Case Study

Die Entwicklung eines Wirkungsziel-Managementsystems am Nationaltheater Mannheim

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In Germany, many of the traditional municipal theaters do not recognize the benefits of applying a quality management system, strategic planning process or evaluation models. A fundamental problem for theaters relying on public funding is that the funding body’s trust in the theater does not make provision for any form of intervention in case of mismanagement by the theater’s leadership team. However, all parties involved share a common interest in ensuring the theater’s success both artistically and in terms of its social impact. Based on the example of the Nationaltheater Mannheim, we describe the strategic planning process we have applied since 2013 in combination with a multiple directors’ model. We outline a strategic planning process initiated by the municipality, which leads to mutually beneficial outcomes for both parties – municipality and theater. The framework consists of processes for establishing and transparently communicating five strategic goals and strategic key performance indicators, and measures which ones are adaptable from season to season. The strategic goal-planning approach, supported by the municipality’s overall change management approach, results in self-evaluation methods that include quality management, as a basis for the strategic steering of the theater management.