For the organization that you used in Activity 2, what are the changes in its environment that it can tolerate, i.e. for which it is viable?
One thing that has affected our band is the current economic situation. We used to have a sponsor but business became more difficult and he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) provide further funding. The band can survive on a surprisingly small amount of cash but we lost quite a large amount of income when that happened and we’ve been losing money ever since.
Similarly, the economic situation affects concert goers. If they can’t afford to go out quite so often there is less opportunity for us to put on (or be invited to) concerts. We may also be paid less for the same job. The local council has less money to spread around and so park jobs are more scarce.
Another problem facing many brass bands is the prospect of losing players to other bands, or players generally losing interest in playing at all. Quite a few bands have folded due to this. If the quality of music being played isn’t very good then you can’t attract the better players, or the players you do have may be tempted to go elsewhere.
Brass bands are also becoming more and more old fashioned. Concert goers tend to be older people and it’s difficult to persuade the younger generation that brass band music is something worth listening to, or playing.
These are just a few of the problems that affect our band (and others). Funding is hard to come by but is possible through having a dedicated committee trying to find different sources. We have lost and gained players in the past – and will continue to do so – but we do seem to be able to maintain a generally high level quality of music. Having a good MD helps, and we do.
Attracting a wider range of audience involves having an eclectic mix of music to play. We do try and play a selection of more modern and traditional music, including quite a few jazzier pieces that might attract younger people.
Select one of the organizations that you identified in Activity 1. For that organization:
(a) describe your main relationships within the organization;
I’m going to choose my band for this as I think this is likely to be the source of my project for T306.
Principally, I’m friends with the people at band. They’re not my closest friends, but I’ve known the majority of people there for quite some time now. I’m friendlier with some more than others of course, but there isn’t anyone there that I don’t like or have personality clashes with.
(b) make notes of the power structure within the organization;
There is a committee that runs the band and a musical director (MD) that conducts us. The MD does not have any power to run the band – he’s an employee – but does have the final say over what we play and our musical direction.
The “leader” of the committee is the Chairman but decisions are made by the whole committee, and any decisions that have large repercussions (such as the appointment of a new MD) are generally opened up to the whole band. The committee is appointed every year at an AGM and it’s all very democratic. The organisational structure isn’t flat – more like a flattened hierarchy, with the committee members elevated just a little bit. Other people’s perspectives are generally taken into account.
(c) describe its purpose from your perspective.
From my perspective? To provide a platform for playing and enjoying music, and to create an enjoyable social atmosphere. We are self-supporting and so need to raise money from subscriptions (we all play to pay) and from concerts, so another purpose might be to raise money in order to provide this musical platform.
I just want to play music and I enjoy going to contests. I also enjoy the social aspect, but perhaps some of the others may have different ideas about what the band is all about.
List all the organizations of which you consider yourself a part.
Well, I have a full-time job and so I’m a member of my work organisation. I could probably break that into two organisations or more; the wider company organisation (over 80,000 people worldwide) and my local project organisation, plus there’s also the UK-centric part of the company that seems to “compete” with our European counterparts.
I’m also a member of a brass band – Carlton Brass. I’ve been with the band for over ten years and have spent some time on the committee, although I’m currently taking a break from that due to my OU studies. There are around 50 or so members of the organisation (two bands).
I might be able to include other social organisations, like my collection of Facebook, Twitter or Google+ friends, but I’m not entirely sure that this is relevant to my studies (but you never know). These do seem to be an autonomous collective of individuals with a purpose (staying in touch, amusement etc), so these may come into future discussions.