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IMPs Talk: Strengthening Collaborations

Category: On-Demand Programs: Career Management

Transcript

Laura Roberts:

People are being admitted.

Julie Govert:

Okay. Well, hi everyone. This is in IMPs Talks Strengthening Collaborations hosted by the Independent Museum Professionals Network. This session is being recorded. I’m Julie Govert and I am an exhibit developer and writer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And I’m also the vice chair and programming chair of the Independent Museum Professionals Network. Later in the program, we’re going to hear from three of our fellow IMPs who are going to help us wrap up and consolidate our discussion. We have Laura Roberts of Roberts Consulting, [inaudible 00:01:08]. Also on the session, Claudia Ocello is helping us monitor our chat. We’re going to use the chat to provide some resources and links. So, you want to make sure you have that available to you. You can also, if you’re interested, edit your name in the Zoom with your pronouns. To do so, you can click on the participants on the toolbar and click more beside your name and rename yourself.

As a virtual program, we’re all joining from different places around the US and potentially beyond, but I would like to acknowledge the ancestral lance, which I now occupy and honor these in other first nations peoples, their history and heritage, including the Kickapoo, Peoria, Potawatomi, Menominee, Miami, and Ho-Chunk, and the [inaudible 00:02:08]. I encourage you to use the link that Claudia’s going to put in the chat to learn more about the lands that you occupy and the people and communities who have been displaced by colonial expansion where you might live or work. So, she’s putting that into the chat.

So, let me tell you a little bit more about IMP. Independent Museum Professionals Network is a network of . We are consultants and freelancers who work in all areas of museums and in all types of museums. Our network provides a central hub of resources, knowledge and connections. And we actively work to support independent museum professionals, strengthen the relationship between independent museum professionals and museums, and advance the museum field. If you’re interested in joining our community, if you’re not already a member of IMP, we encourage you to do so. It’s actually free with a membership with AAM. All you have to do is in your profile for AAM membership, there’s a way to check different professional networks you’re interested in and you just check IMP on that. And then you’ll get all of our communications, including our quarterly newsletter. And if you have any questions about it, feel free to reach out to me directly. I’m happy to help you with that. You can find us online. We have a-

Laura Roberts:

Julie, your slides aren’t advancing.

Julie Govert:

Oh, well, let me stop that and try again.

Laura Roberts:

It worked just as you were bringing them down.

Julie Govert:

Of course it did. I will not do the full screen to you then. Can you see it? Can you go see it go back and forth now? Okay. So here we all are. This is us, Chris, Laura, and Susan. And then this is how to join our community. So, there’s a link there. If you have questions, my emails listed. And then you can find us online. So, we have a webpage that is part of AAM. And on that webpage, we have resources, some really great resources that we’d like to share with you. Those include a guide to working with IMPs and ethical guidelines of professional practice. And then you can also find some past programs we’ve had there. So, check that out. We are also on the social media. We’re on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. So please follow us there and check out what we’re doing.

So, today we’re going to spend 90 minutes total for this program. We’re going to do a quick primer on the types of collaborations IMPs might have. We’re going to take time to break out into three different 15 minute segments. [inaudible 00:05:27] types of collaborations. There’s a lot of different types of collaborations we might have. We’re only [inaudible 00:05:35] so this is not [inaudible 00:05:37] I think through the types of collaborations that IMPs most come across. So, we’re going to take time to discuss those and then bring that to an opportunity to share your thoughts and various ideas. We’re going to be some Jams. And at the time when we do the breakouts, we’ll post a link at that time to the Jam boards so you can post your own thoughts there. And then at the end, we’ll take some time where Chris and Susan will summarize different types of collaborations and add their own spin on it because they both have expertise in those particular collaborations.

Throughout the session, we’re going to use the chat feature. So, make sure you can access that by hovering over the toolbar on the bottom of your screen and clicking on the chat icon. Make sure everyone’s selected if you’re going to type something in so that everybody gets it. And if you’re joining by phone, you’ll still have an opportunity to participate in the breakouts and we’ll be recapping as much as possible of things that are going on in the chat. We would like you to get to know people. When you’re in your breakouts and we’re going to… The breakouts are hopefully going to be different every time. You’ll meet new people. Claudia’s going to put a contact sheet in the chat. And if you’re interested in sharing your information with other participants, just put your info in there and afterwards we’ll distribute any resources and that sheet so everybody can get to know each other better.

