Monday, January 03, 2011

New year, a new direction for Experienceology

Hello dear readers, and welcome to 2011. You may have noticed that this blog has been a bit quiet in 2010. While that sometimes meant I was busy working on client projects, it also meant that I was re-thinking my purpose as a museum consultant and where I want to go in the next few years.

This thought process required me to take some time off, both mentally and literally, to allow my brain to recharge and percolate. A lot of ideas have been swimming around, and with the constant need to feed the blog, the podcast, the tweets, the conference proposals, the webinars, the Facebook page... it just wasn't happening.

So I gave myself the summer off from all that, focused on existing client work, started a food blog for fun, and stopped pushing. And then one day I woke up and said, "I need a really big piece of fome core." I bought the largest one that would fit inside Dexter the Prius. I got it home, and up went the Post-it notes with all the things, people, and ideas that had been swimming around in my head.
Right now, I'm calling it "my transformation work."

One thing has become crystal clear to me over the last year—working with clients, seeing people using my book, or having me come in to provide training—it is very difficult to change internal cultures. Whether your museum wants to improve your visitor experience, increase visitor comfort, become more participatory, be more community-engaged, rebrand to reflect any one of these notions, or connect to visitors through social media... all of these goals require a shift in organizational culture. And that takes time, a clear vision, and some kind of process. It's the process part that interests me.

I truly want to see museums succeed in this new decade, and defining a process for organizational transformation is something I plan to work on. Eventually, it might be my next book or e-book. It will probably be a wiki, where I hope to get your input and ideas. It may be community micro-funded.

You'll see changes here on the blog, and a new website, which we've been thinking about for a while. It might mean a different kind of webinar, more of a shared conversation about transformation as I gather information from great brains.

For now, it's a very large piece of fome core... and this blog post on the first work day of the new year.

I'd love to hear from you about this... feel free to comment here, on my Facebook page, or send me a message through my email, FB, Twitter, or LinkedIn. And if you have transformation stories you'd like to share about your museum, please do!


  1. Congratulations on the intended transformation although I suggest you'll need a shorter hashtag for sharing information on Twitter!

    I've been obsessing about the same issue for most of the past year while on contract with a museum. Having previously spent 16 years self employed, I was stunned at the silos I encountered.

    I've recently been listening to Tribal Leadership. I wish I'd been on to it earlier!

    Lots of organisational change articles bookmarked on my blog:

    Check out some of the tweeters I follow - regular inspiration from @technoshaman and @umairh amongst others...

  2. David, thanks so much for all the resources! You're right about that hashtag. I didn't even search Twitter before posting. Will check everything out and thanks for the encouraging words as well.

  3. Beth Katz8:57 PM

    I look forward to learning where your journey takes you. Inertia is so powerful, and it seems to be in the nature of organizations, as well as organisms, to resist change. A tremendous part of my earlier work in nursing focused on finding the processes to effect change . For example - smoking cessation, obviously desirable, and yet so hard to achieve. I wonder if any of that knowledge is applicable?

  4. Thanks Beth. Yes, I have looked a lot at the personal behavior change literature. Thanks for commenting!