How MBA’s Can Assist Cultural Institutions

by | May 6, 2015

Cultural institutions are facing challenges constantly. It is tough enough for museums to face the challenges of increased competition for the physical viewer’s time and money – in China alone, 100 museums are being opened each year and elsewhere around the world, the number of art galleries and cultural centers is booming. In the new digital world, the competition extends to the viewer’s medium. With many art websites that bring the art directly to the viewer’s home, such as Google Art Project and Artsy, viewers are not required to visit museums.

IMG_0112The museums’ and other cultural institutions’ managers are dealing with these challenges and trying to find potential solutions. Linkedin groups such as Rethinking the Museum are trying to assist their members in dealing with these challenges and share information, knowledge, and ideas among the community.

In my opinion and based on my experience in the last year completing my MBA, the approach museums and other art institutions should adopt comes from the business world. Strategic planning, data analytics, communication, and marketing plans (executed by business professionals) – many tools, methods, and systems to improve the business can be implemented at a certain level for cultural institutions as well.

When I came across this interesting article in Financial Times I was thinking to myself, “Why not adopt this model as well?” Many of us, especially business students, are familiar with the concept of an internship or consultancy project during our studies in which the student works for a limited time on a specific issue. But the MBA students mentioned in this article took it in a totally different direction – instead of working on their consultancy project with a business, they chose to focus on the Northern Ballet in Leeds, UK. The ballet company invited six MBA students to consult on its digital marketing and communications strategy. The students, who all had corporate backgrounds and were from different countries, worked for two months with the ballet company’s management to achieve their goals.

That’s a great example of how to engage young professionals with art and how to allow them to use their skills and knowledge to create a significant change. This project not only exposed the students to different business challenges, but it also supported and engaged students with a social impact project and strengthened the cultural center’s position in our society.

Read the full article here.

Have some thoughts? Other examples? Please share them by contacting me.


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