Starting a Museum # 14
I was reading an article last week on a museum blog and came across the following statement.
"A wave of philanthropic dollars won’t come to museums unless museums develop new ways of measuring and articulating impact."
I disagree with this statement!.
The problem is not measurement or articulating impact, the problem is museum leadership believing that the answer is to try to be all things to all people.
As with any endeavor, success is the product of a clearly focused vision and clearly focused mission. Without a clearly focused vision and a clearly focused mission, there won't be any real impact to measure.
Too many museums have, for the sake of grant support, taken on programming that is really outside their core mission and thus have confused and diluted their brand in the marketplace, which leads to less broad support and instead more searching for funding, with the funder's agenda attached to that funding. A vicious downward spiral.
Let's get back to figuring out what each of our museum's does better than any other and pursue that strength, and no other, with a passion and vigor that can't fail to inspire and thus have real impact.
The "North American Museum of Flight Simulation" will have real impact. We are shaping the museum to be a great experience for everybody who visits. Be it schools , other groups or individuals we will have an something for you that will be unique, challenging, informative and will inspire and impact you.
When it comes to doing creative work, it’s important to not only look for ways to let our creativity thrive, but to also be mindful of insidious “creativity killers” that can sneak up and strangle our ability to come up with our best ideas. According to research from Harvard University, there are five main culprits that are responsible for killing our creativity.
It’s important to recognize these impediments to the creative thought process because many are insidious, and worse yet, most can be made on the managerial end, meaning we may be stifling our creative workers without even realizing it.
For those of us doing creative work, we must be mindful of these deterrents of the creative process so we can continue to put out our most novel ideas.
1. Role Mismatch
As Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Placing people in roles that they are not fit for is a surefire way to kill creativity. Although this may seem like a managerial concern, there are personal consequences here as well. Additional research has shown that we are at our best when we are “busy” (and pushed to our limits), but not rushed. In the wrong role, we can struggle to keep up and live in a constant state of creativity-crushing panic.
2. External End-Goal Restriction
Although self-restriction can often boost creativity, the Harvard study shows that external restrictions are almost always a bad thing for creative thinking. This includes subtle language use that deters creativity, such as bosses claiming “We do things by the book around here,” or group members implicitly communicating that new ideas are not welcome.
3. Strict Ration of Resources
While money and physical resources are important to creativity, the Harvard study revealed that mental resources were most important, including having enough time.
Creative people re-conceptualize problems more often than a non-creative. This means they look at a variety of solutions from a number of different angles, and this extensive observation of a project requires time. This is one of the many reasons you should do your best to avoid unnecessary near-deadline work that requires novel thinking. Also, when we are faced with too many external restrictions we spend more time acquiring more resources than actually, you know, creating.
4. Lack of Social Diversity
Homogeneous groups have shown to be better able to get along, but it comes at a cost: they are less creative. This even applies to the social groups you keep, so beware of being surrounded by people who are too similar all the time, you may end up in a creative echo-chamber.
5. Discouragement/No Positive Feedback
It’s tough to continue working on novel ideas when you haven’t received any positive feedback. This feeling is backed by psychological research that shows people who’ve started a new undertaking are most likely to give up the first time things come crashing down, also known at the “what the hell!” effect.
Creative people thrive on having others impacted by their ideas. Without feedback, their motivation begins to wither and die.
How about you?
What kills your creativity?