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Photo by J Brew on Flickr.

by • 21 Mar, 2013 • Inspiration, TechnologyComments (7)5030

How to create the right digital mindset in your museum (in an hour)?

1. Yesterday I hosted the return day of a DEF workshop at the Danish Museum Association in Copenhagen. After enjoying an insightful presentation about the digital strategy of SMK and a thoughtful presentation about digital at the National Museum, we discussed some of the most pressing issues that hindered the digital potential of Danish museums. Number one among these issues: the digital mindset (or lack thereof) with colleagues in the museums.

We carefully broke the idea of a ‘digital mindset’ down to its core behaviours: what does a person do when he or she has a digital mindset? The answers varied widely between people and institutions: A colleague with a digital mindset shares ideas, uses the right tools for the right challenges, is present on social networks, asks and answers questions, etc. etc. For most participants, a digital mindset had little to do with digital tools and much more with a 21st century way of working: open, collaborative, lean, proactive…

Breaking down a complex idea like ‘digital mindset’ into simple behaviour you can observe helps to find opportunities towards this idea that address understandable things, rather than abstract concepts. One of the things we figured out in Copenhagen was that talking about a ‘digital mindset’ might be the wrong way to get your colleagues to develop the desired mindset. ‘Digital’ causes resistance, while the ideas behind it may be easier accepted.

2. Which brings me to an important question I need your help with (which is why I emphasised it so outrageously):

I’ve been invited to take part in a capacity building project in South-Eastern Europe where a team will help small and mid-sized museums to develop and implement sustainable projects. I have an hour to work with professionals from these museums on new technologies in museums. I cannot assume the participants will have much prior knowledge, funds available for ambitious projects or even an internet connection.

What is the most accessible and most powerful ‘new technology’ or core digital mindset that I can really make progress on in under an hour?

How would you spend this hour? Just listing the possibilities takes me more than an hour, and I really want to make every second count. What is the number 1 thing that helped you or your institution move forward when it came to new technology? Tough questions, I know, but I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments. Should I work on ‘blogging’ and the use of free platforms, social media, getting a website up for near to nothing, learn how to raise funds online…?

Your help is greatly appreciated and – of course – I will blog about what happens with your recommendations. Thanks in advance!

Photo by J Brew on Flickr.

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