Should I quit or create?

She approached quietly, waiting patiently while the other attendees took cards, asked questions and eventually left the room.

I had just completed a service design and innovation workshop focused on creating organizational change.

Her question was different.

I am going to ask you a simple question and give you a multiple choice option.


I am working at a museum that is in desperate need of this type of thinking, but I am the only one who believes in it. I don’t know what to do next. Would you:

A. Quit and find another job.
B. Fight harder, yell louder and demand a new approach.

Both are possible answers.

She might have to quit.

But, let’s consider option B.

She thought this meant doing it alone, disagreeing, fighting, being that person.

It doesn’t.

The first step for her is to talk to and understand the customer’s experience with her museum. If it connects with her vision for organizational change, then her story is stronger.

Here is what I told her to do:

  1. Talk to your customers — meet them in your museum or meet them at other museums and ask them why they are / stopped visiting.
  2. Gather notes and start building a picture of the customer — notes or it didn’t happen.
  3. Record the interview — iPhone + video + :30 secs of customer feedback is a powerful thing.
  4. Involve as much of your team as possible — someone else thinks the same way, get their support.

Bosses, VPs and CEOs don’t change because you tell them to. Same goes for managers, assistants and interns. They need a reason.

Her vision, while valid, was not enough.

But the customer — the customer is a powerful catalyst for creating change.

Difficult to dismiss.

Easier to connect with the bottom line.

Front and center every day.

If she had quit, she would eventually be replaced.

If the customer quits, everyone gets replaced.

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