Heading Your Museum Towards Innovation

Conxa Rodà is Head of Strategy and Innovation at Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona and she was also one of the main speakers at We are Museums conference in Berlin. In order to understand better what being in charge of innovation covers exactly in a museum, we have asked Conxa three questions.

You’re Head of Strategy and Innovation at Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. What missions does it cover exactly?

Conxa Rodà - DR

Conxa Rodà – DR

The main lines of work are: draw the overall museum strategy; innovation in internal organisation; enhancement of Digital.

My first mission, when I joined the Museum at the beginning of 2012, was to coordinate the new Strategy Plan for the next years.
Since the overall strategy was to be designed, it was a magnificent opportunity to place Innovation and Digital at the core of this deep renovation.
We have published the Strategy Plan in 2013, we have developed and implemented the new CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) being the first museum in Spain to obtain the certification. We are also implementing new ways of collaborative work such as management of projects. On the digital hand, the museum badly needed an update of projects and skills. We have revamped the museum website, highly increased the online collection, extended the activity and presence on social media, carried out mobile projects, developed internal training to improve staff digital skills.

What is the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya main strategy for the upcoming years? and why?

Our museum is shifting to be less a place of monologue and more a place for conversation, less self-sufficient and more open and collaborative, less mono-thematic and more multidisciplinary, and to deploy its multiple dimensions: social, international, place of knowledge and research, creative, digital.
Strategic goals are to become more social, to implement more interpretative elements and diverse levels of content for our multiple audiences, be better known both locally and internationally, fully integrate the digital dimension throughout the museum,

Detail of our museum’s mission, objectives and main projects can be found at our Strategy Plan.
Downloadable pdf.

Melis / Shutterstock

Melis / Shutterstock

This position is usually shared by various employees in museums (General Director, Curators, Head of Public development, Head of Marketing). Is the main point of creating such a position to get a complete overview of where the museum is heading? Do you have any recommendations to share with your fellow colleagues regarding that?

With a new director since the beginning of 2012, Pepe Serra, the museum badly needed a renovation, both in the way of presenting the collections and an internal organizational change to better serve our audiences and fulfill our mission. Innovation, as Digital, must be cross-organisational, it can not be a one-person or one-department task. It affects the whole institution. Getting people on board is crucial. Having the support of the director and CEO is precious but not enough. You have to share why an innovative approach is needed, before discussing what’s to be done and implement new ways of collaborative work. Takes time, patience, a little bit of seduction, a lot of talking, testing. Also I highly recommend to show some results soon on the process, to get more staff engaged.
The creation of the position also sent a clear message of where we were heading, and it was very innovative in itself for a “traditional” -until then- museum.

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