Museums, personal

Head of Transformation

On Wednesday 17th December 2014 I was put through my paces in a multiple task interview ultimately being offered and accepting the role as Head of Transformation (sorry no robots). What does that even mean i hear you cry?!? well it means that i’ll be responsible for helping our service to run projects and programmes that are based on “user needs” whilst helping to ensure we have the resources including money to not only survive but thrive. I won’t be doing this alone of course, we have a great staff line up and some of the best volunteers and partners. We also have Laura Pye joining us as Service manager (boss/director/leader)  so 2015 and beyond is looking pretty good!

The original job ad is below so i can look back in 2016 and see how the role held up to its promise:

The Head of Transformation is an exciting new post in one of Britain’s leading regional museum services, giving you an opportunity to realise a step-change in the performance of the museum and its future resilience.

You will assume responsibility for increasing all aspects of the museum service’s financial performance – through working with our catering contractors to improve our catering offer to managing our retail outlets, managing the fundraising team to meet increasingly ambitious targets, managing the Digital team to realise our museum digital leadership role, managing Modern Records and their financial performance and being responsible for developing new streams of income as well as increasing income through licensing and on-line activity.

We are committed to a multi-facetted programme of organisational change which involves putting audiences needs at the heart of the organisation, increasing our entrepreneurialism and exploring how we can use new technologies to transform our visitor offer as well as the service; you will drive forward this shift in gear and perspective as well as project managing different initiatives from staff development and training to capital projects.

You will be an excellent leader with good commercial experience, strong persuasive skills and well-honed management skills, ideally gained in the cultural sector.


Museums, Notes

Week 77 at work

After working furiously for several weeks on our Arts Council application this week proved to be just as hardcore but rewarding:

  • spent a morning with the Bristol Museums group led by Julie from Museums Development to talk all things audience evaluation
  • Tried to squeeze as many team 1:1s in as possible to thank everybody for working so hard this year
  • Agreed next steps for our Do Ho Suh installation
  • Introduction with Rob Gilmore who I first met back in 2006 when I was in the IT department – time flies. I think there will be lots we can work on together in the coming years
  • xmas lunch
  • end of year wrap up with our Digital R&D for the Arts project
  • agreed with Parks how to improve signage for Blaise Castle House Museum
  • interviewed and accepted a new role starting 1st January 2015 as Head of Transformation! in addition to my digital team I will be leading our fundraising, Modern Records Office, retail, catering partner and Bristol & Region Archaeological Services.
  • waved goodbye to Katie Harding who I have learnt so much from this year and wish her all the best!
Museums, Notes

Week 76 at work

So busy i’m posting this late.

  • Admin admin admin writing a series of business cases for spending money in Q4 2014-15
  • discussed how we can support the data collection for 2015 harbour festival
  • How to improve our onsite signage and way finding… a mountain of a task i’m determined to crack
  • Briefings to our front of house staff (absolute stars!) about the projects i’m working on that they can help with
  • Management team meeting
  • Suggested the next steps for a funding application with geology woot
  • Submitted our revised plans for our 2015-18 Arts Council England application..epic amount of work


Museums, Notes

Week 75 at work

It was a busy week that had me rolling my sleeves up lots and rubbing my poor little head. I got up to:

  • Delivered a briefing of my key areas for our new service manager (boss) Laura Pye
  • Completed my final day of a leadership and management course
  • Worked on our 2015-18 plan for an Arts Council England deadline next week
  • Sprint 7 start up meeting for the Hidden Museum project. We hit 100 ibeacons installed this week.
  • Met with Our Museum community partners to discuss how we can work more closely
  • Met with Pat Connor who heads up BBC development to talk joint interests
  • Reviewed our equalities action plan
  • More Arts Council documentation
  • Sorted out some finance fun
  • Ran a short workshop for one of our volunteers and member of friends group Sue Thurlow who will need be tweeting about our areas of work which is great.
  • Ava came for lunch yeeeah!
Museums, Notes

Week 74 at work

Exhausting. IF i ever used our flexi form i’d have to add a new page.

  • Spoke via skype with David Turner who runs Getinvited, the online event booking tool i’m hoping to move from beta phase for our schools bookings
  • Introduced the key performance indicators that I suggest we use across the service
  • Met with our central design and marketing teams to agree our next steps for improving our service identity
  • Made suggestions for using digital in our Ahead of the Curve exhibition – better late than never
  • Attended day four of the leadership and management course
  • Spent lots of time in spreadsheets about budgets
  • Ran a morning session with the digital team about our strategic direction and processes
  • Had a group workshop on tightening up SMART objectives
  • Management team meeting
  • Took lunch with my mum to celebrate her retirement
  • Skype call with Vic H to agree the scope of a digital job i’ll be managing that we hope to advertise ready for April start
  • Met with Bristol and Bath tourism group

Next week i’ll focus on our Hidden museum project, meeting community partners and completing our Arts Council december deadline.