Week 86 at work

Half term this week which meant a VERY busy museum service and quiet offices. Our visitor services did an amazing job.

  • Desktop research of image licensing service Bridgeman – they haven’t emailed me back though so not the best start
  • 1:1’s with the fundraising team so I can better understand the opportunities and challenges on a personal level
  • CMT manager meeting
  • Showed World cultures how to use trello
  • Attended team meetings
  • Agreed to use outlook for room bookings with Fran
  • Took the events manager into our ‘transformation’ area
  • Agreed with Jim from The Audience Agency how we’d chop up our exit surveys so that we can segment our audience
  • Planned the schedule for our retail manager interviews
  • Started to collect our “data” together so that we can get better insights into a whole bunch of stuff!

The art of transformation

“What do you DO mister Head of Transformation?”.

As head of digital my ‘art’ was to “help people to use technology”. Seth Godin says our art is about what you DO that helps other people through your own generosity. In my new role I have a number of teams (scary) that at first glance seem quite different – digital, retail, venue hire and cafe, modern records, fundraising, Archaeological services plus marketing and design, yet the connection to me is very clear; lead those teams (with the wider Bristol Culture service) to make connections with their tribes, be flexible, ship stuff and RUN with it.

Digital team help staff, volunteers and the public to enjoy our services onsite and online, hopefully occasionally saying “that’s cool”. Modern records keep their stuff safe. Shops, make people remember that family day out when they look at that fridge magnet. Get inspired at a conference overlooking the harbour. Gossip over a coffee. Land that dream plot of land. Allow you to be generous and help fund a gallery refurbishment. Build a gallery. Let others discover an event for a first date. Take responsibility.

Week 85 at work

There is only so long you can dodge HR work. This week:

  • Agreed a way forward for our ‘project sign-off’ process
  • Worked in the BaRAS office all afternoon to see and hear about life at the unit – where i squeezed in some HR work
  • 1:1s of various kinds
  • Final budget forecasting of the year
  • Met Claire Zammit from Tessitura to talk all things CRM
  • Talked about our how our digital signage would actually work and agreed to do paper prototypes – our screens are currently on the Arula ship in the Pacific
  • Talked about collecting and using audience data which will be a hot topic for 2015
  • Looked at how we can implement a performance dashboard
  • Showed the fundraising team our audience work and how we can use it together
  • Wrote a thank you to our electrician for all his great recent work

Week 84 at work

Ice or no ice i’m biking to work people so I could:

  • Waved farewell to our retail manager Ollie Rees
  • Did several staff briefings for our visitor assistants about website phase two
  • Enjoyed coffee with Bonnie who works in strategic planning to learn more about both of our areas
  • Interviewed and recruited to one of our vacant retail assistant posts – well done Nicky
  • Took part in the first of many sessions about our service ‘vision’ and 10 year ambitions – survive and thrive
  • Finances, finances and more finances
  • Telephone interview with Museums Journal about our use of Tripadvisor for an upcoming edition
  • Gave my ‘first thoughts’ to my direct reports in our transformation wing of the service
  • Gave Laura the low down on our statistic collection
  • 1 to 1 session with marketing
  • Sat in on our website phase two session dealing with improving our venue hire
  • Literally pulled the doors open for the relaunch of our Gallery four refurbishment
  • My copy of The Really useful edtech book arrived through the post – exciting
  • Played with our prototype hidden museum game for the first time

The Shortcut to being good at digital

You’re generally seen to be good at something if it take little effort to come to the answer or ‘do’ the work. I can pretty much do this for ‘digital’ in lot of its areas. I need my team and wider service to know much too. Yet there are no shortcuts. Should you use a tiff image file type on the web or a jpeg? what makes the internet work? why is the open web better for us than a closed system? will a PDF open in 250 years?

To learn the answers to these and much more you just have to start on the long path. Read more about the web and digital, attend evening sessions (often in a pub if that helps), be curious at all times. Here is a tip though: until you ‘do’ the leg work the answer is nearly always “yes that could work but it depends”.

Reading list 2015

Books i’ve finished during 2015.