Sunday, June 3, 2012
Working in a team with share mission and vision do not require incentives like what is applied in Hawthorne - Faisal Mustaffa
This e-interview with Faisal Mustaffa was conducted by 2nd year BA (Hons) Arts Management student Norhafizah Binte Johan under the supervision of Chew Suyin (Head- School of Arts Management) for the Arts Leadership and Management class assignment at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore on 11th April 2012.
What are your responsibilities as a Managing Director/Producer?
As a Managing Director, I take care of the company’s goodwill. Being a non-profit company, what is important is for us to focus more on the creative business.
As a producer, I always open my ears open to the creative ideas derive from the creative team and think of the best way to realize their ideas. Sometimes, I also act as their dramaturge- - to do research on their behalf so that the issues they want to raise really give an impact to the society.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I seldom have time for myself. Updating accounts, writing, meeting up with pro-active people has taken most of my time.
Every stage production must be properly looked into. Pre-planning is the utmost important in producing a play. Its failure will incur cost and I try (in every production) to avoid that.
The same goes with post-production. Documentation, reports must be properly done and present to the members of the company.
Who are the staffs/crews under your supervision?
At anytime, I have one fulltime staff managing the clerical work and two interns to assist on the upcoming production.
My creative team works on project basis.
How do you motivate & empower your staffs/crews?
Teamwork. They play active roles in the company. I use ‘bottom to top’ approach. They come up with ideas and as their manager I will try to visualize their ‘dreams’.
Could you describe your leadership & management style?
I use Process Theories as my motivational to reflect my business’ result. I focus on ‘how’ rather than ‘what’. Needs are just one element in the process by which individuals decide how to behave. The freedom is always be with them. But unproductive team members (term that I use rather than staff) had to leave. Of course, three warnings need to be given and evaluations need to be done continuously. Retaining unproductive ones are loss to the company as well as the individual.
We deal by projects. Hence, it involves a team to accomplish certain projects. We put high concern for both production and the team’s satisfaction.
Are you familiar with Laissez Faire leadership style & The Hawthorne Studies management style? If yes, do you use them and how is it useful for the production? If no, what leadership & management theories are you familiar with and how do you manage the production?
Yes, I am familiar with both.
In my practice, I don’t do Laissez Faire approach or The Hawthorne Studies management style. We work day and night to bring the very best output. We interact with one another all the time.
Working in a team with share mission and vision do not require incentives like what is applied in Hawthorne. We want to achieve the same objective. We are not base on profit. We concern about issues that happen surrounding us. Thus, we understand very well our role to play in the company.
I believe in social functions. I respect the democratic way of making decision. I remain responsive to the ideas and feelings of other group members.
What are your decision making process when it comes to making a decision?
I treat my staff like they are partner to my business. They give their very sincere opinion. I open for discussion for any decision(s) to be made.
Sometimes I find some decisions were illogical and some were not benefiting. I present them with risks and consequences. They may want to proceed with their result. Hence, our profit may not in line with our target set. But the result we may get in other non-financial means, like our popularity might be increased.
What were some of the difficult scenarios that you encounter with your staffs/crews or institutes/organizations?
For creative members: Stubborn, indiscipline.
For bottom line: lack of experience. Hence, they tend to make mistakes unnecessarily.
Both will result to loss.
How did you as a Managing Director/Producer respond & handle those situations?
For creative members, do case studies.
For bottom line, negative evaluation. They need to spend more time to clear the damages. And practice makes perfect.
Do you think leadership/management theories are applicable when it comes to running a theater production?
Of course. But most importantly, there must be chemistry in the organization and mutual respect and understanding.