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What do Space Invaders, the Pre-Raphaelites, a free lunch, and a digital workspace all have in common?


Without giving too much away for the full answer to that question and more, you’ll need to attend the Friday afternoon MSA FORWARD education session ‘Enterprise Strategy in Action’ by us – Zak Mensah, Co-CEO, and Kingston Myles, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at the Birmingham Museums. Over the course of 40 minutes, we look forward to sharing with you a pacey multi-stop tour through what it really means for Birmingham Museums Trust to deliver ‘Enterprise Strategy’.

Birmingham Museums Trust (or BMT) is England’s largest Civic Museums Trust. As a Civic Museums Trust, we’re responsible for a collection that is as much ours as every resident and visitor to Birmingham. We’re the keepers of and storytellers for 9 incredible museum sites, some of which date back to the early 17th century. Some sites have influenced the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien, and one helps us house our collection of nearly one million objects.
With a funding landscape that encompasses increasing costs and reductions in local and national government funding, BMT, now more than ever needs to generate income. We’re in turnaround mode – we’ll talk all about that and why. We’ll share insights into three critical tools; Good Enough for Now, Safe Enough to Try; Working Circles; and Consent Based Decision Making. They underpin the culture which enables us to have an enterprise strategy.

In addition, we’ll lay out why everyone has a part to play in enterprise strategy and why it is not just the responsibility of one team. All ideas are worth a solid review and how the practice of long-winded proposals and pitches stymie the process of getting things done.

On the subject of Space Invaders, the Pre-Raphaelites, a free lunch, and our digital workspace…

We fully expect after this seminar that you will be able to easily apply the insights garnered to your museum; not to convince or persuade colleagues to support a one-off, but to inspire ideas that bring change. We believe that for too long income generation, innovation and enterprise have been taboo in a sector that now desperately relies on success in these areas. Success relies on broad organization buy-in and this discussion will ignite a new spark for your institution.

We also invite you to meet with us!

If you’re in a NYC-based museum and want to get a head-start on the conversation, we will be in NYC from Thursday May 9th until we head to Baltimore on Tuesday May 14th. Please find us on LinkedIn or through MSA. We’d love to meet up!

We’ll give you raw, unedited examples of just how our culture of enterprise and innovation is playing out right now. We’ll share the numbers, the ideas, and the stories behind each of the initiatives. Each of the examples we cover in our session is currently generating income. Each has a set of challenges that influence the solution. We’re learning from our strategies every day and using them as a springboard to generate new income or pivot fearlessly. Both Zak and Kingston are available throughout MSA FORWARD They’re traveling across to Baltimore and NYC as part of the speaker exchange program with the Association for Cultural Enterprises.

About the Authors

Zak Mensah, Co-CEO of Birmingham Museums Trust




Zak Mensah is Co-CEO of Birmingham Museums Trust, a Trustee for the Association for Cultural Enterprises and sector-wide change maker.
If not in this talk, throughout MSA FORWARD, if you want an unfiltered, straight-talking discussion about museums, the culture sector, and core principles for success – Speak to Zak.

Headshot of Kingston Myles, Director of Enterprise & Innovation Birmingham Museum Trust




Kingston Myles is Director of Enterprise and Innovation for Birmingham Museums Trust, a Trustee for the Association for Cultural Enterprises and a member/ leader of three other sector wide boards and groups. If you want to talk about the end-to-end visitor experience and why we need to see each visitor journey in the whole and not just as a selection of different interactions with different responsible owners – speak to Kingston.