Sketch-notes by author. Excerpted from Facilitating Collaboration, Brandon Klein and Dan Newman.

Recently, I’ve started a Facilitation Community of Practice for museum professionals. With remote work, we needed to vastly/rapidly improve our work in a virtual domain. We can’t let our low literacy of virtual work practices detrimentally affect our relationships or projects. Enter Liberating Structures. A way to structure conversations that leaves everyone energized, engaged and uplifted. The reason is pretty simple, at its core, our individual time is respected and their voices are heard. In small conversations, we can all feel comfortable to participate. With a clear purpose in mind and time for self-reflection, we can all collect our thoughts…

Do you work at a museum? Psst, I have a secret for you. Museums aren’t a monolith. Oh no… I am the museum, you are the museum. Individual humans are the museum as much as the architecture, the brand and the legacy. Did I blow your mind? No? Well, let me try.

Imagine a world in which museums don’t have any human employees. An autonomous, white cube storage container if you will. Visitors enter not in a queue, but a tightly controlled pat-down procedure complete with singing the country anthem, iris identification and reciting recent late night jokes—security will also…

American History Of/By/For All

A text-only sign from the Tate Museum with the headline: Help Us Keep Tate Relevant, Welcoming and Inclusive.
I like that Tate admits that there should be no “end” to inclusivity. Photo originally posted by Ariana French

Tomorrow is the first day of Smithsonian National Museum of American History Museum’s next phase. Strategic planning begins in union with the inimitable Nina Simon and Of/By/For All team. Thus begins a months-long process to help the museum craft its vision for the next 7 years.

Is there a way to write personally about professional nerves? Sorry. Reverse that. Is there a way to write professionally about personal nerves? I’m nervous and excited about the beginning of this new, raucous, risky, vulnerable process.

I’m no stranger to vulnerable processes at work. Post-shutdown, the design studio embarked…

I’m back to work now. And very happy about that. There’s renewed sense of vitality and vigor, in part due to a soon to start new director, end of the year R&R, new year jitters, and the record-setting furlough for federal workers. Don’t get me wrong, there is despair, low morale and fatigue as well, thanks to the shutdown. But the focus of this essay is on what I learned through this put-upon, forced meditation on the benefits of a structured life. I wasn’t the only one who was furloughed, my almost 3-year old daughter was as well. (She attends…

Isabella Bruno

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