You don’t make a great museum by putting all the art in the world into a single room.
That’s a warehouse.
What makes a museum great is the stuff that’s not on the walls. Someone says no. A curator is involved, making conscious decisions about what should stay and what should go. There’s an editing process. There’s a lot more stuff off the walls than on the walls. The best is a sub-sub-subset of all the possibilities.
It’s the stuff you leave out that matters.
So constantly look for things to remove, simplify, and streamline. Be a curator. Stick to what’s truly essential. Pare things down until you’re left with only the most important stuff. Then do it again. You can always add stuff back in later if you need to.
The inspirational words above come from the book Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the founders of 37signals. If you don’t own it, you should.
The artwork below is by illustrator Mike Rohde.
Both are important to me, as they represent the role I began at Auxano four years ago today – the Vision Room Curator.
My role has expanded in many ways since 2012 – but at the heart of everything I do is the concept of curation. But I don’t curate things – I curate ideas, represented in the image above by the light bulbs. There’s a lot of ideas floating around in the world today – but only a few need to be turned on.
Being a curator may be my vocational role, but it’s also something every leader needs to practice.
What will you curate today?