Creating narrative change is always tough, but doing it in the arts, where beliefs and behaviour are grounded in centuries of stories and tradition can seem impossible. You need to be able to weave a powerful vision, rich data and purpose-driven leadership together into a compelling story that informs and inspires change. And that's exactly what I talk about in this episode with Aubrey Bergauer.
As the CEO of Changing the Narrative, she uses classical music and the arts as a vehicle to create social and system change. Her work builds on her success as the Executive Director of the California Symphony, where she propelled the organization to double the size of its audience and nearly quadruple the donor base in less than five years.
A graduate of Rice University with degrees in Music Performance and Business, Aubrey's work and leadership have been covered in national publications including Entrepreneur, Thrive Global, Wall Street Journal, and Southwest Airlines and Symphony magazines, and she is a frequent speaker at universities and conferences across North America, including Adobe’s Magento, TEDx, Opera America, the League of American Orchestras, and Orchestras Canada.
In our conversation, she tells us how she combined stories and data to find new opportunities and engage both staff and subscribers in a new narrative for classical music. She also unpacks her leadership approach to finding, testing and building on small experiments that ultimately pay off big for her clients. And she shows us how having a strong, clear purpose helps her create a bold vision that makes it easy to win the support of boards and donors alike.
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