What is Museum Transformation?

We previously  explained why extreme social, political, financial and technological changes will impact the audiences and its demands of nearly all cultural institutions.

Cultural institutions have the purpose to show their exhibits and/or spread specific information related to the institution. In the pre-internet era it normally wasn’t feasible trying to attract a global audience in situ: Even worldwide renowned institutions rather attracted people from all over the world by their exhibits and not by their content.
I.e. the mainstream, non regional, visitor was the tourist interested in the institution’s exhibit offering. This visitor (or the travel organiser) would receive the unique content of the institution through a local visit. Perhaps some people would get information through books or bilateral exhibitions. But this would not be done at large scale.

The internet has radically changed this: It’s never been so easy attracting people and distributing the most precious good a museum/cultural institution has to offer, its unique content, by being findable through search engines and distributing the content through websites or mobile apps or other digital offerings.
What does this mean for a museum? Let’s look a the risks first:

  • The institution has to establish itself as a unique content provider against ever-growing offerings in the digital world;
  • without being “visible”, i.e. being findeable in search engines and attractive through its offering, the museum will not participate in the broad possibilitities of the digital world;
  • digitisation can become extremely costly, money spent for digitisation cannot be spent for exhibitions or acquiring new exhibits.

But these risks demand that you start transforming your museum rather now than tomorrow. If you don’t, your institution might become invisible in the minds of the upcoming generations. If you start transforming, you will benefit from very nice side effects:

  • transforming your museum will lead to new audiences;
  • existing department barriers will be broken down;
  • museum transformation leads to a new spirit (w/o being esoteric), to a new culture of innovation, communication and collaborative learning.

Transformation is a process to change the organisational and procedural structures of a cultural institution. Assumed you want to transform your museum to get new audiences, to be visible in the digital world – how would Lean Museum Startup help you out?

Lean Museum Startup supports you with tailored tools and projects for e.g. starting interdisciplinary projects, find out which fundraising efforts will really pay out, define and create successful digital communication, establish an innovative culture amongst all staff (or if you’re adventurous – even with external supporters, like Science Gallery’s Leonardo Group) and many more.

All this can be done with minimal financial risk and even by satisfying the needs of rather conservative, publicity focused, museum directors.

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