How do you get 44 museums to work together?
Last week I interned with Björn Stenvers, frontman of a collaboration between the museums of Amsterdam, and this was my central question. His answer – as with the joke about the elephants and the Volkswagen – is almost disappointingly simple: you start with one and use keep inviting others to join. If you do this for a couple of years, relentlessly, and use every opportunity you can find to make connections, before you know they’re knocking on your door asking for more opportunities to collaborate.
I met Björn years ago, when he was still head of marketing at the Amsterdam Museum. When we met again last year in Moscow, where I was amazed by the stories he told about collaboration among the museums in Amsterdam. Across 44 museums, departments work together to unify and strengthen their offering. All heads of finance work together, for instance in countering invoice fraud. The museums have joint procurement, coordinate their venue rental centrally, etc. etc.
Such collaboration among 44 museums has considerable impact. For each individual employee in a museum in Amsterdam for instance, it means s/he has over 2,500 colleagues to learn from, borrow from or build upon. Continue ReadingRead More »