How events in the case coincide with issues raised in the case
The first major event was when the Royal Conservatory of music was annexed to the University of Toronto. This coincided with the successful nature of the Conservatory. Since it was acknowledged as the top piano school, then it was only natural for the institution to associate with one of the top tertiary institutions in Canada. These two entities had one thing in common; they both trained students to become professionals in music.
The next event was the restructuring of the Conservatory. This coincided with the relatively new appointment of Peter Simon as President. He restructured at a time when the institution was marred by a lack of identity since it had lost its traditional role of training concert type musicians to the University of Toronto.
The Conservatory had lost control of its crucial functions and it may have been this issue that prompted Peter Simon to restructure by firing staff. The other event was separation of the university from the Conservatory. This coincided with poor financial management which came with an academic culture. He saw the need to inject a new culture into the Conservatory through a shift to corporate culture.
The other events included introduction of new genres of music through the music path, renovations, creation of a new centre, internet and outreach programs. Each of these latter events coincided with the expansion of the school of music, better financial management and proliferation of technologies respectively.
Whether Peter Simon has been successful
Peter Simon has been successful because he has turned around the ill fortunes of the Conservatory. He identified the various problems ailing this institution and came up with a strategy for turning them around. In other words, he identified problems in financial management, human resources, program offerings, technological use, expansion of the institution and organizational culture. He has raised the financial well being of the institution as seen through the many projects he initiated.
The introduction of outreach programs and learning through the arts are new ways of raising revenue and are also indicative of his success in changing the organizational culture and organizational growth. He has also addressed problems in human resources by restructuring and delineating the Conservatory from the University. Issues of technology use have been addressed through the internet outreach programs.
Meaning of shift from academic and corporate culture
In any academic institution, focus is usually on instilling knowledge rather than financial gain. This means that an institution may sacrifice some financial gains for educational purposes. One of the reasons why the conservatory held on to all those teachers was because they focused on what they could achieve academically rather than business wise.
In the corporate culture, decisions are based on the concept of maximization of profit. In other words, strong financial performance is a priority and if this necessitates firing staff or introducing new and unconventional programs to raise revenue then those decisions will be made. The two notions are incompatible because academic cultures are often slow and bureaucratic while corporate cultures are always fast moving.
Advice for Simon in the future
Simon should remember that barrier removal is an important component of change management. Consequently, he should learn to discern possible competing initiatives and opposition as was the case with the University of Toronto so that they do not hamper the process. He also needs to have feedback mechanisms that will help him understand the success of his initiatives.
Scott, A. (2005). Simon Says: As Head of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Peter Simon Has Turned the Place Upside Down, Pushing a Controversial $60-Million Reno Job and Introducing (the Horror!) Acid Jazz and World Music to the Play list. How a Fusty Old School Got Its Groove Back. Toronto, January 2005, pp. 55-58