So, let me just talk briefly about some of the kinds of collaborations that IMPs might have. The first is colleagues, IMP to IMP. This is not necessarily a formal collaboration. This is more informal. It’s peer to peer. It’s not necessarily project specific. So, it’s basically, how do you get in information from other IMPs to help you do your job? As IMPs, we are, I’m sitting in my home office right now. Many of us are by ourselves in a room and it’s really hard to make connections and when I’m working on something, “Hey, can…” When you used to work in an office, maybe you said, “Can you take a look at this? Or, “Hey, what about this?” And we don’t have that necessarily built in support. And that’s one of the goals of IMP as a professional network is to create a community and build that community.

And so how do you find and contribute to that community? So lots of us have varying experience in the field and we’d like to use our relationships and the experience of others as a resource. And we want people to feel comfortable asking a colleague for advice. Maybe it’s about your rates. Laura did a great session last fall on how to price your projects. And it’d be great to be able to call someone up or shoot an email to someone and say, “Hey, what are you charging for the same kind of work?” And we don’t want it to feel like it’s a competition. We want to be honest and transparent.

Maybe it’s a mentor, mentee relationship, someone that’s new to being an IMP. Maybe you have a lot of experience in museum field, but running a business is brand new to you. And being able to ask someone about insurance or something like that, or just quick question. Susan does similar work to what I do and I shoot off an email like, “Hey, what do you think of this?” And it’s a great resource to be able to have someone to just bounce ideas off of, pick your brain. And the benefits are we get to share information to help each other and learn other perspectives and ways to do something and maybe brainstorm solutions to challenges and ultimately develop that support system. Even though we are by ourselves, that we are a group of IMPs.

The next kind of collaboration that we’re going to discuss is IMPs as a team. And this would be a more formal collaboration. It’s most likely going to be project specific. There’s a project out there. They need a variety of things to happen. You’re one person; you can’t do it all. And so you put together a team of people to handle the work. So, maybe you need to build a team by identifying the needs of the prospective client and finding the right people to work together. Sometimes it’s subcontracting with your leading and your coordinating. Or maybe it’s working more independently and each person’s fulfilling a particular role. Another situation I can think of is I’m doing a project and suddenly I’m maxed out and I can’t necessarily fulfill that obligation. So, I bring in another person to help supplement that work. And the dynamics might be different. It depends on what kind of team and who’s in charge, but there’s a lot of different ways to structure the team and different processes to work in productive ways. And communication’s always going to be key.

So, the last one that we’re going to talk about is collaboration with clients. And we think, do we really collaborate with clients? Sometimes it feels a little adversarial, but you want to collaborate with your clients. You’re all working as one big team to get something accomplished. So, this is another example of a formal collaboration. It’s probably projects, but it could be time based, but there’s definitely a contract. And there are different models that that might look like. The client team might have people from various departments. They may or may not have worked together before. The team might have other subcontracted IMPs or consultants that the client has hired. And there’s a lot of challenges in that, in creating an effective collaboration process and understanding where our responsibilities as IMPs lie. So, we need to understand and use the internal culture and the structures already in place, identify and clarify roles and responsibilities, what tools and does the institution already have? And are there opportunities to create new tools and processes?

So, those are three, that’s just a quick rundown on three different types of collaborations we’re going to talk about today. So that informal peer to peer, working in teams with other IMPs, and then collaborating with clients. So, how this is going to go is that we’re going to break out into small groups and we’re going to discuss the benefits and challenges of each type. So, we’ll devote 15 minutes to each type of collaboration. For each we are providing a short scenario. It’s just an example of to get the conversation going. You’re not necessarily trying to solve that particular problem. It’s just a way to start thinking about it. And then we’ve created three Jamboards, one for each scenario. So, Claudia’s going to put the link for the Jamboard in the chat. And so what we’d like for you to do is click on that link and look at that Jamboard.

There’s a scenario for each page. So, we’ll start on page one. The next time we break out, you’ll navigate with the top arrow right. That’ll get to your next scenario. And we’re going to spend 15 minutes to discuss each one. We’re going to use the sticky notes. If you’re not familiar with Jamboard, there’s a toolbar on the left side. I think it’s the fourth icon down is a little sticky note. When you click on it, it’s pull something up. You can type into that and then after you’ve saved it, you can drag it around the page. So that those are the tools we’re going to use during this time. When you get into your breakout rooms, don’t forget if you’re muted to unmute yourself so we can all, so your group can hear you. Make sure to introduce yourself. When we are done, leave the room, not the meeting.

