Steve and Wendy image

A good museum makes
“a positive difference in the quality of people’s lives.”
Stephen E. Weil
Making Museums Matter, 2002


From Wendy Luke


“Remember the power of positive thinking. To think a positive prophecy increases the probability it will likely be achieved. To think a negative prophecy increases the probability it will likely be achieved. Believe in your staff, provide them guidance, and let them do their jobs.”



“The Boomers think work/life balance. The Xers and Millennials think life/work balance. These views don’t need to be worlds apart.”



“To reduce your disappointment and frustrations, share your expectations with your staff.”


Good Team Characteristics:


As a facilitator, I hold up a mirror (team assessments, guided discussions, and interactive exercises) so team members can see what they are doing well, and what needs work.

As a trainer, I teach the techniques they need to get there, open up lines of communication, and get the ideas flowing.

Spontaneity and laughter included at no extra cost.

In the end you will have personal commitments from each team member tied to the actions and follow-through from me that ensure those commitments turn into reality.

“Wendy has a natural gift for understanding how people work together and what they need in order to function as a healthy team. Her approach is candid, respectful, and open-minded, which somehow brings out the best in everyone else. In some ways she's carrying on the tradition that her husband, the late museum scholar Stephen Weil, advocated so eloquently: that museums and other nonprofit organizations are first and foremost human enterprises that must work for individuals and communities if they're going to work at all.”

Peter Linett
Slover-Linett Strategies, Inc.
Chicago, IL


Align a Team

In early 2006, the National Museum of the United States Army needed to reinforce and articulate a vision for the Museum that would allow it to recruit top-flight educators, exhibit designers, and curators. The right vision would make this museum, and just as surely the wrong vision would break it. I led them through a process of identifying their underlying values to quickly come to agreement in support of the vision. Through the vision and values, the template to evaluate candidates was developed. And a strong, qualified, and dedicated staff was created.

“Wendy helped me help my people translate my vision for the Museum into actionable items.”

Jeb Bennett, Director
National Museum of the United States Army
Fort Belvoir, VA


Four Generations in the Workplace

It is a phenomenon of our times that many organizations, museums prominent among them, find themselves with four generations in their workplace. Look around your own. Many of your board members and docents or volunteers are likely of the “Traditionalist” generation. Your director and senior management are probably of the “Boomer” generation, while your mid-level managers and professional staff are frequently “Xers.” And your entry-level staff almost certainly comes primarily from the “Millennial” generation.

Each generation’s motivations, priorities, expectations, and goals differ from the others – and each generation questions the expectations, priorities, and motivations of the others!

Broadly speaking, Traditionalists and Boomers are motivated by a work/life balance, whereas for Xers and Millennials, it is a life/work balance. What does that mean in the workplace?

The issue is getting these four distinctly different generations to mesh.

Getting the Generations to Work Together

First, fill a room with Millennials (born 1980–2000), Xers (1960–1980), Boomers (1940–1960), Traditionalists (pre-1940), and all the Cuspers (who straddle the generations). Then put a panel on the stage with a representative of each, and watch the insights come fast and furious. I did this with great success for AAM.

Through consultations, coaching, training, facilitations, and presentations, I help you put in place the understanding, policies, and processes that let diverse people pull together toward common goals.

“Wendy knows how to get experienced and emerging museum professionals to work successfully and happily together.”

zahava picZahava D. Doering
Senior Social Scientist
Smithsonian Institution
Editor Curator: The Museum Journal