If you don't do anything the blinds will eventually take what you have and you'll be out of the game.
I think about that concept a lot when I think about arts organizations, either nonprofit or for profit. There are plenty of proverbial "blinds" that punish inaction.
Internal changes like staff and Board turnover.
These are things that can eat away at your ability to function. The challenge is that those sorts of things can happen very gradually.
The audience gets a little older, a littler older and then POOF gone almost entirely. Things can go from annoyance to crisis in a really short period of time.
That's the bad news. The good news is that once you are aware of the blinds, you can deal with them. In a poker tournament there is typically a huge screen showing you what the blinds are. All you need to do is look up from what you are doing and notice it.
So what's your equivalent of the huge screen?
How do you look up from what you are doing?
For me, it's having pretty defined boundaries between the times I'm working and the times I'm thinking about the big picture (including the "blinds"). For example my time between 8am and 10am is reserved for pondering big picture things. I also use vacation and small breaks for the same purpose.
For you it could be different. Maybe you use professional development and mentorship to ponder the blinds.
Whatever works, as long as you have some system in place.
Because the blinds are what cause big trouble.
Like the blog? The best way to get it is via email. Sign up here. Plus you'll get a free copy of my e-book Authentic Arts Marketing