A year of planning. Stressed-out staff. Little or no profit. Now what? Sometimes the secret to success is in an epic failure. Three museum professionals map the road to success through detours of risks and failures. We will spark innovation and find success by identifying the best time for risk-taking, understanding the value of failing, and creating tangible evaluation with outcome-focused goals to turn colossal mistakes
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘risk’? Jumping out of buildings? like in the yves klein image Speaking truth to power? Is ir Raising your first, or placing your vote, or even taking a knee
How many of you identify as risk takers? How many of you work at institutions that think they take risk? How many of you actually work at museums that take risks?
Risk takers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes… from super heroes to CEOs of Museums…risk can be personal and private, or it can be public and dramatic. Either way, risk taking is driven by a sense of self and purpose. Risk is specific to time and place, to the person and the community. Risk doesn’t have to big and sexy and dangerous, it can be small and intimate, but what connects all of these actions is core set of values that guides you.
Failure, or rather, success looking differently than you anticipated, is part of the scientific process, it is something that should be anticipated and budgeted for. Celebrated!
As an institution that teaches STEM curriculm, we know that Science is inherently about risk taking… though often calculated. Failure is not only a genetic component to taking risks, it is an evolutionarily selective trait that makes “taking risks” an important step in the path toward creating, developing, advancing, transforming etc… Perhaps you have heard the phrase “Fail fast, fail often….” and in a scientific conversation perhaps this works… but this isn’t a scientific conversation, this is an emotional one. Risk means not knowing what the outcome will be. It means the possibility of failure, and this can be hard to embrace.
Why don’t we take more risks? I want to ask the room, has anyone had an experience when success looked differently than you thought it would? Did you start a project with one set of goals, and deliver a different product?
What is your long game?
So what is the difference between takingrisks and being a risk taker? I would like to argue that takingrisks on its own is impulsive, it is an action that is irregular, not a part of your general mindset, and as such, prone to more unpredictable results. Whereas being a risk taker is is strategic it is well planned, and it is a part of your global vision. I am a risk taker, and I have a long game, each of the decisions I make between these two points is calculated.
Our goal here today is for you all to identify as risk takers.
Hillary Join the community
Susan 5 minutes What does risk look like when you are a museum-lifer?
What does risk look like from the top?
Are the risks we take big enough?
“Risk Taking” is not something we have to do in a vacuum but it is something that as a community we can do collectively and change taken at this level can be truly transformative.
• Conduct a Risk Review
– Why is risk discouraged? Why is this risk different?
• The Champion/Cheerleader
- Do you need an example or are YOU the example?
• Plan to Be Surprised
– Allow yourself to accept the unexpected as inevitable.
• Baseball not marksmanship
- Failure is expected, risk is encouraged, success is measured.
Fill in the blank for you personally or your agency
I will never do _______________again because ___________________.
I can do ______________________again but I need to _______________________ next time.
If I took this _______________risk I would be a better _____________ because _______________.