chapter  7
23 Pages

Harbingers and hazards – 2012

As noted in the Preface to this third edition, the world is a markedly different place than it was in 1997 and the privileged position of museums in society requires more reflection. The first two editions of Museums and the Paradox of Change chronicled a museum that was inward-looking, despite an emphasis on public service and connecting with the community as a strategic priority. At that time, it was essential that Glenbow confront its enormous economic challenges with a more adaptive management and organizational design, including new and progressive ways of thinking and working. It was also necessary to pay attention to the needs and aspirations of staff, as without a highly functioning staff, public service is hollow at best. Attending to these changes required a concerted internal focus. In retrospect, and ironically, this was a privileged time, as the external issues in the 1990s were largely financial and had not assumed the socio-environmental complexity that now confronts all museums.