Ignite MCN 2013: D. Hegley slides


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My slides from Ignite MCN on November 20, 2013. Topic = WTF Technology? A rant about non-strategic, naive, and/or amateur approaches to dealing with tech and digital strategy in the cultural heritage sector.

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  • So, this is my impassioned rant: WTF - Technology?
    Why care? Because THIS is NOT the goal. We don’t want to transform our august institutions into bastions of complex technology. But neither do we want to continue to operate with 19th and 20th century conceptions.
  • I have to confess, I’m not even a techie!
    I’m supposed to be an effin’ Psychologist!
    <Fair warning: probably don’t answer if I ask you to tell me more about your mother.>
    So WTF am I doing as a “senior executive museum technology professional”?
  • Well, it’s a bit like being a curator or educator.
    We all possess specialist knowledge that we need to impart to an audience that may range from rabid to indifferent, and all points between.
    Ultimately, it’s about building an engaging narrative: that’s right, it’s all about telling stories.
  • So I invite you to come along with me for the next few minutes, as I share a rambling rant about museums, technology, and the terrible scourge of WTF.
    But fret not my friends, I do believe that we have a treatment and perhaps even a cure. First, some diagnostics: Let us proceed …
  • Anybody ever been asked to implement a specific technology solution, long before the actual problem or need has even been identified?
    Anybody tired of this approach?
    I mean, WTF?!
    IT’S NOT ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY! It’s about people, content, experience.
  • It’s human nature to think that we know it all. But your time, place, and culture define your reality.
    Today’s amazing discoveries will be a future generation’s forgotten trivia.
    Try to step out of the box of your time and place. Think bigger, think longer, think wider.
    <Sugar swings, baby!>
  • I don’t think we can really predict the future, so belief in future-proofing is a bit like belief in unicorns and pixie dust.
    Why do I still advocate for it? Because I think it helps us keep our fingers on the pulse of change.
    Frankly the best way to prepare for the future is to do great work now.
  • We need to stop tying ourselves up with rivalries and bias. For example: Mac v. PC – guys, it’s a friggin’ marketing campaign!
    You might as well refuse to use your fork because you love your spoon so much.
    We should use the tools work best for us, period!
  • With apologies to fans of both, I’m afraid I feel the same way about augmented reality as I did about Second Life:
    Probably better to get a real life first, and probably better to concentrate a bit on reality before worrying about augmenting it.
  • Here’s another way to augment reality: turn it all into a game.
    My rant here is grounded in research about the delicate balance between motivation and intrinsic vs. extrinsic rewards.
    If actions that were once self-motivated become measured steps toward rewards, those actions will DECREASE over time.
  • The scary possible end-game here is detachment, dis-engagement, and isolation.
    Gamification is an artifice pasted over the actual chaos of real life.
    Psychology teaches that once you reject reality, the road back to it becomes much more difficult.
  • Why do we suffer with software built for and sold to museums? They are typically closed, need heavy customization, and ignore standards.
    It’s as if we needed a pat on the head, and a drink, and to be sent off to bed.
    Let’s be unified in expecting more bang for our buck.
  • What’s wrong with failure? Failure is fabulous! With it you can bust a paradigm, open minds, challenge assumptions.
    Work in fast, spiraling, iterative loops, stumble forward, seek feedback and apply it.
    And most of all, share … help the rest of us avoid similar set backs.
  • Strategic plans are so often NOT strategic that the entire exercise may become a snake-eating-its-own-tail.
    If the printing and distribution of the plan is the only actual outcome, then it’s likely the effort has been a waste.
    You want strategy? I’ll give it to you in 15 seconds:
  • Hire talented staff + establish a real, meaningful vision + prioritize the work, focus on what’s most important + use the best methods
    <This slide represents status toward “perfect” goal: red = “before”, green = “now”, light gray = “still to go”>
  • Speaking of talent and strategy, the answer to every technology challenge isn’t simply to hire an executive leader(I say, eliminating myself from consideration)
    For the effort and money involved, you can hire two smart upstarts right now,
    who will get things done! Your choice.
  • This is our challenge: to take the next step up, to demand and deliver excellence.
    To be thoughtful, mindful, purposeful, and tirelessly collaborative.
    To wear our big boy (and girl) pants!
  • So hike up those britches and let’s join together in the fight against WTF in the cultural heritage sector!
    Why are we all here in Montreal? Because it’s up to US to put an end to WTF.
  • MCN is the nexus <got my Star Trek reference in!>
    The intersection, the ANTIDOTE to WTF.
    Grab your opportunities, formal and informal, to work together.
    Now, I need a drink, you need a drink, so let’s have one together and toast the end of WTF!
  • Ignite MCN 2013: D. Hegley slides

    1. 1. Technology: WTF! WTF = “An intensive form of what” (Wiktionary) Douglas Hegley Director of Technology Minneapolis Institute of Arts @dhegley
    2. 2. WTF: Technology?#2 This is slide • Four calling birds • Three French Hens • Two Turtle Doves
    3. 3. WTF: Director of Technology?
    4. 4. WTF: Communication? The Story, by Adolf Fassbender, 1936 (Minneapolis Institute of Arts)
    5. 5. WTF: WTF? / Less than 5 minutes
    6. 6. WTF: Solutions before Problems! We need an We need an iPad app now! iPad app now! Um, okay, to do Um, okay, to do what, exactly? what, exactly? I don’t care! You’re the tech guy. You’re the tech guy. Just make us an app! Just make us an app!
    7. 7. WTF: Subjectivity and Perceptual Set
    8. 8. WTF: Future-proofing? Douglas thinks you can future-proof your approach. Tell ‘im he’s dreamin’! With apologies to: The Castle (1997) Directed by Rob Sitch
    9. 9. WTF: Irrational Bias
    10. 10. WTF: Augmented Reality? David Hasselhoff … in 3D! Hubba! Hubba!
    11. 11. WTF: Gamification?
    12. 12. WTF: Museum Software?
    13. 13. WTF: Fear of Failure?
    14. 14. WTF: Strategic Plans?
    15. 15. You Want Strategy?
    16. 16. WTF: Hiring, the Old-Fashioned Way Let’s conduct a comprehensive search to hire a seasoned executive leader to head an initiative to plan for a committee to oversee a task force dedicated to the implementation of state-ofthe-art technological solutions based on industry standards and implemented by a cross-disciplinary team spear-headed by a dedicated manager and augmented by a carefully-selected team of outside experts who can create the synergy necessary to blah blah blah and spend every last cent until there is truly nothing left at all .
    17. 17. WTF: Big Boy Pants?
    18. 18. The End of WTF! WTF
    19. 19. A Final WTF: Why is Douglas Still Talking?
    20. 20. Douglas Hegley @dhegley dhegley@artsmia.org http://www.slideshare.net/dhegley