Innovation & Risk

Underfall Yard, Bristol
Underfall Yard, Bristol

For thriving museums, “But we’ve always done it this way”, never stands in the way of testing out a good idea. With the world constantly changing around them, museums are finding ways to be true to their core purpose, while adapting the way they work and staying open to new ideas.

Thinking creatively and trying new things involves taking appropriate risks.

Innovating effectively, means accepting that not everything that is tried will work. This can be a particular challenge for museums since their mission to preserve collections and knowledge for the longer term often seems to encourage caution. But innovation needn’t mean tearing up the rule book, and throwing away all your established approaches. Innovation can happen in many different ways.

In the following case study, we explore why incremental innovation might be especially suited to museums, and what that might look like in practice.

Case Studies
The Royal West of England Academy: Innovation
The Royal West of England Academy: Innovation

The Royal West of England Academy was funded by an AIM Hallmarks Award to develop a new corporate training offer

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Innovation: no need for a revolution
Innovation: no need for a revolution

Too often, innovation is seen as synonymous with risk and upheaval but it can also be achieved through incremental change and by working within a museum’s existing zone of activity

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The Roald Dahl Museum
The Roald Dahl Museum

Risk management sounds dry and the consideration of risk at board meetings can easily become a cursory, tick-box exercise with a focus on operational issues

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AIM Hallmarks Programme

How can the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums help AIM member museums to prosper and thrive?

AIM Success Guides

Take a look at our series of useful guides for museums and heritage organisations