It is said that a ship in harbour is safe, but that is not why ships were made. Without a driving force at the helm, no group of artists will have a clear vision of what it can become. Good management must be able to assess the degree of certainty in any situation, whether conditions are certain, risky, or uncertain so as to be able to make more effective decisions.
The only things that are likely to evolve by themselves in an unmanaged musical group are friction and disorder.
EMD Artist Representation essentially considers management to be the process of working with and through others to achieve goals in a changing environment. At the core of this process is the effective and efficient use of often limited resources. The only real choice for an artist is between management and mismanagement. EMD believes management must be effective by getting the job done while at the same time being efficient enough to constrain costs as much as possible to maximize the use of fixed assets. Too much emphasis in either direction leads to mismanagement. Good management is really a blend of systematic techniques and common sense.
Managing involves listening. And listening, really listening, is tough and grinding work, often humble, sometimes distasteful. It's a sure bet that you won't like the lion's share of what you hear.
Managing groups of creative individuals can pose certain unique problems. They may be nonconformists who often like to get lost in the intriguing aspects of their craft and can resent managerial attempts to get them back on track. The line between the unencumbered development of art and rigid managerial focus on success and profitability can be a delicate balancing act. A good manager will understand that flexibility is essential in attempts to get creative artists to adhere to guidelines where profit and success are the focus of main concern.
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