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March 2012
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A lesson in the advent of TEAMS

So what happens when  your Art group, council, society or club begins to shift from talking about volunteers and committees to assigning “Teams?” Is this a good change or a bad change?  Or a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

The new thinking is that the word “committee” is no longer in vogue and perhaps it conjures up Congress or the PTA.  Whereas TEAM conjure up teamwork, or the “go get ‘em” mentality. Corporate worlds have replaced the old words with the new for awhile now. But the question is : Has anything changed? Or is it still just one or two people looking for their little moment of authority?

We found it interesting when our county art council, funded by the state and memberships, began to shift towards the team mentality. Oddly enough that mentality was already there in the form of common good as a group of hardworking, unpaid volunteer Board members gave up many a Saturday to bring an obselete building and dying membership back into  the light. There was that “just roll up your shirtsleeves and get it done” mentality and comraderie that did not need to be enhanced or clarified  by a “committee” or “Team” tagline. The work got done in amazing time with amazing results.

Fast forward to a few new members fresh from corporate America (oh my we know how that works), with a Napoleon syndrome, and all of a sudden we are looking at charts and graphs that look like a family ancestry page and new papers to sign, rights squelched and TEAMS.   And now, nothing is getting done but a lot of talk.

What just happened? How could someone take a good idea, a working grass roots plan and  indoctrinate it with corporate laws, bylaws, adendums, control intellectual rights, muzzle  ideas and smother creativity-all in the name of “TEAM growth?” Worse of all, only we saw and spoke up about the “emperor’s clothes.” How could sane people not see this for what it was….and is?  There is always a danger in removing the checks and balances in a democratic art environment….

Oh wait, we’re taking about Art right?

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