So, I’m going to go ahead and introduce our first scenario. So this is collaborating with colleagues IMP to IMP. Here’s a particular scenario. You need to re-craft your practice. You’re moving, you’re bored, or you want to earn more money. You’d like your practice to better align with your values. You’re transitioning to independent work from maybe a full-time position. How do you get advice and help around specific questions, but also find ongoing support? So again, we’re not trying to solve any one particular issue, but it’s just to help get you started. And again, we’re going to take 15 minutes. So, Laura’s going to go ahead and break us out into small groups and we’ll get going.

Laura Roberts:

Rooms are open. If you need help with the Jamboard, I’ll be back in the main room and you can always come back to the main room or summon me to your room.

Julie Govert:

Am I in a breakout?

Laura Roberts:

I thought I said yes. Maybe I didn’t. How do I put you in a break out?

Julie Govert:

Oh, hold on. I got it. I’ll join. Which one do you want me to join?

Laura Roberts:

I don’t care.

Julie Govert:

I’ll join…

Laura Roberts:

Not number one. Yeah, not number one.

Julie Govert:

I’ll do it. Okay.

Laura Roberts:

And not number three.

Katie Ahern:

Hi, Laura.

Laura Roberts:

Yeah.

Katie Ahern:

Hi. I think somehow I just got bounced out of my room.

Laura Roberts:

Well, the rooms are closing, Katie, so it’s okay.

Katie Ahern:

Oh. I was like wait. I was taking notes and hit return. And then all of a sudden I popped up with you.

Laura Roberts:

Rooms are closing, so…

Katie Ahern:

Okay.

Laura Roberts:

I don’t know how it happened, but… Everybody should be back. And it’s about to give me a warning thing so we don’t [inaudible 00:31:21].

Julie Govert:

Sorry, had to unmute myself. Okay. So hopefully you had some good conversations on that first Jamboard. So, I’m just going to quickly share the next scenario. And it is scenario two. And this is the collaborating in teams, so IMP specific teams. So, you’ve been part of a consultant team, good and bad, but never led one. You’re looking at an RFP and you think I could try to do this alone, but it’s clear they have the budget to bring in specialists and I’d be more competitive with a team. As you think about being the lead for the first time, what are you asking yourself? Where do you turn for advice, not just for crafting the proposal on the team, but actually doing the work?

So, this is our scenario. Again, we’re not necessarily trying to solve this particular specific issue, but kind of a way to think about types of teams. And when we go back out to the Jamboard and break rooms, just click the arrow, right arrow at the center and the top, and that’ll get you to Jamboard number two, where this scenario will be repeated. We’ll do the same thing. And hopefully we’ll meet some new people in our breakouts.

Chris Danemayer:

Hey, Julie, I have a question. When I clicked on Jamboard, I clicked on Jamboard, it took me to the jam board, but then Zoom disappeared.

Julie Govert:

Yes. Well, so you’ll be… So I kind of went back and forth because Jamboard is through the internet. So, you have to kind of do double duty.

Laura Roberts:

This is minimizing and maximizing windows on your computer. Julie and I did [crosstalk 00:33:35]-

Chris Danemayer:

It disappeared completely. So I didn’t know how to jump back in until I was let into a room. And so I don’t know if anybody else had that problem.

Julie Govert:

Yeah. I’m sorry. I’, not sure. So you do have to kind of do both and if you don’t get let into a room, if you on the bottom toolbar, there’s I think a little place that says more and that’s where you can get into your room if it’s [crosstalk 00:34:00]-

Chris Danemayer:

Okay. Okay.

Laura Roberts:

Okay. Should I make, should I make the groups a little bit bigger or do you like this size?e

Julie Govert:

Seemed fine to me, but…

Tania Said:

The size was great for us.

Chris Danemayer:

Yeah, we had three people in our group. Yeah.

Laura Roberts:

Okay. Here we go.

Chris Danemayer:

Great.

Julie Govert:

So if you see breakout room at the bottom, you’ll see… Okay. Okay. It’s just not putting me in one. So, I’m going to join-

Laura Roberts:

Anything but room one. Room one already has four people.

Julie Govert:

Hello everyone. Good discussion so far. I will share my screen for the final scenario, which is scenario three. This is about collaborating with clients and some of the team’s discussion may have been kind of morphed into about the client part. But this is specifically you’ve, here’s our scenario, you’ve just been awarded a contract for a great project. You’ll be working with a newly formed internal task force that has never worked together before. How do you establish a positive working relationship and facilitate effective communication? How do you and the client stay on the same page throughout the process so that you are successful? So, that’s the deal and I’ll stop sharing. And then we’ll go ahead and break out into groups again and just advance to your third Jamboard to put your ideas.

