Rehearsal Resolutions: Setting Achievable Goals for Your Company

Rehearsal Resolutions: Setting Achievable Goals for Your Company

As the curtain rises on a new year, it’s the perfect time for musical theater companies to revisit their goals and set the stage for success. Whether you’re leading a professional troupe or directing a community theater group, the start of the year presents a prime opportunity to reflect, reset, and create a roadmap for the months ahead.

Lights, Camera, Goals!

I’ll never forget the first time I sat down to map out my company’s goals for the year. It was a daunting task, to say the least. I stared at a blank page, unsure of where to begin. Should I focus on expanding our audience? Improving production quality? Diversifying our casting and creative teams? The possibilities were endless, and I felt overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of it all.

But then I stumbled upon an article that changed my perspective. Researching New Year’s resolutions, I realized the key to effective goal-setting lies in the SMART framework: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. This approach has since become the foundation of my company’s annual planning process, and it’s one I encourage you to adopt as well.

Set the Stage for SMART Goals

Let’s break down the SMART method and see how it can help your musical theater company reach new heights.

Specific: Rather than setting a vague goal like “improve our marketing,” get granular. Maybe you want to increase your social media following by 20% or secure three new corporate sponsorships. The more specific you can be, the better.

Measurable: Quantify your goals whenever possible. If you want to boost ticket sales, aim for a 15% increase. Metrics make it easier to track progress and celebrate your successes.

Achievable: Dream big, but also stay grounded in reality. Overly ambitious goals can quickly become discouraging. Start with small, incremental steps and build momentum from there.

Relevant: Ensure your goals align with your company’s core mission and values. Are you focusing on the right priorities to move your organization forward?

Timely: Assign deadlines to your goals, whether it’s quarterly checkpoints or an end-of-year target. This will help maintain a sense of urgency and accountability.

By applying the SMART framework, you’ll end up with a clear, actionable plan that your entire team can rally behind. And trust me, that feeling of collective purpose and momentum is unbeatable.

Curtain Call for Collaboration

One of the biggest mistakes I see theater companies make is treating goal-setting as a solo endeavor. But the reality is, your goals won’t succeed without buy-in from your staff, volunteers, and even your audience.

Research shows that the most effective DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) goals are those that are created and owned by the entire organization. The same principle applies to your broader company objectives.

Gather input from key stakeholders during the goal-setting process. What priorities are they most passionate about? Where do they see opportunities for growth and improvement? Incorporating diverse perspectives will not only strengthen your goals but also foster a greater sense of investment and accountability.

Once you’ve finalized your plan, make sure to communicate it widely. Share your SMART goals with your team, your board, and even your patrons. Transparency builds trust and keeps everyone aligned on the path forward.

Data, Data Everywhere

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Data? In my beloved theater world? Perish the thought!” But hear me out. Data doesn’t have to be the enemy – in fact, it can be your greatest ally when it comes to goal-setting and tracking progress.

As legal professionals have learned, data-driven decision-making is essential for success in today’s fast-paced environment. The same principle applies to the performing arts.

Take a deep dive into your ticket sales, social media engagement, donor and subscriber retention, and other key metrics. What insights can you glean about your audience’s preferences and behaviors? Where are the pain points in your operations that could be streamlined?

Armed with this data, you’ll be able to set more informed, targeted goals. And as you work towards achieving those objectives, you can continuously monitor your progress and make adjustments along the way.

The Encore: Celebrating Small Wins

As you embark on your goal-setting journey, remember to celebrate the small wins along the way. It’s easy to get caught up in the big picture and lose sight of the incremental progress you’re making.

When your social media following ticks up by 5%, or you secure that first corporate sponsorship, take a moment to acknowledge the achievement. Hype it up with your team, share it on your website, or even treat yourselves to a cast party. These little victories will keep your company motivated and inspired as you work towards your bigger aspirations.

And if you happen to fall short of a goal, don’t be too hard on yourself. As the wise words from that New Year’s resolutions article reminded me, “It’s okay to miss a target – we can’t and won’t always succeed 100% of the time.” The key is to approach setbacks with compassion, learn from them, and adjust your plan accordingly.

So, as the curtain rises on a new year, I encourage you to embrace the opportunity to set SMART goals for your musical theater company. Collaborate with your team, leverage data to inform your decisions, and celebrate every step of the way. With this strategic approach, I have no doubt that your company will be taking center stage in no time.

And who knows – maybe I’ll even see you at the Musical Theater Center someday, basking in the glow of your hard-earned successes.

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