Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ask More? Ask More!

I've been thinking about writing an end-of-year post for more than a week as I read other reflections, advice,  what-ifs and to-dos.  But I realized that thanks to my great group of planning colleagues, I've been doing that kind of reflection for several months.  So no top ten list from me.  But just this morning, thanks to Anne Ackerson who blogs over at Leading by Design,  I read The Bamboo Project's list of six 21st century skills you really need.

It's a great list--but I really focused in on one skill for me to work on 2012.  It's #2--Asking more questions.  For me, it really relates to all the other skills. Asking hard questions of myself can make me more self-aware;  questioning can help lead to empathetic listening;  question asking can lead to authentic conversations; it can lead to reflection; and question asking can help take me outside of conversations with people just like myself.

So what kinds of work-related questions do I want to ask in the coming year?  Here's just a few...

For myself:
  • What new skills can I learn?
  • How can I stretch my own skills further?
  • How can I continue to encourage or mentor others?
  • What contribution can I make to diversifying our field?
  • How can I better organize my time? (as, sadly, I have realized that the prettiest new file folders aren't the answer)
  • Where in the world could I go next?
For potential new clients: 
  • Do you want real change?
  • How can we be most effective working together?
  • What do you want me to bring to the table?
  • How have you asked questions of your audiences?  What have you done with the answers?
  • Do you have fun when you work?
 For audiences and potential audiences:
  • How can museums make themselves into real places for deep listening, reflection, conversations, and interactivity?  
  • What would make you pay a visit? What keeps you away?
  • What community stories are we not telling?  Can you help us with that?
For museums I visit:
  • Do you really need that no photography rule?
For readers of this blog: (that's you!)
  • What do you want to read more about?
  • What blogs do you want to make sure I read?  Who should I make sure to follow on Twitter?
  • Have you liked the Uncataloged Museum on Facebook yet?
When I began this blog four years ago (four years ago!)  I thought about it as a place to raise questions, to share ideas, and to learn from all of you.  Those same motivations still continue for me--and I'm very interested in working with those of you who share a commitment to active questioning and listening.  So please be in touch if you have a project in mind.

So let's raise our glasses to a question-filled 2012!

Images, top to bottom
dullhunk on flickr
slainte74 on flickr

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