An AASLH History Leadership Institute Course

Course Description 

Moving an organization to the next level of performance doesn't happen by accident. This course provides the theory and tools needed to move organizations beyond the mission statement to define impact; recognize how its programs and activities are helped or hindered by the hidden systems within an organization; and implement tasks in an intentional manner that aligns everyone towards a common goal.

This course provides conversations with experts in the field, who present the latest thinking on organizational leadership; readings to provide a deeper exploration of topics; regular assignments to apply theories and practices to your organization; and online discussions to share insights and issues with your colleagues in the field.  The major topics for the course are:

  1. Intentional Practice with Randi Korn (Founding Director, RK&A). Participants will read Intentional Practice for Museums: A Guide for Maximizing Impact by Randi Korn and draft an impact statement for their organization.
  2. Systems Thinking with Lawrence Yerdon (President and CEO, Strawbery Banke Museum). Participants will read Systems Thinking for Social Change by David Peter Stroh and diagram the dynamics of their organization.
  3. Implementation with Trevor Jones (Executive Director and CEO, History Nebraska). Participants will read Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman and develop a 90-day plan for their organization.


SESSION DATES: January 25 – March 18, 2021

COST: $595 AASLH Members / $695 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: November 12, 2020 - January 11, 2021 Extended to January 18, 2021; 25 participant limit

Course Logistics

FORMAT: Online, instructor-led, weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION STYLE: Weekly live, online conversations occurring Thursdays at 3:00 PM Eastern. Each week will alternate between two-hour online presentations and discussions with experts and one-hour online discussions with either the experts or the HLI director. Sessions are recorded for later review or if you are unable to attend a session. Weekly readings, assignments, and online discussions on various topics. Final session with all experts to synthesize and reflect on organizational leadership. Students should expect to spend approximately 5 hours per week on the course.

MATERIALS: Required Textbooks: 

  • Intentional Practice for Museums: A Guide for Maximizing Impact by Randi Korn 
  • Systems Thinking for Social Change by David Peter Stroh
  • Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

Texts are NOT INCLUDED with your registration. You must order the book separately from the book seller of your choice. A discount code for eligible books is provided after registration.

Participant Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain your organization's impact on its visitors or community.
  • Analyze the systems within your organization that help or hinder performance.
  • Determine opportunities or connections that can facilitate growth or increase impact.
  • Decide on goals and metrics that will most effectively fulfill the organization's mission.
  • Develop a process for implementing projects that strengthens alignment throughout the organization.

Who Should Take This Course

This course is designed for professional staff and volunteers who have been managing or leading history organizations for at least three years at a senior or mid-level position. These experiences contribute to the discussions in the course and your responsibilities should allow you to apply many of the theories and practices to real-life situations. If you are a new or emerging history professional (i.e., recent graduate, three years experience or less in a management position), consider one of the many other courses offered by AASLH. This course is presented by the History Leadership Institute.

How to Register

Click here for instructions on how to register yourself or another user for this event. 

Contents (36)

Components visible upon registration.

General Discussion

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Associates Roster

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Randi Korn

Founding Director, RK&A

Email: korn@rka-learnwithus.com

Randi is Founding Director of RK&A and currently serves as Intentional Practice Leader.  With a passion for museums, Randi works with museums and other cultural organizations to improve their practices to ultimately achieve impact for the public good.  Her approach to planning – Intentional Practice – grew over the last decade from her evaluation work and desire to strengthen the relationship between museums and the public.  As an impact-driven approach to planning, Intentional Practice is designed to encourage staff to work collaboratively to articulate their intended impact on audiences, evaluate their achievement of impact, reflect on what they learned, and align their actions to deepen the impact of their organization.  Collectively, these actions—planning, evaluating, reflecting, and aligning—result in two vital outcomes—learning within the organization and learning among visitors. 

She is the author of Intentional Practice for Museums: A Guide for Maximizing Impact (Rowman & Littelfield, 2018).

Lawrence Yerdon

President & CEO, Strawbery Banke

Email: lyerdon@sbmuseum.org

Lawrence Yerdon is the President & CEO of Strawbery Banke Museum. He began his career in the history field as an interpreter for the National Park Service at the Adams National Historic site, the home of Presidents John and John Quincy Adams, and, later, at Plimoth Plantation, the reconstructed 1627 Pilgrim settlement. For ten years Yerdon served as the first director and curator of the Quincy Historical Society, in Quincy, Massachusetts—one of the Commonwealth’s most active local historic organizations. In 1986 Yerdon was appointed director [later president] of Hancock Shaker Village. The Shaker Village, located in Western Massachusetts, is a living history museum interpreting Shaker life, work and art. In September of 2004 Yerdon joined Strawbery Banke Museum, an urban living history museum telling the 300+ year history of Portsmouth, NH, as President and CEO. Yerdon earned undergraduate and master's degrees in history, and an M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has been active professionally serving as President of the Bay State Historical League, President of the New England Museum Association, a member of the Council of the American Association for State and Local History, an IMLS grant panelist, and an AAM accreditation reviewer. While in Quincy, Yerdon served on the Historic District Commission and the Quincy Cultural Council. While at the Shaker Village, he was Vice President of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau, and a Trustee of the Darrow School. Currently Yerdon serves on the board of the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, and the Arts and Architecture Committee of HH Richardson’s landmark, Trinity Church in Boston.

Trevor Jones

Executive Director and CEO, History Nebraska

Email: trevor.jones@nebraska.gov

Trevor Jones is Executive Director and CEO of History Nebraska. He has worked as a curator, exhibition designer, educator, and digital specialist in museums and universities around the country. His passions are improving management in museums and helping organizations use their artifact collections to support their mission. He has written and presented extensively on these topics, and is the founder of the group Active Collections and co-editor of the book of the same name. Trevor holds BA degrees in history and German from Grinnell College, an MA degree in history and Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute. He is a member of AASLH Council.

He is the co-author of Active Collections (Routledge, 2018) and Major: A Soldier Dog (Six Foot Press, 2019).

Max A. van Balgooy

Director, History Leadership Institute; President, Engaging Places LLC

Email: Max.vanBalgooy@EngagingPlaces.net

Max A. van Balgooy is co-editor of Reimagining Historic House Museums: New Approaches and Proven Solutions, a new anthology of two dozen essays by leaders in the field, and director of the History Leadership Institute, which provides professional development for mid-career and advanced professionals working in history organizations. These experiences provide a rich source of ideas for Engaging Places LLC, where he blogs occasionally about the opportunities and challenges facing historic sites and house museums. 

John Marks

Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives, AASLH

Email: marks@aaslh.org

John Marks is AASLH’s Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives. He manages several partnerships, initiatives, and programs, including guiding field-wide planning for the 250th anniversary of the United States, AASLH’s engagement with the History Relevance initiative, management of the History Leadership Institute, as well as other special projects. He also serves as managing editor of the AASLH book series, co-published with Rowman & Littlefield, and as editor of History News. He holds a PhD in history from Rice University and a BA from Lynchburg College. He is a native of New Jersey.


If you have any questions, please contact AASLH Programs staff at 615-320-3203 or learn@aaslh.org.   

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