Building a museum after the exhibit is in place as an illustration of adapting to change

How do you get a 252 foot long, 880 ton submarine into the basement of a museum?  Can’t quite put it on the elevator.

Bill Sheridan describes how the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry got the U-505 into the exhibit hall – No room for big ideas? Make room. (Yeah, yeah, I know he’s a better headline writer than me.)

The plan?  Dig a hole, lower the sub into the hole, enclose it, and built the rest of the exhibit around the sub.  Brilliant.

Mr. Sheridan uses this as a word picture of how we need to adapt to change.  The stuff happening around us won’t fit into our current way of doing things (existing museum).  We need to change how we do things, our structure, and most importantly our attitudes (dig a hole, build the exhibit, then finish building the museum around exhibit).

Superb key paragraphs:

The big changes that are rocking our worlds often don’t fit neatly in the confines of our rigid business processes. Too often, we try to change the new stuff to fit our needs.

Maybe we’re the ones who need to change.

Social media, the cloud, generational issues, the entire notion of leading through collaboration (rather than control) — these things don’t fit our traditional business models, but they’re dictating how business gets done going forward. We can’t shoe-horn these things into business-as-usual. It doesn’t fit. We need to knock down a few walls and find space for this stuff where space didn’t previously exist.

Here is a fun time-lapse video of moving the sub:

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