Laura Roberts:

Okay. So, we’re going to go down to four groups because some folks have to leave at two. And Chris is not going to go into his group. So Julie, hold on and I’ll tell you where to go to make up for Chris.

Julie Govert:

Got it. Sounds good.

Laura Roberts:

Julie, you can go to room three.

Susan Johnson:

I should stay here. Right? I’m staying here. I’m going to watch the Jamboard, right? Yes.

Laura Roberts:

Yeah. You can do that. Let’s see which group you’re supposed to be in. Okay.

Susan Johnson:

Or do you want me to…

Laura Roberts:

No, no, no, it’s fine.

Susan Johnson:

Okay. Okay. Good.

Laura Roberts:

It’s fine.

Susan Johnson:

Cool.

Laura Roberts:

There’s just… Yeah, there’s three in that room. That’s fine. And it’s Claudia and Barbara. So what I did, Susan, it may be creepy for you to do it while you’re watching the Jamboard. But Chris, this point of… Wait, first, let me start my timer. Just having just done this, I’ve been doing this on my pad and then I realized I could move the stickies around on the Jamboard to reorganize them to make points.

Chris Danemayer:

Oh yeah, you can move them around.

Laura Roberts:

Yeah. Well, first I did it all on paper. That might freak people out if their stickies kept moving.

Susan Johnson:

Right, right, right. Got you.

Laura Roberts:

Just saying

Chris Danemayer:

Yeah, you can move them.

Susan Johnson:

Who’s moving my sticky note.

Chris Danemayer:

Hey.

Susan Johnson:

Stop, stop.

Laura Roberts:

Who’s moving my sticky note? If I was live and in person, of course I’d be moving the sticky notes. It’s dumb.

Susan Johnson:

That’s funny. It’s good.

Laura Roberts:

It’s saying we have a fourth Jamboard. That’s a blank. Okay. I guess it makes new one.

Susan Johnson:

Yeah. It makes a new one each time you…

Laura Roberts:

So, I gave you one, Susan.

Susan Johnson:

Okay. Oh, excellent, excellent. Totally. Yay, I have another one. Yay.

Laura Roberts:

Do you have one? [crosstalk 00:54:37].

Susan Johnson:

I do, yes. They’re starting.

Laura Roberts:

It populates really slowly.

Susan Johnson:

So funny.

Laura Roberts:

So, maybe one of you knows. Someone said Facebook groups usually for web projects. How would you… Have either of you used Facebook groups for something?

Susan Johnson:

No, not for managing a project or anything?

Chris Danemayer:

No. No, but that came from a woman in the first session I was in, the first room I was in. She uses Facebook to promote her web design business. And also to troubleshoot things, like this piece of code isn’t working, does anybody else have that problem?

Susan Johnson:

Oh, I see. I see.

Laura Roberts:

Got it. Got it. Okay.

Chris Danemayer:

So, it’s that kind of… That’s how she uses it. Yeah. So we found that Facebook, LinkedIn, conferences and word of mouth were the best ways to collaborate with people that you know or to form those collaborations.

Kheli Willetts:

I just wanted to say I had to run. So, I’m off. I have a meeting. It’s good to see your face, Chris.

Chris Danemayer:

Kheli, great to see you too. Look at all that hair.

Kheli Willetts:

[crosstalk 00:57:32]. I know, right? So different.

Chris Danemayer:

I love it. I love it.

Kheli Willetts:

I looked like you the last time we saw each other, didn’t I?

Chris Danemayer:

That’s right. You did.

Kheli Willetts:

I did. No, really. We had the same haircut.

Chris Danemayer:

Is that real? Is that natural?

Kheli Willetts:

It’s real to me.

Chris Danemayer:

Yeah. Okay. That’s for works for me.

Kheli Willetts:

That’s right.

Chris Danemayer:

I love it.

Kheli Willetts:

So, maybe we’ll see you in Miami. I don’t know if I’m still going yet. Maybe next year. I’m not ready. Okay, I got to-

Laura Roberts:

What kind of work do you Kheli?

Kheli Willetts:

I’m sorry?

Laura Roberts:

What kind of work do you do?

Kheli Willetts:

Oh, I just opened my own professional development firm in January. So, I do community engagement and governance and project management and pretty much everything it feels like except anything related to finance or fundraising or development. Not my [crosstalk 00:58:13].

