Monday, 21 December 2020

Sustainability through Communities of Practice

The Critical Contributions of Regular Peer Connection among Museum Professionals

by Tara Beck and Isabella Borrelli

The journey towards this blog entry began in February 2020 when two colleagues sat down to consider how their experience with communities of practice might contribute to the AMA Conference about museums and organizational sustainability. At the time, conversations primarily revolved around the value of communities of practice in combatting the institutional and professional silos common across Edmonton’s museum landscape (Edmonton Heritage Council’s Comprehensive Museum Strategy Report, 2012). Knowing the difficulty in a major city, one can only assume that our counterparts in rural Alberta face similar challenges.

A lot has happened since February which has encouraged us to broaden our considerations of the ways communities of practice can serve us in our work. Museums are at a pivotal point in their history. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many of them to shrink dramatically, and in some cases close. The unmasking of deep rooted institutional systemic racism has called on museums to meaningfully address their histories and make changes for their futures.

Addressing Large-Scale Challenges: Part 2

Ideate: Go Big and Wide. Get Creative!

by Kristen Cousineau and Christine Moreland

Congratulations! You have a ‘How Might We’ statement (HMW) that narrows down the big, unwieldy problem, to a manageable question that includes constraints and insights. Now, let’s talk about how to start answering that question: ideation.

Just joining us? Read Part 1 to discover how to create your guiding question, a ‘How Might We’ statement.

Ideating is often used as a synonym to brainstorming. However, brainstorming is traditionally spontaneous, and with ideating, we’re talking about a concrete, planned approach to creating new ideas. (We also prefer saying ideation because it differentiates our process from the negative experiences you may have had brainstorming in the past.) Ideation takes you a big step forward in solving your problem.

Addressing Large-Scale Challenges: Part 1

Defining a Path Forward: Narrowing Down a Complex Problem

The world we live and work in is rapidly changing, and while this is nothing new, the current crisis highlights the need for cultural institutions to be flexible, resilient, and creative in our approaches to these changes. But what happens when the changes are coming at us so quickly and the scope of them seems so overwhelming that they become paralyzing? How can we take the first step towards problem solving, sustainability, and continued relevance?