Spark! Leading your museum through difficult times – FULLY BOOKED

Strengthen your professional and personal resilience with this programme of support and development for independent museum leaders. Share your challenges and opportunities with a small peer group of museum directors and senior leaders. Reignite your creativity, re-energize your teams and face the future for your organisation with confidence.

Who is the Spark programme for?

Those with a significant leadership role including individual museum directors and other senior leaders.

What benefits does the programme offer?

The pandemic has greatly challenged the sector and had a marked impact on our organisations, our teams and ourselves. As a museum leader you will have been under particular pressures and stresses over the last 18 months. Guided by experienced consultants, this targeted programme of support and professional development is designed to enable you to pause, reflect and plan; a safe space to raise difficult issues and gain ongoing support from a network of peers.


  • Focused cohort of 12 participants (two groups of six)
  • Delivered online
  • 3 x 3 hour Action Learning Sets.
  • 2 x 2 hour workshops to cover topics selected by you. These could include:
    • Planning for the post-pandemic future
    • Restructuring and managing organisational culture and reputational risk
    • Recasting roles for returning volunteers
    • ED&I considerations in recruitment and retention
    • Supporting the Board in the post pandemic phase
    • Developing your SMT and other staff
    • Leaving and moving on
  • 1 x 1 hour coaching session
  • Post programme network


Action Learning Sets: 2-5pm on Monday, 8 November, Monday, 6 December and Monday 17 January

Workshops: 2-4pm Monday 13 December, Monday 24 January

Coaching booked on an individual basis

Programme leaders

Experienced consultants Ruth Lesirge and Hilary Barnard are your programme leads. Ruth and Hilary designed and delivered the AIM Leaders and Enablers programme (2015-18) as well as offer regular sessions on good governance, scenario planning and the induction of museum Trustees. Members of the AIM Prospering Boards panel they recently co- authored AIM’s publication Successful Governance for Museums (December 2020).


£50 plus VAT (the programme is being funded by AIM, but participants are asked for a contribution to secure their place.)

Application process and deadline

Contact Margaret Harrison by by 5pm October 12 2021 including a brief summary of:

  • Your name, role and organisation
  • How many staff does your museum have?
  • Has your funding been cut, grown or stabilised in the last 18 months?
  • What has been the most challenging situation for you and your organisation in the last 18 months?
  • What you hope to get our of the programme both personally and for your organisation?