Teach the group how to give feedback on the presentation based on the same method suggested by the occupy movement.Encourage the audience practice physically to get them into the game
Key concepts for the sessionThese days we hear the term transparency a lot. It's become a buzzword for leaders in government, education, and many industries. But what does it mean for our methods and processes, for our day-to-day business? For many who work with museums, ourpractices are far from transparent. Many of us work in siloed situations, with little idea of what our neighboring departments are working on. A significant amount of our communications occur in the form of email or in closed-door meetings. Both words, meetings and email, have almost attained the status of dirty words. I often hear people talk about how they can’t get anything done because they are constantly responding to email or always in meetings. But meetings are supposed to *be* communication – if communication is getting in the way of productivity, then that’s a problem.
We want to take a quick poll. How much time would you be willing to spend each week toward improving workplace transparency? How many would spend 15 minutes per week? 30 minutes per week? An hour? (More than an hour?)
My interest in transparency stems mainly from placing a very high value on communication. This resulted from collaborations with a few startups and agile software developers, who have been forward thinking in how & where communication should occur. Methodologies invented or embraced in software development include a lot of simple, non-digital tools like daily standups and big, visible wall displays.
If you visit startups, you'll see lots of open-plan architecture, lots of whiteboards, and maybe glass-walled meeting rooms. While most of can do little to change our work environments, what can we do to un-bury our communication, and get it out into the open? What can we do to make our communications visible?
Alistair Cockburn, one of the fathers of the Agile movement coined the term “Information Radiator.”
A basic example of a highly visible informational display which changes frequently. The number of articles about SFMOMA and its exhibitions directly reflect the degree to which the Public Relations group has communicated with the press.
Communicating with greater visibility will meet with resistance if it seems like extra work. It needs to have negligible impact on our workload, instant rewards, or both.
Visibility is not desirable when we have something to hide. Open communication will meet with resistance if people believe they will be exposed.
Things you can do tomorrow. This is a very simple, very powerful tool that you can start with some sticky notes. This can be a personal project board, or shared with your group. The version here is its most basic incarnation, but you can easily add color coding, additional lanes, limits to how many items you can have in process at one time.
(Another variant) Anyonewho wants to know can look at this and know what’s done and what’s in progress; you don’t need to be there for someone to know that and you don’t need to email or call a meeting to give an update.
WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE? “Of course, such systems [dashboards] raise a rather vexing challenge: what, exactly, are the few key indicators you would need to watch to monitor your success? Its this question that actually proves to be more effective than the dashboard tool itself. To know what you should monitor, you need to know what youre trying to do, and you also have to define what success looks like (more people? happier people? more art? better reviews? prolific artists?).” Andrew Taylor, “Keeping an Eye on Dashboards”, The Artful Manager Blog, October 20, 2006,.
WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE? “The root of the problem is that there is no longer an agreed-upon method of measuring achievement… While many challenges beset art museum leaders today, finding a way to measure performance is accordingly among the field’s most urgent… Without generally accepted metrics, arts organizations will have more and more trouble making a case for themselves.” Maxwell L. Anderson, “Metrics of Success in Art Museums”, Getty Leadership Institute (2004),.
IMA’S DIRTY LITTLE SECRETTHE DASHBOARD IS FOR STAFF
THE BENEFITS OF BENCHMARKS “Thus, benchmarking has many direct and indirect benefits: increasing the impact of mission-related activities, raising internal standards, improving performance, attracting more funding, uncovering (and fixing) hidden weaknesses, and overall, improving the public face of the organization.” Jason Saul Benchmarking for nonprofits: how to measure, manage, and improve performance Fieldstone Alliance, 2004, pg 12.