Laura Roberts:

I hear you. I hear you. Where are you?

Kheli Willetts:

I’m in Pearland, Texas.

Laura Roberts:

Great.

Chris Danemayer:

Wow.

Kheli Willetts:

Sweltering.

Chris Danemayer:

Yes. I’m sure. I’m sure.

Kheli Willetts:

Yes, it is. All right. Bye folks. Thanks so much.

Chris Danemayer:

Good to see you again.

Kheli Willetts:

I look forward to the next time we meet.

Laura Roberts:

Thanks.

Kheli Willetts:

Okay. Bye.

Laura Roberts:

Was she in fact bald last time you saw her?

Chris Danemayer:

Oh yeah, completely. Yeah. That might be a wig would be my guess.

Laura Roberts:

Yeah. She said it’s real to me.

Chris Danemayer:

Yes. Right. But yeah, I probably wouldn’t have recognized her if I didn’t see her name there. No, but it’s been a good 10 years. I always would see her at the African American Association Museums Conference. And that’s what she was referring to about Miami. They always pick a really hot place in August to have their conference and this time it’s Miami, Florida. Yeah.

Laura Roberts:

It’s cheap.

Chris Danemayer:

Yeah. That’s-

Laura Roberts:

They’re a small organizations so they don’t have big budgets.

Chris Danemayer:

Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.

Laura Roberts:

As soon, as soon as IMLS changed their general operating support deadline, this was we’re now talking 30 years ago, it was like as soon as they changed their deadline, I said, “Great. NEMA’s moving to November.” It’s like, “Why is it…” It’s like, Do you know how expensive hotels are in New England in October?”

Chris Danemayer:

Oh, in November. Yeah.

Laura Roberts:

So, we just moved to November. I was like, “Okay, IMLS is moving their deadline. We’re moving our conference to November.” It was like the next year. Hotels in New England are just crazy expensive in October.

Chris Danemayer:

They are.

Laura Roberts:

Most of the year, but generally especially in… Okay.

Chris Danemayer:

So Laura, are we going to bring up the Jamboards when we do our summaries or we just going to talk it through? We’ll find out.

Susan Johnson:

That’s a good question. Don’t know.

Chris Danemayer:

I was trying to organize the Jamboard I’m working on, but it’s just so many of the notes just overlap in terms of what they’re covering. So, I just came up with my own categories.

Susan Johnson:

Seems like it’s probably okay.

Chris Danemayer:

Which is pretty much exactly the same thing we came up with at this session and at AAM.

Susan Johnson:

Totally, totally. Yeah, a lot of the same stuff.

Chris Danemayer:

Yeah. So Susan, what are you working on these days?

Susan Johnson:

So, I have a sort of ongoing project with the Yale Peabody Museum, which is their reinstalling the entire museum. And they just sort of needed help. They have eight curatorial teams and they’re all professors. And so I’m helping shepherd the text and trying to get them not to write for graduate students, which is fun. And I have a project that just started with the National Women’s History Museum in DC.

Chris Danemayer:

Nice.

Susan Johnson:

Yeah. They’re doing their first ever physical exhibition, which is pretty cool.

Chris Danemayer:

Nice.

Susan Johnson:

Hello.

Laura Roberts:

Which is the museum that’s doing their first ever-

Chris Danemayer:

The Women’s.

Susan Johnson:

The National Women’s History Museum. Not the Smithsonian, the other one.

Laura Roberts:

Oh, great.

Susan Johnson:

Yes. It’s very fun. Yeah, yeah, it’s very cool. It’s very… It’s a small team, but they’re excited and dedicated and so we should be able to pull it off.

Chris Danemayer:

But is it in DC or it’s not in DC?

Susan Johnson:

It is. So, the show is going to be at the MLK Public Library. So, the Women’s Museum has been a museum for quite a while, but they’re online only. And so they don’t have a building. So they’re trying to sort of stake a claim and it’s going to be at the MLK Public Library, which is awesome. It’s that newly renovated Mies van der Rohe building. So, it’s pretty cool. Yeah.

Chris Danemayer:

Do they have, they have permanent exhibit space there as well, right? So, is what you’re doing a temporary exhibit?

