Presentation delivered on January 8, 2015 at the McKnight Foundation - a response and reflection upon the "Like, Link, Share" report authored by Sarah Lutman & commissioned by the Wynecote Foundation. Focus is on strategy, digital strategy, staffing, proactive planning, and the big questions that remain in the cultural heritage sector.
Thank you for the invitation to speak this morning, and a special thank you to Sarah Lutman & the Wyncote Foundation for this interesting and meaningful report.
I would like to focus on points of resonance, both in agreement and in healthy debate.
The true value of the report lies in the dialog that it will engender amongst all of us in the cultural sector.
Before I ventured into museums and technology, my formal background was in clinical psychology. What’s that got to do with the topic at hand? Plenty, I will argue, because at the heart of it all is PEOPLE (and not, gasp, technology).
I love this diagram, although I might argue that it’s too limited to the activities that seem more-immediately connected to digital. The truth is that ALL aspects of an organization, from core business processes to public interfaces, depend upon and can be maximized by effective digital technologies.
Digital Strategy v. Strategy Strategy: IMHO, it’s far superior to focus on the Main Thing; digital is in support of AND helping to drive that Main Thing
I would take this point even further – the strategy (and thus also the digital strategy) itself must be tailored to each organization AND its place in space and time. There is no easy formula, there is no textbook. It takes work, real hard work. And it starts with really listening.
How can you adapt to something that hasn’t happened yet?? The contradiction is (at least) made more possible by predictive trend analysis; and perhaps the more-realistic approach is to stay on the leading edge of understanding what’s happening in the field and how it will impact our specific organizations.
Another great graphic! Digital is everywhere. Denying that is, well, crazy (my professional opinion). Ironic story : my last big project at the Met was dividing IT and Digital; my first big project at the MIA was COMBINING IT and Digital! There is no one perfect structural model, but there are quite possibly some guiding principles, illuminated in this report.
This concept of Failing Forward is too-often imagined as whimsical or scattershot. What we strive for is much closer to the scientific method: hypothesis, test, analyze, conclude, repeat.
Communication channels vary by audience characteristics. My question for us: are we in a period of transition, or is this our “new normal”? How will we decide?