In 2014, The New Jersey State Museum had arrived at an exciting time in its history when internal and external trends were converging to provide unparalleled opportunities for serving its community, contributing to the greater good and positioning itself as the center of “New Jersey Pride.” Having recently completed a five-year strategic plan, the museum wanted to realize its vision to capitalize upon the museum’s rich collections of art, history and science to help New Jersey residents appreciate the special place New Jersey occupies in the nation’s story. Carol Bossert Services was engaged to move the museum from vision to practice by creating a plan that identified specific steps that the museum could take to ensure that its programs and exhibitions were accessible to all, met the changing needs of a diverse community, took advantage of emerging digital technologies and created a visitor-centered culture.
Carol Bossert Services developed and led a series of custom workshops aimed at breaking down existing organizational silos, modeling collaborative communication, and building staff capacities. These workshops led to an education plan developed by Carol Bossert that offered a road map for the museum to realistically move forward with refocusing its programming and exhibition interpretation that highlighted connections between the arts and sciences. This plan captured the staff’s ideas about an initial set of programs and tours that could be tested and refined in partnership with audiences and in so doing build internal capacities and shift the museum’s culture to one more focused on visitor need and service. The final plan represented a living document that is growing with the organization as it gains experience and achieves success.