create balance

Today's challenges will be followed by tomorrow’s...

some audiences arrive late, some very late.

some consistently crinkle sweetie wrappers or eat, loudly. 

some check their phones and talk at a volume beyond a loud whisper… 

and now… some even sing and dance!

Worse still, they don’t see the problem. 

But is there a problem, or is it simply about our agility to adjust and better manage?

Some say that changes in behaviour have accelerated since lockdown… maybe, but changes in attitude and behaviour are consistently evolving and have been for a long time. And those who are agile, have been adjusting accordingly and remain relevant.

Historically, most professional direction, advise or authority was respected. There was a time when, whatever a policeman suggested, or a doctor prescribed, or a teacher advised, it was simply accepted. There was no element of doubt… indeed there was often reassurance taken from the interaction. The notion to dispute or seek a second opinion would be quite alien.

Today is different… there’s been a re-balancing. Greater transparency has revealed cause to doubt or indeed witness an abuse of trust, by many ‘in power’.  Balance this with us also enjoying greater choice plus greater freedom of expression, empowerment and independence. We now question and assume permission, to openly challenge all three of these trusted professions and most others too.

So, maybe this is simply highlighting the attitudinal changes that continue to evolve? If we look at those three today, they have each adjusted ‘how’ they offer their services and, as result, better respond to their respective audiences.

However, in doing this, the core of their service did not change…

- Police today still follow and endorse the defined principles of law in keeping the streets safe

- Doctor’s today still take the same oath as their predecessors to protect life

- And teachers in training today, still adopt with pride, the consistent value of their profession - to provide development through education

In each case their Who we areWhat we do and Why we do it has remained… and will remain, a constant.

What has changed is the current reality, the evolving world around them… and therefore the expectations and behaviour of their ‘audience’.  They still pursue their purpose but adjust ‘how’ they do things to remain appropriate and relevant… by doing so it has given them a different relationship with their audience, but also the ability to survive in today’s world, to succeed and move forward.

We call this creating balance… and without it, an organisation falls behind and misses what matters most... remaining relevant and able to move forward.

Can we parallel this with how we better engage with theatre audiences?

Well once again, it doesn’t start there. Before deciding on the appropriate action for each situation, we must begin by defining the core of the organisation or brand. Firstly, clarify and define your WHO, WHAT & WHY… find your balance and all align to the output.

Doing this will give you a secure and consistent platform, in service of which you can now shape and agree relevant action… agree HOW you can best serve the needs of your audience, balanced with being true to your brand values and operating at your best.

There are many proposed solutions currently being shared… 

Better managing audience expectations is a sensible call, clearer marketing communication is positioned as part of this, as is the demonstrating of consistent ‘house rules’ by the theatre team. 

All are worthy but the starting point remains your WHO, WHAT, WHY.

If you’re a leading theatre group, who believes your core WHY is to give audiences an exceptional experience, then all solutions must be shaped primarily to protect, promote and deliver this. This is the balanced starting point of shaping actions that will be perfectly relevant and appropriate to that organisation.

Delivering responses that have been shaped outside this… may appear to your audience as ill conceived, hasty and potentially inappropriate. One thing is certain, today’s challenges will be followed by tomorrow’s… and, as each current reality unfolds, our attitudes and behaviours will evolve accordingly. The skill is maintaining balance, continually having the agility to adjust HOW you do things.

That’s what we do.

Is there a problem, or is it simply about our agility to adjust and better manage? Today’s challenges will be followed by tomorrow’s… and attitudes will evolve accordingly.

more balanced thinking