Reposted from The Art Newspaper

Foster. Create. Develop. Diversify...
Museum leaders need real plans, not just buzzwords. 
By Adrian Ellis

The American Association of Museums (AAM) has 15,000名个人成员(主要是美国博物馆的工作人员和董事会成员), 3,000 institutional members (museums of art, but also history, science, biography, etc), and 300 corporate members of various sorts. It has just published a strategic plan, called The Spark据福特贝尔(Ford Bell)总裁说,这是该组织104年历史上的第一个此类计划. It is a modest document in word count if not in aspiration. 书的第一页概述了一套难以论证的信念和价值观(即勇气, creativity, inclusiveness, excellence and openness). 第二页,也就是总结部分,强调了四个目标:, sustainability, advocacy and "alignment". Alignment means making sure that the AAM's mission, business model, structure, alliances, etc, all line up in the same direction.

每个目标后面都有一些det365首页如何实现这些目标的自我指示的要点:例如:“通过专业培训培养卓越。," and "Develop, deepen and diversify business opportunities.该文件没有提及这些目标对AAM或其成员的财务和组织影响.

它的创立是由专业人士促成的协商过程, 从董事会和AAM成员开始,延伸到公共机构和其他实际和潜在的利益相关者. 几个月后,将出台一项实施计划. 尽管公开的目标是明确的,但AAM并不打算公布这一结果. The Spark is, of course, not a plan at all-it is a set of broad aspirations, 这一目标的实现将取决于一个迄今尚未明确的计划. 这就像把扉页和章节标题称为一本书.

直率地表达愿望的习惯——通常是那些足够模糊而不会引发异议的愿望——称之为计划, strategic or otherwise, is uncomfortably common in cultural planning. In the case of AAM, this is unfortunate, 对于博物馆个人和集体来说,这可能是最重要的时刻, with intelligence, application and seriousness of purpose. 计划意味着制定一套目标,进一步——或者仅仅是保护——机构的存在目的, 然后细化这些目标和实现这些目标的途径,直到就如何实现这些目标以及何时实现这些目标达成强有力的机构共识. If there are no goals, there is no way of choosing a direction; but if there is no credible path mapped out as to how to reach the goals, however glorious, then it's not a plan-it's an untested assertion. 战略计划不只是一份文件,尤其是一份只包含标题的文件. 它对组织的手段和目的有充分的基础和清晰的阐述. 除非参与使该计划成为现实的所有各方对这些手段和目的有共同的理解和赞同,否则该计划不太可能取得进展.

在最好的情况下,博物馆馆长和他们的董事会往往对规划感到反感. 他们不喜欢那些不必要的行话,这是可以理解的. 但他们也不喜欢在规划任务中公开宣布制度野心, 参与的过程需要有一个事实基础, publically defensible consensus about those means and ends.

A more common museum modus operandi is to use ambiguous, 华丽的语言和对机构的尊重,可以让事情保持开放和流畅. I once heard this process described, in a brilliant, exculpatory euphemism, as "post-strategic thinking". 任何为履行职责而生成的计划文件往往都不情愿地回应第三方(主要是资助者),并被用来满足这些第三方的期望. “你感兴趣的是艺术对婴儿的认知和精细运动技能有什么作用? What a happy coincidence, we have a plan here that..."

如果你知道自己作为一个博物馆的领导者在做什么,那么这一切都很有效:尤其是当你了解财务挑战的常规和增量解决方案时, and that can be manoeuvred into place; and when your professional shibboleths are generally in good repair-in other words, normal times.

In a field that is understandably conservative, 对任何真实规划过程中隐含的手段和目的的彻底审查不太可能有吸引力. 在你被迫离开舒适区,重新审视手段和目的之前,事情必须变得相当疯狂.


我认为博物馆正处于一个反常的时期, and that therefore we need to plan. Accelerating demographic change; technology morphing at warp speed; seductive leisure options exploding; leisure-time imploding; an education system that increasingly regards museums much as the fireman regarded the book-people in Fahrenheit 451; our wilful, underfunded expansion of the sector, 还有部分被搁置在城市重建议程上的主张, tourism and community building... Museum leaders have a lot on their plates that is unfamiliar. Above all, 他们有一套规则和习俗来管理他们的机构(还是那些过时的观念),这些规则和习俗对他们所在的更广泛的社区不再具有吸引力.

These are times for planning-honest, granular, unexpurgated examination of goals, their rationales and wider resonance, 以及对所需资源的实际评估,以及这些资源能够满足的规模.

博物馆协会和其他类似的机构有责任帮助博物馆以尽可能知情的方式面对这些问题. It is pretty much their raison d'être. 它们确实是令人烦恼的挑战,det365首页需要尝试和记录的多种方法.

I hope the AAM will in the event publish its plan, as opposed to the chapter heads, when eventually completed. Without it, it will be impossible to know whether The Spark has the capacity to catch and provide warmth and succour.

The writer is a director of AEA Consulting ( and a regular contributor to The Art Newspaper. The AAM's strategic plan can be found at


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