Workplace: Museum Lessons

Whenever traveling for work, seeing a museum or two during my stay is a part of the itinerary. Why? Because museums offer insight to where I am, the art and history of each place, and to the people each community showcases as having contributed to its existence. Because museums prompt me to learn something about myself, something that I can often use or share in my daily live.

When in my hometown, local museums offer a rotation of inspiration, innovation, and insight. They too provide lessons for work and life. In Boise, Idaho (my home-base city), Trailblazing Women of Idaho opened in March (and runs through November 2021) at the Idaho State History Museum in its special exhibit halls.

Portland has their Trail Blazers NBA basketball team of 51 years. And Chevrolet makes a Trailblazer vehicle. Now, Idaho has a roster of trailblazing women that includes astronauts, Olympian medal winners in several sports, inventors, national history-making court cases advancing the rights of women, elected-officials, human-rights activists, corporate barrier-breakers, artists, and musicians – over 100 of whom are showcased in the current exhibit.

Today’s museum lessons for Workplace are connected to trailblazing. The Idaho State History Museum exhibit’s entry includes “I am a Trailblazer – a person who creates a path for others; someone who makes, does, or sets forward on something new.” Every industry, service sector, artistic and performance endeavor, and arena of ideas has trailblazers. Magazines and media recognize these individuals and teams annually. Companies like 3M have innovation awards internally (remember this is where Post-It notes were born) that lead to positive marketplace, workplace, and life changes.

What are you and your team members doing to blaze a new path for others to learn from, follow, or pursue on their own?

Continuing the museum lesson, the State History Museum informs attendees that trailblazers envision the future, are revolutionary, provide a voice of change, are inspired and inspire others, are barrier breakers, are often “made of steel”, and are unstoppable (that’s why we know who they are!).

For each of six trailblazing traits, the entry kiosk provides an activity to connect a string to the descriptive traits associated with any one of the six. (See photo.)

Identify for yourself which of these traits you have and you’ll discover how you too are a trailblazer. Circle the traits that describe you.

Inspired – creative, playful, imaginative, disciplined, thoughtful, expressive, observant, curious, sympathetic.

Voice of Change – supportive, compassionate, hopeful, genuine, strong, upstanding, generous, caring, dedicated.

Revolutionary – risk taker, patient, courageous, decisive, steadfast, unwavering, logical, motivated, passionate.

Barrier Breaker – dynamic, hardworking, clever, independent, brave, ambitious, innovative, confident, persistent.

Made of Steel – resilient, adventurous, selfless, resourceful, valiant, courageous, tough, determined, wise.

Unstoppable – energetic, fearless, meticulous, calm, encouraging, daring, purposeful, resolute, diligent.

Count the words you circled (or chose). How many trailblazing qualities do you exude daily? Think about the people you know at work, at home, and in your community. Which of these traits are they living and demonstrating?

Museums hold lessons about our past and the present, as well as pointing us in thoughtful directions for our present choices and the futures we hope to create. No longer stodgy and musty places, museums are vibrant workplaces and inspiring places to visit. Whether you choose an in-person or virtual tour, museum visits can change your life for the better.

What museum lessons have you picked up in your local, national, or international travels?

In what arenas are you trailblazing?

In what way do you want to become a trailblazer?

Go for it! Your ideas will change the shape of your workplace and community!

Ready to trailblaze? For creative conversations, and go-forward action, call master facilitator Jana Kemp: 208-367-1701

As the author of seven books, in seven languages, Jana has been interviewed by U.S., Canadian, and European programs, and magazines. Her presentations have been seen in the United States and India by international audience members.

Workplace – the Blog: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. Together we can find working solutions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recommended Articles