Susan Johnson:

Yeah. So the library has some permanent exhibition space and this temporary show is going to be on the first floor. So, they have a contract for a five year partnership with the library. So, they’re going to be doing ongoing exhibitions in that space. But the first one, yeah, is it’s a post open for women’s history month, 2023. We’ll see. Hopefully. But it’ll be, yeah, it’s like kind of a niche in the front of the building and they have the windows. They can use projections or images on the windows to announce themselves and the show and stuff.

Laura Roberts:

Okay. I’ve given them the 60 seconds.

Chris Danemayer:

Awesome. 60 seconds. Wow.

Susan Johnson:

Okay. Yeah, my board is filling up, which is great.

Laura Roberts:

So, we’re going to come back at 10 after. So, I would say that we each have five minutes, not [crosstalk 01:07:51] minutes.

Chris Danemayer:

Okay.

Susan Johnson:

Sounds good.

Julie Govert:

Sorry, I was finishing typing. Okay. All right. So, we’ve got about 20 minutes left and so I want to give Laura, Chris, and Susan adequate time. I just need two minutes at the end. So, maybe six-ish minutes.

Laura Roberts:

We just agreed on five. Yeah.

Chris Danemayer:

Yeah, five. We do five.

Julie Govert:

Perfect. Okay. So, what’s going to happen now is Laura’s going to start and she’s taking the information from that Jamboard on colleague to colleague IMP to IMP collaboration and then adding her own ideas. Take it away Laura.

Laura Roberts:

Okay. Thank you. So, a little bit of learning. I just, after I did this all on paper and pencil, I realized I could have just done it with your stickies, moving things around on the Jamboard, to which Chris said, “Of course you could do that.” Anyway, so the four headings. One is to build your network. You need to build your network any case, as Julie said, we’re working in isolation. Use professional associations. Things like IMP. It may require new professional associations either by skill or by geography. A friend of mine just moved from Massachusetts to Florida. And the first thing she did when she made the decision to move was to file a proposal to the Southeast Museum’s Conference annual meeting so that she would be visible in Southeast. Meet people at meetings and webinars and use word and network that way. Kheli just left the meeting, had to sign off and leave the meeting. And while she was in the main room, I took a minute to ask her what it is that she does and where she was and just added her to my network a little bit as she was departing.

The second group of headings is really about marketing. You all talked about just telling people, being visible, use word of mouth. And then I would say be a good colleague and amplify your friends and colleagues pivots so that you’re helping them tell their new story in your networks. Use social media. There were several comments about LinkedIn. I have to confess, I probably don’t use LinkedIn as much as I should. Post about your work. I would consider, we did a webinar about using social media last year. I think I was being the webmaster, Zoom master and I didn’t listen enough, but think about creating a separate account for your business identity, from your personal identity. I know Donna Anne Harris, a preservationist in Philadelphia, her company is called Heritage Consulting, does this really well and really tailor your message separate from your personal message.

Make sure your profile on LinkedIn is up to date, create a website or change the one you have, create an email newsletter. And there’s a comment about learn to use other promotional tools and whoever made that comment, I think you should drop Julie an email about what you meant so that we can do a session on other promotional tools because I don’t know what it means and I would love to know more.

And then there’s the whole question about developing new markets. Think about new markets and sister industries. Mara is on the call. I know that’s how she spent the first year of COVID was thinking about figuring out how she could apply her skills to healthcare, to education, to other kinds of nonprofits. And think about where you might know about staffing gaps and market yourself as someone who could fill staffing gaps. The book Museum Mercenary is actually really good on that question of really thinking about because Rebecca kind of does more staff work than consultative work. So if that’s what you do, then think about that. Who do you know has let staff go or lost staff and might need to fill in staff? Promoting yourself to other IMPs as a subcontractor. And there was a comment on the Jamboard that was while remaining true to your skillset and not quite sure what that was, but don’t promote yourself as being something you’re not, I guess.

And then the fourth category is ask for help. Ask for sample documents, for advice, for whatever. Find a mentor and of course, anytime you read about mentoring, the advice is always make it reciprocal. Find a mentor and be a mentor, make it a win-win relationship. Partner with someone you can learn from and be open about the fact that it’s going to be learning on both sides. So, I’ve partnered with somebody from whom I learned adapting designed thinking and I partnered with somebody from whom I learned adapting Linda Norris and Rainey Tisdale’s creative practice book. Both friends wanted to learn strategic planning and they offered me their skillset in exchange.

Make sure you have people that you can ask questions of, trusted colleagues and friends who you can be stupid in front of. Do informational interviews so that you get smarter. And apparently one person on the call, whether he or she is on or not, uses Facebook groups to ask very targeted questions, to troubleshoot problems as a network of people that you could ask. And if you follow the Facebook museum social media managers group, that’s a group that’s asking those questions, answering those questions all the time. So, that’s it. Thank you.

