Wanted: a guerrilla-in-residence #MA2015Syd

tech imageRuminating on the recent Museums Australia 2015 conference plenary session where we got told we needed to transform, we needed new tools, we needed new skills, we needed new blah, blah, blahs, got me to re-visit some thoughts I had some time ago regarding organisational change and museums. Being a guerrilla-in-residence was originally published on Museum3 in February, 2012 after reflecting on some projects I had been working on around Web 2.0, social media and organisational change. This piece was taken up in a subsequent blog post by Ed Rodley, Vision, Desire, Attitude, and Focus, which is still very relevant and a great read by one of our leading thinkers. Ed also quotes another of our leading thinkers, Jasper Visser, and this post is worth re-visiting too, A job description for future museum professionals.

So, here goes…


Was at a bar camp in January and now at a learning event at the Smithsonian Natural History museum. At both those events the thorny topic of organisational change arose. I wrote a think piece about how this may be achieved within the organisation at the operational level rather than at management. So, here’s what I think is needed: a guerrilla-in-residence.

What does it take to be a guerrilla-in-residence? Read on:

  • Annoy people
  • Take no crap
  • Ask where’s the data?
  • Be like a dog with a bone – don’t give up
  • Online constantly
  • An active tweeter
  • Respectful – a thanker, get back to others
  • Polite (sometimes, mostly not!)
  • A good public speaker
  • Evidenced-based discussion
  • Slightly crazy
  • Look at absurdities
  • Don’t take yourself seriously
  • Let people get on with it
  • Be a mentor
  • Surrounded by young people or positive people!
  • Just do it and apologise later
  • Ask lots of questions
  • Thick-skinned
  • A realist – keep the job in perspective (we’re not saving lives!)
  • Friendly
  • A superb networker within and outside specific profession
  • A follower and a leader
  • Humble (well, mostly!)
  • Not necessarily tech-literate but willing to try
  • Wears bright clothes
  • Laughs alot!


But, it’s not all doom and gloom. As @Paulrbowers noted in his quick reflection on the conference, with new management and new people in our industry, “the times, they are a-changing”…

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