Organizations are too often centered on leaders. How can museums shift to centering the humanity of everyone?
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I was prepping for a subscribers-only event the past week, so the narrative around this week's ten links is shorter than usual—though the action-packed links are still there in all their glory.
The throughline this week is about mental states of workers and how these aggregate in unhealthy organizations. Museums have increased attention paid to "employee engagement." (Did you know that employee engagement is now a bs term? Since when? I blame orgs for their lip service with no follow-through. More on this later.) Being a learning organization, too.
But are all of these concerns just aimed at making workers more productive and docile, to re-center the organization? Leaders want to understand their workers, but the lead in creating holistic organizations must come from workers.
Ten: This Substack piece from Brian Stout on dismantling hierarchies made an important point that I sometimes fail to note—we need to dismantle "domination" hierarchies but not "developmental" hierarchies, where we learn from others with authentic expertise. Organizations in which workers have time to share and learn will have the latter.
One of the essences of liberation is decentering ourselves from our attachments and our ego, the things that seem to give us shape and form but only in contradiction and opposition to everything around us. But this is itself a conundrum because our organizations, it can be said, want most workers to center the org while also allowing leaders and influential colleagues to be at the center of decision-making and activity.
So we have to take a step back from this dichotomy and realize that workers should be at the center of the org—but all of them, at the same time, and in a way that elevates the most vulnerable of them.
Not easy—but liberation isn't supposed to be.
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cover photo by William Moreland / Unsplash [description: a hand holding a glass container on top of a striped wood table]