If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
— Bruce Lee
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s easy to understand that we need to keep pushing ourselves and that we need to go beyond what we’ve done before. The more important quote of the two is Emerson’s and the critical word is “foolish.” Change isn’t really change if you don’t know the how or why something has been done before. Randomly asking questions and making bold assertions, while sounding good for the moment, are not approaches that lead to long-term success. And, more importantly, you set up your new ideas to appear unfounded and subject to easy ridicule. People are quick to react defensively, don’t make it easy to do so. You need to understand the past in order to know how to move forward from the past.
If you work at an art museum, why do you display art? Why do you have the collections that you do? If you’re at a science museum, why are some of your exhibits interactive and others not? If you work at a zoo or an aquarium, why is there a living collection? Generally, why do you cater to the visitors that you do? Do you value your community, your collection, or somewhere in between?
When you ask why, you have the chance to engage colleagues to understand their thinking and rationale. Once you’re able to establish some common ground, or at least understanding of why something the way it is, it’s far, far easier to do something radically different or ensure that what you’re positing doesn’t travel the same well-worn institutional path. Make change with purpose and intent.