Your Daily Dose of Cognitive Dissonance

Here’s the full Strib article about Osmo’s letter.

Campbell said he was not surprised that Vänskä’s letter was released to news media in a labor dispute that has become increasingly public. “But I’m certainly disappointed that we’re not sitting down in private trying to find a solution,” he said.

In case you forgot, Mr. Campbell was the man who said OK to releasing the entirety of the proposed contract online on September 5, weeks before the deadline of September 30. (It came a day after the SPCO released their proposed contract. Coincidence? ….) In their open letter, the MOA Negotiations Committee said, “For nearly five months, we have held our negotiations behind closed doors to foster a respectful process. With the deadline for contract expiration less than a month away, we feel that now is the time to update all who have a stake in the outcome on the proposals that we have put forth to musicians.”

So, to recap:

Management going public with a draconian proposed contract behind musicians’ backs weeks before the old contract expired = helpful and necessary

Musicians (presumably) going public with a letter their music director wrote to them discussing the future of their orchestra = disappointing

Private negotiations in September = bad

Private negotiations in November = good

Got that?

Interestingly, it’s possible to read between the lines and realize management is not completely comfortable with what has just transpired. Despite their ridiculous email response, they obviously understand that Osmo’s letter is a PR loss for them…because otherwise they would have wanted to be the ones to release it to the press. Correct? And they acknowledge here they didn’t. So aha, Mr. Campbell. You’ve inadvertently shown your hand. If this letter was such a great bolster to your cause, why weren’t you running to the Star Tribune office with it? (Not to mention…there was no link to Osmo’s full letter in their email response. It’s almost as if they don’t want us to read the whole thing.)

It must be tough to live under the weight of such cognitive dissonance.



Filed under My Writing

8 responses to “Your Daily Dose of Cognitive Dissonance

  1. Amy Adams

    Excellent insight here, Emily. And now that Osmo’s letter is in everyone’s hands, they can see for themselves management’s urgent desire to spin it to their advantage.

  2. Ken

    The fact that management would try to put a positive spin on that letter does not surprise me. But how dumb do they think we are? The letter clearly does not play in managements favor nor is it even a neutral letter.

    I’m very proud that Osmo released this letter. It was a perfect letter. I always knew he would do the right thing, and he did.

  3. Terry

    To mix a few metaphors: I think our Greek Tragedy just had it’s 11 o’clock Number, and Osmo hit a home-run. Whether or not that will be enough to save the show remains to be seen.

  4. Your comment about cognitive dissonance got me thinking. When management speaks–they hear themselves as a P8. When everyone else
    speaks — you, the musicians, Osmo, the patrons, past music directors, the city council, the mayor etc. etc. they always hear it as a tritone. Boy, do they have tin ears

  5. Matthew Probst

    If the orchestra plans to save anything, they’d do well to stop assuming that the board and management want to save _any_ remnant of it. We’ve already lost the assumption that they want to “play fair” and it’s time to lose the assumption that they will “listen to reason”.

    They want the two standing professional orchestras in the area to be dissolved, and to own a concert hall they can rent out for all sorts of events, and to occasionally hire touring orchestras for pops concerts, and to book very little music outside the blessed “canon”. They do not want to pay to maintain a standing orchestra at all. Their end game is not just a _reduced_ Minnesota Orchestra, it’s _no_ orchestra at all. It seems obvious to me given the collusion between management of the Minnesota Orchestra and SPCO. They’re just _pretending_ that they want an orchestra to remain, to hold off the inevitable backlash.

    At this point, any “victory” won against management is going to be only temporary. Perhaps there are some political moves they can make on their own to preserve as much as possible? I’m sure it’s being talked about in private already. It’s ugly to think about, but trusting the management and board has gotten us nowhere. Maybe it’s time to think about how to field an orchestra on _our_ terms instead of management’s.

    This is in the realm of politics, not finances or arts. In politics, first you try negotiating with the other party in good faith. If the other side keeps pulling away the football right as you’re about to kick it, how many times do you go back to the negotiating table before making your own plans?

    • Sarah

      During the past week, this is the scenario I’ve been realizing has been the plan all along. It’s depressing, and you are entirely correct that management has no scruples whatsoever.

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