Resilience and Museums

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Post on 22-Nov-2014



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Presentation to the London Museums Group's event on 'Resilience' looking at different things that have turned out to be resilient and what museums could learn from them.


<ul><li> 1. Resilient thingsAn exploration of things that have turned out to be resilientLondon Museums Group, September 2014</li></ul> <p> 2. Resilience organisations capacity toanticipate disruption, adapt toevents and create lastingvalue. 3. Resilient things What can we learn from different types of thing that have turned out tobe resilient? Resilient organisations Resilient creatures 4. Introducing the 60 longest continually- operatingenterprises in the world 5. 1412108642060 organisations older than 700 years (by activity) 6. 60 organisations older than 700 years (by human need)Booze Shelter Food Manufacture Religion454035302520151050Total 24 17 9 8 2%of total 40 28 15 13 3 7. Kongo Gumi In continuous operation (now as a whollyowned subsidiary) for 1,436 years Specialist woodworking &amp; constructionfirm with expertise in the planning &amp;construction of Buddhist temples Family-owned for 36 generations! 8. Gekkeikan One of the oldest &amp; most successful sakebrewing companies In continuous operation for 370 years Attributes its resilience to its location the region of Kyoto where Gekkeikan isbased is protected on 3 sides bymountains, which maintain thetemperature at 5C 9. Characteristics All of these long-lasting companies share several characteristics: Value - they produce something people need &amp; want Prudence - they dont grow faster than the market demands Symbiosis they exist in a balanced relationship with their community Geography their activity is optimised to their location Pride they take pride in their longevity Heritage they have a sense of cumulative investment &amp; value 10. Introducing the most resilient organisms in the world 11. All hail the tardigrade! Can survive cold at close to -273 degreescentigrade and heat up to 150 degrees Can survive 1000 times greater radiationexposure than humans Can withstand pressures up to 6 x thedeepest part of the ocean Can survive without water for over 100years by losing 66% of their body mass &amp;entering a cryptobiotic state 12. Grass! Grass is among the most versatile andresilient forms of life on the planet Forms of grass survive in every physicalenvironment on Earth Grass is incredibly diverse representing1000s of species and mutations It has at least 3 different mechanisms fordissemination/distribution It is optimised as a food source for ahuge variety of animals, which helps itpropagate 13. The common cold Adult humans typically catch 2-5 colds peryear (children between 6-10) The coronaviruses that cause the cold havemultiple paths for transmission (contact,aerosol, water-borne) In the US, 22-189m schooldays and 150mworkdays are lost each year to the commoncold, accounting for 40% of absenteeism fromwork (source: National Institute of Allergy &amp;Infections Diseases) It mutates different variations &amp; structures toachieve the same viral purpose 14. Characteristics Resilient organisms use a number of different strategies to achieve theirresilience: Toughness - they are over-engineered to optimise survival Diversity they actively avoid homogeneity to maximise adaptability Pro-activity they proactively propagate to survive Adaptability they are in a constant process of adaptation Dormancy they can survive drought by reducing activity 15. Resilient to what? 16. Resilient to what? If resilience is not about resisting disruption, but being optimised to adapt toit, then it is essential to understand what the disruption actually is What is the disruption facing your museum (as opposed to museums ingeneral)? Changes in Local Authority funding model? Competition for external funding? Increased visitor numbers? Too much stuff? Lack of clarity/leadership? The biggest threats to a museum arent always external they can be to dowith internal cultures, behaviours, habits and values 17. What are the characteristics of a resilient museum? 18. Resilience in museums Which elements of a museum need to be made resilient to adapt tochanges in the political &amp; financial climate? Buildings Collections People Services Trading activities Brand Reputation Values 19. RESILIENT 20. OPTIMISEDRESILIENTOptimised tolocation/situationDelivers valueClear aboutcore role/purposeHas goodgovernanceMeetsstandards 21. OPTIMISEDRESILIENTOptimised tolocation/situationDelivers valueNETWORKEDClear aboutcore role/purposeConnected toprofessionEngaged withaudienceHas goodgovernanceAble to accessinfluenceMeetsstandards 22. Clear aboutcore role/purposeOPTIMISEDRESILIENTOptimised tolocation/situationDelivers valueNETWORKED ADAPTABLEConnected toprofessionEngaged withaudienceCan shrinkwithout dyingHas goodgovernanceAble to accessinfluenceProactive notpassiveMeetsstandardsHas a positiveworkingculture 23. Conclusions There is (obviously) no single concept called resilience and no single meansof achieving it Resilient organisations tend to operate on the principle of symbiosis theymake things people need, stay close to the community with which they co-existand avoid over-exploitation of resources Being resilient does not mean resisting change it means being optimised toadapt to and benefit from change Nor is it just about surviving a crisis it means both being able to see crisescoming and avert them &amp; turn them to advantage when they do happen A key feature of being resilient, therefore, is recognising (i) that change ishappening and (ii) how things are changing 24. Thankyou! Find out more about the Collections Trusts work on resilience and change at Book now for our FREE Collections Management Skills Workshops, supportedby the Arts Council England Join our LinkedIn Collections Management group (9,600 members andcounting!) (search Collections Management) These slides online at </p>