Chris Danemayer:

All right. Julie, can you bring up the Jamboard related to-

Julie Govert:

Yes.

Laura Roberts:

Cool. Chris is using visual aids. I can do it.

Julie Govert:

I got it.

Chris Danemayer:

There we go. Okay, we got it. Oh no, that’s not it.

Julie Govert:

Let me get back. There we go.

Chris Danemayer:

There we go. Okay. So, this is about collaborating with teams. How do you create teams to go after projects and what are the roles of the people on those teams? I added the yellow stickies, which summarize what’s going on underneath. And just to demonstrate, we can move these around. Oh no, I can’t.

Julie Govert:

Sorry, what do you need me to do?

Chris Danemayer:

No, that’s okay. I was just going to play around with it. So first of all, when you’re assembling a team to go after a project, you want to put together a team of people that you know and you trust and you know what they can do. So, always go with who you know or get a good reference for somebody who might be able to help out on a project. Every once in a while we run into a situation where we need somebody who might be a community engagement person that’s local instead of somebody that’s coming from Atlanta. So, who do we call? We call New England Museum Associates and then Dan Yaeger recommends somebody. And so we put that person on our team. So first of all, you select people you know and you trust and can get the job done.

And then if you get the project, identify clear roles. You assume that if you’re contracting a 3D designer, that person’s going to be doing a 3D design. Or if you’re contracting a content developer, that person’s going to be doing the content development. But just make sure that the roles are clear and what the commitments are. And then provide them with a letter of agreement so that they know what they’re going to get paid for their services and what they’re going to be delivering. So yes, if everybody’s a friend, that’s great, but it’s good to have things in writing because sometimes you run into situations where the work expands beyond what’s expected. You want to have some clear guidelines as to what that person’s delivering and what they’re getting compensated for.

And this next column, project manager, that could be the first item actually. Having a good project manager to keep people on schedule, on budget, keep people focused on what the deliverables are per stage, per phase of the project. It’s very important to have somebody who’s keeping track of all that stuff because, as you know, schedules tend to shift and change depending on what’s going on with the project. And having a project manager who can adeptly adjust people’s schedules and the deliverables is critical and crucial. And sometimes you might have to catch up toward the end of the project to meet your deadline. And how do you achieve that? The project manager can provide a clear roadmap for that.

It’s always good to have clear communication between the members of your team to set up a Google drive, a Dropbox. Put all your information there and make sure people are checking it regularly. Set up regularly scheduled meeting. Because everybody’s got such busy schedules, it’s often important to say, “We’re going to meet weekly at this time, on this day.” Or it’s going to be biweekly, whatever, but have a regular check-in so that you can make sure everybody’s staying on track.

And then the another item is to, if you’re going after a project, often you might have to have insurance or be an LLC to go after a project. So if you’re going to lead a project, it’s probably a good idea to check into having some sort of business insurance to protect you and the people that are working for you in case something happens on site. Or if there’s a mistake made in a graphic layout and you have to reprint a mural that was put on the wall, that’s like that’s never happened to me, but it could happen. There were a couple other notes in here. I wasn’t sure how to categorize, but I wanted to call out. Consider DEAI, consider creating a diverse team whenever possible. So, I thought that was a good statement, but I wasn’t quite sure how to categorize that. But anyway, that’s a summary of the collaborating with teams Jamboard and session.

Susan Johnson:

Okay. Hello. Julie, you can switch to my… Oh Julie, you put-

Julie Govert:

Oh, sorry. [crosstalk 01:20:16].

Susan Johnson:

It was helpful. It was nice. Yeah, I liked it. I also put mine in categories.

Julie Govert:

Sorry I lost my…

Laura Roberts:

You can go back first and show everyone my categories.

Julie Govert:

Oh, sorry. There’s Laura’s. All right, hold on a second because I have so many things up on my screen that I can’t get to theirs.

Chris Danemayer:

One more. There you go.

Susan Johnson:

Yay.

Julie Govert:

Yay.

