First 50 Days
DAY 42: BuildCSz Dayz (Mar 22)Written by Matt Elwell, CPLP
Today I was reminded of those halcyon days when we built out our current theater. (Okay, it was only a couple years ago, but still.)
Anyway, a friend of mine who donated to our build-out is moving away and today was our goodbye lunch. We went to Margies and on Montrose and had jumbo sundaes -- ah, the things you can eat when you're a grown up! (That's what sh-- oh, never mind.)
The lunch made me remember the struggle to get our 929 W Belmont space open, to move our offices from Foster and Ravenswood while moving our show from Chicago and Halsted. So many ensemble members were volunteering their time to help with the build-out/move-in. The place was filled with anticipation and excitement. It had been over a year since losing our old 2851 N Halsted home. We had been feeling itinerant and disconnected, but finally we were coming home. (We were being pursued by cylons. And all we had was this rusty old Battlestar...)
Here's the lesson, when you're lucky enough to have this kind of a symbolic transformation in your organization, hold on to it. That release of energy can be sustained for a while if you continue to connect your goals, objectives, and message to that one cultural event.
For some reason, this makes me want to recommend a Lencioni book:
If I remember the book correctly, he notes that the one place you don't see a lot of infighting and rivalry is an Emergency Room. When lives are clearly and immediately on the line, you don't play politics. But, it doesn't have to be a human life-or-death struggle, it can be an organization's. And when everyone in the organization sees that struggle in a unified way, you have alignment. And with an aligned workforce, you can do anything... even open the most beautiful improv theater in Chicago. ;)