Tuesday, January 20, 2015

His story

Te Papa Chief Executive Rick Ellis has been in the job for more than half of his first 100 days. But has there been anything in the mainstream media about how he's planning to fix (or in Te Papa Chair Evan Williams words 'transform') the troubled museum? Um ... no. Quick to have a go at the last CE when things went wrong, even the Dominion Post has been strangely silent. So if and when NZ's media does decide to put the new CE to the test, here’s 10 questions they might like to ask him. Not at all, it's our pleasure.

1. At each business you've led you've pushed through major organisational changes and you've done it fast. What more needs to change at Te Papa?

2. Your previous experience has been in growth sectors (TV, telecommunications, IT) with a lot of investment. What does that experience tell you about Te Papa's future with restricted growth and limited investment?

3. You've endorsed Te Papa's vision to change hearts, change minds and change lives. How do you think a museum can genuinely change lives?

4. The Chairman of Te Papa has also said said Te Papa needed 'a shift in the culture of the organisation.' Given that the organisation has just come out the other end of a radical restructure, what needs to change?

5.   The last CE was criticised for picking exhibitions people didn’t want to see. What kind of exhibitions do you have in mind that will be more successful?

6. You've talked about using digital to transform Te Papa. So far Te Papa's digital presence seems to be a standard museum website and traditional interactives. What are your priorities over 2015 to transform Te Papa with digital?

7.   You're known for insisting on expertise. Will the current curatorial staff be able to produce the sort of digital content you envisage or will you need to hire new specialist staff?

8.   When can we expect to see some effects of Te Papa's digital transformation?

9.   Can you name a couple of museums in the world that have adopted the kind of digital focus you are proposing for Te Papa?

10.   What percentage of Te Papa’s funding do you think should be raised by Te Papa? Currently it's 46 percent. Can you give some examples of projects that will increase Te Papa's non-government income?