Stories

Story 07: Managing the Organization

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Borrowing

Written by Elaine Heumann Gurian

At The Children's Museum many of us found management processes fascinating. Even though, for example, we all knew how to conduct meetings, we were interested in running them better. We studied each other's styles and adopted those we liked best. We read management literature and brought systems back to try out. We all liked process and learning new things. We borrowed systems from for-profit and not-for-profit places alike. We thought "borrowing" ideas, systems and strategies was fair game. People came back from trips to tell of new ways of doing things. We would try them out.

Since many professionals came to see how we did things, we thought imitation was indeed flattering. We were generous with our time and gave most folks access to our documents and our strategies. (The only exception was we didn't help those who wished to create for-profit copies in order to put us out of business.) We believed that since we had borrowed generously, we should help others do the same.

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