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Author Topic: Managing studio office  (Read 2381 times)

skiboy

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Managing studio office
« on: May 24, 2004, 08:04:16 am »

Hi,

i'm running a busy two room suite of post-production studios.
Luckily and due to hard work and investments in legit gear /software, our studios have been earning a good reputation in our market since '93.
I have a stesdy crew of 2 studio manageresses (sic), 2 production managers,
2 accounts and my business partner.
All are enjoying nice incomes based on our studios' turnaround and production fees for sound, video productions AND agency fee.
However, apart from this picture perfect idyll there is a growing unrest in our
team. There seem to be too many intrigues between our female personnel.
My partner is dancing with our video producers to the tune of "studio office is incompetent" and "video generates more income therefore audio is reduntant"
I am being bombarded by my ofiice mangeresses' woes and complaints of unfair treatment. I am starting a "heavy" dispute with my partner as to who is who in our little anthill.
My ulcers are starting to apply pressure on my brain !
When I was a frontline engineer in my studios, I was mindlessly busy all the time and had no idea of social intigue and office politics.
Now that I'm an employer (of the best people around), I have to deal with this
.....F**K IT !
After 15 years of practicing the art I love, I am being forced to start hating MY OWN ENTERPRISE...should I return to what I do best ?
And who will run my company then... I REALLY have to trust at least my business partner ?
Any ideas from the more experienced engineers/entreprenuers among us ?

Oh, the innocence lost....

Piotr Kokosinski
Post Meridian Productions

Crying or Very Sad
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Fletcher

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Re: Managing studio office
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2004, 08:16:10 am »

Bro, you need to grab the bull by the horns and make the joint fun again... audio will never make as much as video, but if your facility starts putting out video with shitty audio, the whole house of cards might tumble and fall.

There are so many agencies that have brought audio and video production in house that your overall quality has to be so far and away above what an agency can do "in house" that they're forced to go 'out of house' for your services... your partner needs to understand this reality.

I've found that a once a week or once every coupla weeks 'upper level staff' meeting is imperitive to keeping the engine firing on all cylinders.  Problem with the female staff being harassed?  Bring it up at the meeting and figure out a "right now" solution.  If you let anything like that get anywhere near out of hand you're so fucked it's ridiculous... lawsuits, low staff morale, and of course the dreaded "office politiks" that will eventually divide the staff and split the house.

Communication is the key.  You are in the communication business, so communicate.  The struggles you speak of can be resolved if you hit them straight on... if you let them sit and fester, or hide in a control room, you might as well kiss your baby goodbye as you've sentenced it to a long, ugly, protracted and painful death.

Hardware is hardware but the people that run the hardware are the key to success... and the entire corporate culture comes from the top... so, as a company director it's your job to keep the place fun.  If you have a problem with your partner, either work it out or move on... if you're having a problem with the staff, find the problem, isolate the problem, solve the problem or it's just going to get worse.

Best of luck with it... over the years we've had "office politik" problems... they've all been addressed and solved.  Sometimes someone who is causing one of these problems is someone who gets the notion that they're indispensible to the business and that if they weren't there the buisness would crash and burn in a few hours.  This is never a reality.

The reality is that no one member of a team is indispensible, however, if the team isn't functioning as a team then you're fucked.  Yes, somethings can be harder if you lose a 'key player', but the fact of the matter is that if you have a strong team you'll survive... and if you have a strong team that is a happy, and if your team works and plays well together there are very few obstacles that will keep your team from winning.

Best of luck with it.
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch.  
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Fibes

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Re: Managing studio office
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2004, 09:42:33 am »

One of Fletcher's best posts since this board went up... i agree.


Communication! Office meetings are a great thing, pick a time that is convenient for everyone and discuss evrything that is going on workwise, morale wise and solicit suggestions people may have to increase productivity. You may find that these once a week meetings will keep you in the loop more efficiently and allow you to dabble a bit more with audio again.

I also heartily agree about the video with bad audio point. It makes a huge difference, especially when it's a negative one. Bad audio kills.
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Fibes
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skiboy

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Re: Managing studio office
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2004, 09:59:03 am »

Thanks Fletcher !

You nailed it ! COMMUNICATION is THE KEY.
All of my problems stem from peoples' unwilingness to communicate directly their REALLY IMPORTANT messages. As many linguists say; the primary function of language is fatic.
That means we are apt to spew all kinds of irrelevant chitchat just to keep
our comm channels open and manifest our entities. There doesn't have to be any meaning to it, we seem to like hearing other people around.
A solemn and somber silence, brought about by a lackadaisical character always signals tension, uncertainity, fear.
Therefore, the amount of ofiice gossip and/or slander/intrigue is just a byproduct of the amount of free time enjoyed in our studio lounge by my staff.
When they are busy working on projects, thei communication channels are free of clutter, all misunderstandings are immediately resolved because  errors corrupt even the simplest of tasks.

My idea is to implement (as per your experience) weekly slander fests for our crew.
We will meet in the boardroom for 1 hour each week and shout, scream and curse each other , no holds barred. No one will be allowed to remain silent or aloof and aloft. After that, we'll see

Laughing

Office RealPolitik is a drag, but someone's GOT to control that, problems won't just go away by themselves.
But the trick is to control without using force or terror tactics - just as a mixer would work on a song without destroying its integrity and artistic meaning - applying  little EQ here maybe some compression there. Nothing drastic, unless
he/she is mixing acid/alternative/transe  Smile Just bring up my faders and listen...that's what I used to do...once upon a time.
Above all, everything must be kept open , clear and straightforward, so that everyone knows the rules and relations by heart and not by simply remembering that one must be civil at all times.
I guess in the way of debating or resolving problems by teamwork, we have some way to go...
Rolling Eyes  Rolling Eyes  Rolling Eyes
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skiboy

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Re: Managing studio office
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2004, 10:43:39 am »

Yes&yes Fibes...
I really appreciate your thoughts on this.

I was a bit too crazy once... it's a process of  RE-developing your communication skills. You know, acid trance to opera kind of evolution thing
Razz
Any way to give u an idea where it's coming from:

http://homepage.mac.com/skiboy/PhotoAlbum4.html

This is just a temp .mac account until we revamp our main site.





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