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Obviously, 2020 was not what we initially thought it would be (when we were in the midst of forward planning and dreaming in December 2019). We are here now and in the thick of it for who knows how long. We have and continue to be in survival mode, but where we can (if for just 15 minutes), how might we step outside ourselves and reflect on what is different and how things could or should be? Think back to your 2020 strategic goals and KPIs — are they still reasonable? Do you want to take this thinking and planning…


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Photo by Dr Natasha B (@camera.excess)

In 2020, I read over 160 books — an increase of four books over the 2019 total. I suppose when travel is non-existent and any out-of-home activity is limited, a book may be one of the few places of respite. In previous years, It was difficult to narrow down the list of books to five non-fiction and five fiction titles. This year, it was difficult to read, much less, choose five fiction books. I have never struggled to find solace and strength in fiction, but this year the desire to read fiction has eluded me. Perhaps — like so many…


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Do you recall your first online community experience? I do. I flitted in and out of forums in the late 90s discussing music and books, but it was not until I discovered a community of military kids that I realized one could find a sense of belonging on the Internet. I had found my people.

My father was in the military during the majority of my childhood. I do not have a hometown. We moved every couple of years from one military base or post to the next across Europe. It was not until I was a teenager that my…


Last week, we asked our ‘One by One’ Digital Commons online community what book(s) they are reading that inform or energize. Why? Because we are launching a book club! The online community started as a place for our research participants to chat with each other and researchers as we embarked upon a variety of action research interventions intended to boost confidence of museum professionals navigating digital transformation.

We opened up our online community in June to participants of the Digital Forum events hosted by ‘One by One’ research team. Together, with our formal ‘One by One’ research participants, we are…


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Before one may design or transform an organization’s digital ecosystem, one must master the understanding of the organization’s terroir. In wine making, ‘terroir’ (ter wahr) is a French word used to describe all of the environmental factors that impact the growth of the vines / grapes and ultimately the characteristics of wine. These environmental factors include the sun, sun exposure, the slope of the hill where the vines may be growing, the soil, temperature shifts and a plethora of other factors the winemaker does and does not have control over. …


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The ‘CALM’ framework, as introduced in the Culture24 Pathways resource and case studies, and then later fleshed out in my own Medium posts, may be adapted to many business challenges. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many museums struggled to think and plan strategically. Since the crisis we have seen a disruption of pre-existing plans and increased attention paid to previously under-prioritized areas, most notably in the realm of digital engagement. It is time we took a ‘CALM’ approach to scenario planning and embed this process into our organization.

In the ‘One by One’ Digital Forum workshop held virtually on June…


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Last night, I hosted an experimental workshop inspired by LEGO® Serious Play® to help a mix of former corporate and museum colleagues process their personal and professional emotions as a result of COVID-19. I was extremely nervous — while I have incorporated LEGO® into so many of my workshops and training over the years, I have never attempted to use virtual LEGO® building (via Mecabricks) and a Zoom gathering to produce a purposeful and meaningful experience. There were a couple of tech hiccups (as can be expected and good lessons learned to inform the next session), but overall, a group…


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How do you shift pedagogy that is based on in-person discussions, the pin-up, and the group critique? Being trained in creative processes, specifically in the histories and methods of encountering publics, the built environment, and spatial transformations, the distance learning format can propose some unique challenges. Additionally, as we lead professional projects with remote participants, how can we learn from remote collaborations and bring these methods into a remote learning environment?

In understanding what this new breed of instructor needs to succeed in an ever-evolving higher education system, we are challenged to reimagine how we organize into teams, identify efficient…


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Good collaboration begins by first setting boundaries to protect your time and energy — and then, observing the boundaries of others.

  • Acknowledge your energy levels (of yourself and others) — Cherish your peak focus hours and protect these windows of time for ‘deep work’ (in the light of COVID-19, these hours may have changed because your space and routine have been altered).
  • Begin calendar blocking — Use a scheduling tool (like Calendly) to share your ‘real time’ calendar. Block windows of time and set restrictions so you are working and taking calls during designated times. Do not forget to block…


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“Communication over information. Conversation over tools.” — Jane Bozarth, Show Your Work

Simply transferring work practices from the physical space to the digital space will not work. Let’s be honest with each other — was how we were working in a physical space really working? When working remotely, communication and conversation are critical ingredients to ensure we are collectively working towards shared goals and objectives. When working remotely, we need to develop the habit of over communicating. We have to narrate our work and collaborate-in-place, so others are clear about what we are doing and why.

First, we need to…

Dr Lauren Vargas

#OnebyOne Digital Fellow: building digitally confident museums | Digital Dragon Slayer | Community Management Strategist | Independent Researcher and Consultant

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