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The No-Money-No-New Ideas Conundrum

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  1. Read widely. Listen and learn from a variety of sources. If you're a scientist, read the book review. If you're an art curator, read the Harvard Business Review.

  2. Model respect, and treat everyone's ideas as doable even if they're not actionable in the moment.

  3. Use the ideas that work now. Start small. What percentage of your guests are elderly? Will moving some benches afford a view and make walking from place-to-place easier? Try it. If it doesn't work, move them back.

  4. Change is a muscle. Build strength slowly. Don't over do it.

  5. Think about ideas as cash catalysts.If you're a board member:

  6. Model respect and treat everyone's ideas as doable even if they're not actionable in the moment.

  7. Know what matters. Understand your organization.

  8. Invite a different staff member to your board meeting every month. Ask them what they would do if you gave them a million dollars. Listen. (And ban the eye-roll.)

  9. Devote some time as a group to talking about ideas as opposed to what's just happened, what's currently happening or what will happen. How can you raise money for an organization if you're not excited about what it's doing?

  10. Think about ideas as cash catalysts. If you're a leader or a board member, you're role isn't to maintain the status quo. You want more than mediocrity, don't you? You're a change agent, and change doesn't have to come in a multi-million-dollar addition. Sometimes it comes in a volunteer program that models great teaching, a friendly attitude and deep knowledge. Yours for idea stimulation, Joan Baldwin P.S. Two items of note passed over our screens this week: Nikki Columbus, who was briefly hired by MOMA PS1, settled the claim she brought against the museum. Kudos to Ms. Columbus for following through on her claim which accused MOMA PS1 of gender, pregnancy and caregiver discrimination. It takes money, courage and will to take on a monolith, but in the end cases like this one set precedent for others. Second, the Guggenheim Museum joined Britain's Tate and National Portrait Gallery in no longer accepting gifts from the Sackler family. The Sacklers, owners of Purdue Pharma, makers of Oxycontin, donated $9 million to the Guggenheim between 1995 and 2015. Aligning gifts with core values is a tricky topic so stay tuned.

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