There are many ways of understanding and describing organisational change in museums and galleries in the context of participatory community engagement.  Here, we define the categories and tags that we have used to organise our ideas, insights and resources.

  • Be local

    Embed your organisation into your community, take part in local agendas and avoid being seen as a distant, authoritative institution.

  • Business as usual

    The process of organisational change runs alongside and underpins business as usual.

  • Business rationale

    Participatory community engagement is essential to your business model, goals or mission.

  • Change agents

    Using change agents and champions effectively.

  • Change process

    Consider using a change theory or process to underpin your transition.

  • Communications

    Ensure your communication mechanisms support everyone internally and externally to have the right information, at the right time, to be participatory.

  • Community buy-in

    Make sure you have the buy-in and vocal support from your community stakeholders.

  • Community skills

    Ensure community stakeholders have skills and technical knowledge to engage, act and challenge.

  • Core values

    Ensuring that participatory community engagement is shared as a core value across the organisation.

  • Decision-making

    Share decision-making power with community stakeholders.

  • Delegated leadership

    Delegating leadership to staff to allow more effective and responsive participatory practice.

  • Discussion time

    Allowing time for discussion among staff so that good participatory practice can develop.

  • Everyone’s job

    Making participatory community engagement everyone’s job.

  • External voice

    Learning to listen to external voices to help the change process.

  • Financially viable

    How do you make participatory community engagement financially viable and sustainable?

  • Governance

    The role of governing bodies in participation and how to involve communities in governance.

  • High level support

    The importance of buy-in and vocal support from directors, senior managers and governing bodies.

  • Induction / training

    Induction and training into participatory ways of working is available to all staff, volunteers, board members and community partners.

  • Leadership style

    Ensuring leaders have a leadership style that actively encourages participatory community engagement.

  • Learning and evaluation

    A learning organisation has mechanisms for taking risks, properly evaluating and learning from mistakes. They continuously develop. A learning organisation does not use evaluation to cast blame, to tick boxes, impress funders or just for advocacy.

  • Needs and assets

    The starting point should be community needs and assets, rather than seeking to fulfil museum needs first.

  • Partner confidence

    Be confident community stakeholders. Know what you bring and why you are needed.

  • Partnerships

    Know how to start, maintain and end relationships and partnerships that are equitable and collaborative.

  • Policies

    Ensure published policies and strategies clearly commit the organisation to participation.

  • Reflective practice

    Staff and community stakeholders regularly reflect on their collaborative practice and make changes.

  • Shared leadership

    Involving communities in organisational leadership.

  • Staff buy-in

    Getting buy-in and understanding from all staff and perceiving resistance differently.

  • Staff empowerment

    Empowering staff to use their talents, work collaboratively and challenge in a supportive way.

  • Staff skills

    Ensuring staff have the right skills to work collaboratively with communities and each other.

  • Staff turnover

    Continue organisational change during staff turnover of a Director or other key roles.

  • Structures

    Change structures, mechanisms and ways of working that are a barrier to participatory community engagement initiatives.

  • Transparency

    Be open and transparent with processes and discussions that usually happen behind the scenes to reduce barriers to collaboration and enhance shared ownership.

  • Trust

    Build confidence and trust with community partners, enabling them to challenge thinking, practice and share learning.

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