A New Vision for the Stratford Festival
(10 pages of text)
In January 2016, the executive director of Canada's Stratford Festival, one of North America's largest repertory theatre companies, was considering the festival's long-term outlook and the role the organization played in the community. The 2015 season had been successful, and she would be able to report a small surplus to the board at the upcoming annual general meeting. But the long-term outlook wasn't as secure. Annual attendance had dropped below previous levels of more than 500,000, which was the attendance needed to ensure long-term operational sustainability. The festival had returned to its creative roots during a period when the Canadian dollar had been in decline, but it had not been enough to ensure that the organization would survive its next economic tempest. The festival needed a long-term, innovative strategy to generate sustainable growth and strengthen it sufficiently to weather future economic downturns and exchange rate fluctuations.
This case can be used in undergraduate, graduate, and executive education courses on leadership, strategy, innovation, and leading change. It is particularly well suited to be led by a team of instructors who represent diverse business disciplines, including strategy, marketing, leadership, entrepreneurship, organizational behaviour, and management information systems. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- explain the cross-enterprise challenges facing a not-for-profit organization in creating value through innovation; and
- describe the interaction of strategy, marketing, innovation, and leadership in achieving sustainable excellence.
Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
Canada, Large, 2016
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