Notes, personal

Why I share when I donate

I just donated $35 to Charity Water after reading Cutting through Singer’s Paradox by Seth Godin. I had been thinking about going to the pub. I’m pretty sure this was a better use of money today. Anyway the reason I shared this donation with my twitter followers  is not to rub anybody’s face in my deed but it’s sharing out loud that helps spread the awareness of such charities. Without the people who shout about a charity it remains invisible. A charity can only use its marketing effort to plant seeds in a few of us. It’s then up to people who donate to be a marketer, if even only for a few seconds. I’ve seen lots of good folk mention Charity Water but this time i actually put my hand in my wallet. So next time you donate let us all know about it, maybe I can help too.


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, personal

Week 70 at work

Good week.

  • Did an overview with Lauren about how we use digital tools to help us work together as a team
  • Reviewed an idea about using online training for embedding Our Museum and decided to focus elsewhere – i’ve seen so many online communities die I had other suggestions
  • Management meeting
  • Waved farewell to Kerrie who now goes on maternity leave
  • Met our first group taking part in our Student as Producer programme for 2014/15 in which they’ll be seeing if they can build a way to count people into each gallery using sensors and visualise in fun ways
  • Attended 300 seconds to hear new speakers
  • Contributed to Arts Council England digital reference group
  • Learnt how to conduct an exit survey with Fay at the helm
  • Interviewed for my own job which I got whoop which now officially makes me Head of Digital
  • Alistair Reid, our new Service Director did a good meet and group with us
  • Spoke at Smarter rather than harder: Getting digital to deliver at RAMM – great event



Museums, Notes, personal

Week 53 at work

Last week marked a year in the job and this week seemed like a new chapter. I got up to:

  • Met with the whole team to highlight what our key Arts Council goals are for Q2-Q4
  • Worked on streamlining our data collection but this feels like losing battle
  • Showed our Head of Collections the great work that BIG lab are doing and agreed to give their two prototypes a trial
  • Tried to move our online shop to the next step but stumbled
  • Reviewed ALL outstanding requests for design work (3D, print, web) which again is tough trying to steer the ship
  • Had a great catchup with Andy about scanning and getting our cranes to talk
  • Attended two open data related evening events, mysociety meetup and ODUG local user group
  • Spent quite a lot of time firefighting small issues
  • Welcomed David Butler and his research cohort from The University of Southern Mississippi for a four day exit survey around museum collections and slavery – special shout out to John
  • Tinkered with some website bits…
  • On Saturday I gave two short talks on Ada Lovelace and her connection to The Red Lodge Museum