Susan Johnson:

So, clients. So, it looked to me like the stickies that were up on the board came down to a couple of different broad categories. One, which I like to call emotional intelligence and the squishy part of being a good collaborator and being a good consultant. This very good one about finding out the existing power dynamics and try to use them. Or if they’re dysfunctional, create a strong alternative. I think that’s pretty interesting. I think that’s one of the kind of interesting things about working with different institutions is they’re all so different, even if they don’t seem that way at first. So trying to figure out where you fit into that puzzle piece is I think a big part of it or your puzzle piece fits in the puzzle. But this stuff about building trust and positive relationships, respecting their content and their goals, I think is super important obviously.

Managing expectations, definitely important. I thought this post was really interesting. Consider the use of I or we when collaborating with clients depending on the purpose and who you are working on behalf of. I was literally just earlier today writing an email and trying to decide if I should be using we or I in the email because I was thinking about if I was speaking on behalf of my little team. So, I think that’s super interesting thing to think about. And also handholding, again, the same thing about who your clients are and what their needs are and how much they know about what they’re doing and how much they don’t. It’s interesting.

And then there’s the less squishy things about having a good relationship with your client. Project management I think is one where there’s a lot of importance there and a lot of thought there. Regular check-ins, following up with an email so that you have your statements in writing, being aware of deadlines and what to do if your client misses a deadline I think is really important. Clear communications, using onsite space, if that’s necessary for what you’re doing. And then also that sort of asking that question how do you want to communicate? Of your client, what’s the best way to communicate with you? That can be helpful because sometimes you can learn, oh, I thought email was the best way to talk to this person, but actually they prefer some other program.

And also just on that personal side for your own self of keeping track of your time I think is really helpful too and trying to find a good program for keeping track of your own time. And then of course contracts, there can be a really good tool in managing relationship with the clients, making sure the scope of work is in the agreement, making sure the deadlines are in the agreement, making sure that your payment schedule is in the agreement, and that everything is very clearly defined. That will always help you in the end. And right, if it’s a project based or retainer kind of project. So, I thought all of these points were really good and important and definitely helpful when you think about how to work with your clients. So, I think that’s it. That’s my time. Thank you.

Julie Govert:

Awesome. Okay. I am going to go back to here. So, I haven’t been keeping an eye on the chat at all. But Claudia posted the Museum Mercenary book that Laura referenced. And then, oh, by the way, these are the people who were speaking. Sometimes I follow my notes, sometimes I just go. So in the last five minutes here, I just want to tell you briefly, first of all, thank you for coming and participating. I really enjoy these kinds of sessions where we get to get in the small groups and really talk, get to meet new people. This is just one of the ways that you can meet new people, network with other IMPs. And I’ve met so many great people through these kinds of programs. So, I hope you’ll continue to come to future programs.

We have a couple things coming up. We have another virtual program called Agents of Change, How IMPs Can Inspire and Partner With Their Clients. As we’ve discussed, we’re individuals, but this is a big topic that we’ve talked a lot about in the museum field and we’re part of it. So, that will be on Monday, July 18th from 2:00 to 3:00 PM Eastern daylight time. And Claudia will put that in the chat with a registration link that you can also should be able to find that on the AAM calendar as well, I believe. And then if you are in the Midwest, like me in Milwaukee, my hometown right now is the Association of Midwest Museum’s Conference, which will be in the week of July, 18th, 19th in there. And I will be on site at the conference hotel. We’re going to have a meetup on Thursday, July 21st from 11:00 to 12:00 Central time. And so if you are in the Midwest and coming to that, love to see you there. Feel free to shoot me an email so we can meet up. Love to know you in person face to face.

Again, just want to remind you if you’re not already an official IMP member, it’s really easy. Just go into your AAM profile and check the box and make sure you’re getting our communications. And then we would love to get you more involved with IMP. So if you have additional program ideas, you can always send them my way. And we have the contact list, if Claudia can post that back into the chat. That way, if you haven’t already added yourself to that, please add your name and then we’re going to send that out in a follow-up email that’ll be sent out. So make sure if you have any questions, reach out to me. Also, we have a biobank. If you fill that out, you might be featured in a future newsletter or through social media. And that’s another way to get your name out there as Laura talked about.

And then we’re going to post a survey, that’ll be in the follow-up email. It’s also in the contact sheet on the second tab and it will be in the chat. If you wouldn’t mind filling that out, let us know what you thought of this program. And then also if you have programming and ideas, you can share them through that. And so that is it. Two minutes to go, right on time. Thanks everyone for coming. I appreciate it. And we will see you at the next program.

Chris Danemayer:

Thank you all.

Laura Roberts:

Bye-bye everybody.

Susan Johnson:

Thanks everybody.

Chris Danemayer:

Bye-bye.

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