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Future Proof Museums

Future Proof Museums

Future Proof Museums is an intensive development programme proven to facilitate transformational change and significantly improve the resilience of museums across England.

The programme explores

  • Why the museum is vital – defining purpose or cause, how the museum is relevant in today’s diverse society, what difference does the museum make in an ever-changing world?
  • What direction will drive a successful future – adapting, innovating and transforming to ensure a desirable, feasible and financially viable business model
  • How to create the right culture – developing an agile organisational culture and leadership to continue to adapt and influence external change in the future

The pilot programme proved successful in sparking passion for change and giving confidence to CEOs in their ability to lead change. The AMA has since worked with a further two cohorts of museums through this intensive programme, with the aim of helping these organisations to be more resilient, able to change, adapt, influence and remain relevant to an ever-changing external environment.

Image from Future Proof Museums    Image from Future Proof Museums    Image from Future Proof Museums

We are proud to be working with diversity experts to help increase the range of people taking part in the Future Proof Museums programme through dedicated Fellowships. Find out more the Fellowships here.

“Future Proof Museums resulted in tangible outcomes. The intensity, the dialogue, the strong tools and excellent support produced the practical outcomes most training programmes don’t deliver or that dilute very quickly.”
Tim Desmond
Galleries of Justice

The Future Proof Guide has been produced to support leaders, senior managers, and board members of museums, arts organisations and other cultural and creative companies. It provides advice and tools to help you test and review new business model and income generation ideas.

Quick facts

  • Who is it for? Museum Directors, CEOs and their teams who want to create more resilient organisations
  • Length of programme: ten months including a three-day residential in Cambridge
  • Residential: 3 days in Cambridge with all food and accommodation included

Organisations that have taken part in Future Proof Museums include:

  • Horniman Museum and Gardens
  • National Football Museum
  • People’s History Museum
  • Museum of English Rural Life
  • Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
  • Compton Verney
  • Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton and Hove

“Excellent trainers, fantastic learning, brilliant networking and a great opportunity to feel part of a growing museums network.”
Tom Besford
Arts & Heritage Manager
Touchstones Rochdale

Stage One

An in-house diagnostic session to help you and your team identify future opportunities

Each museum taking part in the Future Proof Museums programme will start by exploring their future direction as a team together with one of our specialist trainers.

This will take place within your museum to enable a range of people to take part; to explore different perspectives across the organisation and to highlight areas of agreement as well as those that might be contradictory.

The Museum Director from each participating organisation will receive videos, training materials and a Skype call with one of our trainers in preparation for the residential programme to help you gain deeper insight into your current business model.

Stage Two

A three-day intensive residential programme

The residential will provide you with the time and skills to explore a strategic change toolkit for your museum.

Areas of work at the residential will include:

  • Defining your museum’s cause – the difference it makes to the world
  • Exploring the story of your museum and mapping its direction of travel
  • Visualising your current business model, its strengths and weaknesses
  • Exploring how to innovate around the model and prototype new directions
  • Analysing your leadership style and organisational culture
  • Exploring how to manage change successfully and overcome resistance within your organisation

Stage Three

On-going facilitation and mentoring support

The AMA will work closely with you to craft a suitable level of on-going, high-level support according to the different areas of the programme you want to continue to focus on and take forward.

This could include a mix of the following:

  • Facilitated sessions in your museum – with staff, trustees or stakeholders
  • Senior management team leadership development (including Firo-B surveys) and training in becoming more relevant and inclusive to a diverse society
  • Face-to-face mentoring
  • Online mentoring
  • Coaching for the Museum Director

Header image courtesy of Museum of Science and Industry (c) Chris Foster
Thumbnail images taken at Future Proof Museums 2 residential, March 2017, (c) Leo Cinicolo

Image courtesy of the Fitzwilliam Museum ©

Residential Programme

Find out about the residential programme for participating directors and CEOs.

peoples history museum Manchester


Discover more about the Future Proof Museums trainers.

Image courtesy of the Fitzwilliam Museum © 2


Read the biographies of those that took part in the pilot programme.