I'm an avid mystery reader, which I always thought of as leisure, unconnected to work. But I've been thinking that there is a connection. Part of any consultant's job is to go into a place and size up the situation quickly. I'm not looking for footprints or the dog that didn't bark in the night, but I am looking for how a team works together. I want to find the spirit of an organization as it looks to change in some way. The changes might be big or small, but my work is almost always with organizations where change is in the wind--and change never happens with one person, it always happens with a team.
There's a great deal of research about teams: you need introverts and extroverts, you need leaders, it should be non-hierarchal and on and on. Every team is different but here's my outsider's view on what helps a team move towards change.
As a consultant, I don't believe that I come with the answers. I come with questions and the idea that together, we will puzzle out answers. One way that happens is through experimentation. Above, Matt Montgomery, Chief Marketing Officer at the Trustees, becomes a docent as he leads us through a prototype of an Aeolian harp activity at the Old Manse in Concord. And below, Girl Scouts tag what matters to them at Juliette Gordon Low's Birthplace (she's the founder of Girl Scouts) in Savannah. Experimentation accomplishes several things. It builds team confidence together (and good humor) and it jump-starts a learning process.
Cast a wide net in your experimental process. The tags are an inspiration from your friendly Museum Anarchist, and I'm definitely stealing Jeanne Vergeront's idea of a designated reader to share with colleagues.
- Body language: arms crossed, eye rolling, unwillingness to participate in small group activities. We all should know better.
- "We already do that, we've already done that, that will never work." No need to say more. That never moves anything forward.
- Unclear decision-making process. That's frustrating for everyone, and that's a place where a leader needs to lead.
- Perfectionism. It sounds trite, but perfect is the enemy of good. We work in places with so many variables, including our many visitors. We need to do our best, but honestly, we cannot perfect visitor experiences for every visitor because every visitor brings so much to the visit.