WHAT MAKES AN ORGANIZATION MAGNETIC?
We've all seen them, those organizations that have the ability to attract innovative leadership, talented staff, energetic board members, dedicated volunteers, devoted followers, and ample resources that enable them to accomplish big things and thrive, even when times are tough.
How do they do it? By investing in personal relationships, forging emotional connections, and creating meaningful experiences.
That's the premise of Magnetic: The Art and Science of Engagement, a new book based on a three-year research study of U.S. museums to understand what drives these high-performance institutions. Co-authors Anne Bergeron and Beth Tuttle began by analyzing a decade's worth of quantitative museum data (2000 to 2010). They talked to hundreds of museum leaders and other nonprofit professionals, and synthesized their learnings with the current literature on best practices in leadership development, operations and talent management, customer service, and social innovation.
The authors also conducted qualitative case studies with six principally featured museums: Children's Museum Pittsburgh; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA; Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Fishers, IN; The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA; Natural Science Center of Greensboro (now Greensboro Science Center), Greensboro, NC; and Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK.
So what's the "secret sauce"? The book outlines six coordinated practices that make organizations "magnetic":
- Building Core Alignment
- Embracing 360 Engagement
- Empowering Others
- Widening the Circle and Inviting the Outside In
- Becoming Essential
- Building Trust through High Performance
The lessons of Magnetic have resonance for any mission-driven organization and business whose success relies on forging powerful relationships with their customers and communities.