In the early 1990s, downsizing became the hot trend throughout the for-profit corporate world. Companies would make deep employee cuts, causing profits (and often stock prices) to rise, making senior executives temporarily look like heroes. While this focus on downsizing made the balance sheets look good in the short-term, many of these firms felt the impact of their cuts long-term. While claiming they were ‘cutting the fat,’ in most cases, they also cut a large chunk of the muscle. As critical departments and good employees went by the wayside at many firms, the quality of company products and services diminished, and ultimately revenue dropped
According to Hootsuite Co-Founder Ryan Holmes, the average person now sees over 5,000 advertising messages a day. This equates an advertising message every 17 seconds. Our brain cannot process all of this information. We have all created mental shortcuts for processing this barrage of information and deciding what deserves our attention. In most cases, we determine whether an ad will get past our mental gatekeeper in a microsecond. Think about the way you process your physical mail. We grab it out of the mailbox, walk to our trash can, and quickly go through the stack, deciding what will be instantly thrown away without being opened and what makes it to the ‘open’ pile.
I’ve recently had a few conversations with museum leaders concerning team decision making struggles. With the world changing at breakneck speed, we are all tasks with starting new initiatives, changing existing programs, and in some cases, doing away with long-standing programs. These decisions are amplified by budget stresses, as few of us have dollars to spare.
Earlier this month, I gave a 15-minute talk at the SAQA Fiber Art Symposium 2020. The title of the presentation was “Creating Life Changing Digital Programs for Your Museum.” In the presentation, I discuss four keys to creating online programming that attracts large and sustainable audiences.
As I speak to museum professionals, I’m seeing a growing number of examples illustrating that perhaps the biggest COVID-19 challenge may not be outside forces, but rather our perceptions of what these forces mean. Many articles discuss the importance of adapting existing programming and trying new initiatives to make it through this time; however, there is a difference between understanding these concepts and acting on them in the face of difficult decisions.
It’s easy to allow significant decisions to weigh us down. One museum leader I spoke with described it as decision paralysis. He said, “I sit at my desk and think through things for hours, but don’t feel like I make any progress. It just consumes me.” Decision paralysis saps both our energy and our ability to come up with the best possible solutions. It’s the old ‘can’t see the forest through the trees’ thing. There are no easy answers, but in today’s article, I’m going to discuss an easy to implement way to gain some valuable perspectives and peace of mind.
I’ve had several conversations about member programs over the last few weeks. Some museums are discussing adding benefits to their membership as a retention measure as they either have been closed or are still closed. In today’s article, I’m going to discuss a few things to consider before deciding to ‘add benefits’ to your existing member program.