The renowned Museum Leadership Institute for executive leaders is entering its 40th year. The program is designed to help experienced top-level executives become better leaders to strengthen their institutions’ capabilities and advance the field.
This intensive management program is for CEOs, Directors, COOs, and senior-level museum executives who influence policy, effect change, and are in the first two to seven years of their position. Program participants take four weeks of intensive courses that address current trends and challenges in the museum field. The program blends two weeks online and two weeks of residency at CGU, and includes practicum sessions at Los Angeles area institutions. Academically rigorous, the program emphasizes leadership, strategy, organizational culture, and change management.
The selection process aims at creating a class of participants that fosters the best peer learning experience for all. MLI strives to include participants with a range of specializations, sizes, budgets, and geographical locations. We actively seek the participation of museum professionals from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. Selection preference will be given to qualified candidates from art institutions.
The blended course is designed as a four-way partnership among fellows, their museums, peers, and MLI faculty. Participants—selected from a wide range of institutions around the world—start the multi-month experience by conducting a thorough self-assessment and crafting strategic challenges pertaining to their institutions. Subsequently, participants come together for an intensive, immersive program in southern California where outstanding faculty and guest speakers facilitate thoughtful analysis and discussions in a confidential, collegial environment.
The format of MLI 2020 offers a multifaceted learning experience. Learning experiences include lectures, peer discussions and small group study, self-directed reading and journal reflections, group problem-solving activities, faculty coaching sessions, peer mentoring sessions with alumni, field trips, practicum assignments, and sessions with visual arts and museum leaders.
Course modules include leadership assessment and development, fundraising, leading high performing teams, strategy, marketing, innovation, mergers and alliance, audience engagement and development, revitalization, and thought-leadership. Fellows use newfound insights to plan meaningful solutions that address their institutional strategic challenges, to further their own careers, and to advance the museum field. MLI executive education programs help museum professionals become better leaders.
Program participants increase their knowledge and skills in four core areas:
- Self-Knowledge: Gain an in-depth understanding of individual leadership styles and learn how to hone strengths and maximize opportunities.
- Management Skills: Sharpen your knowledge and understanding of innovative concepts and current trends in key subject areas of Leadership Assessment and Development, Fundraising, Audience Development, Team Management, Innovation, and Strategy.
- Pragmatic Practice: Understand core strategic steps, frameworks, and measurement tools to solve complex organizational challenges and build capacity at your organization. Meet leaders in the field and explore best and new practices.
- Leadership: Understand effective leadership and develop your overall leadership skills. Create action plans to implement for your own leadership development and to effectively build your career. Assess and generate new museum thought leadership and contribute to cultural infrastructure for the field.
- Combines intellectual rigor with skillful management practices in a balanced curriculum.
- Deepens understanding by examining case-studies applicable to museums.
- Scaffolds learning with increasingly complex ideas and theory, building from self-learning online, to immersive learning in residency, and implementation through individualized strategic challenges.
- Engages fellows in a comprehensive leadership assessment and development course that includes a 360 evaluation, self-assessments, simulations, coaching, feedback reports, and step-by-step actions for creating and implementing a leadership development plan.
- Varies pedagogical approaches with lectures and practicums, individual and group exercises, panels and presentations, and online and classroom learning.
- Integrates technology as a learning modality, supporting green leadership and initiatives.
- Fosters change through individualized strategic challenges, which are informed by self-assessments, curriculum, coaching and mentoring sessions, and peer-learning.
- Provides participants with benchmarks to assess how they are moving their institutions forward.
- Challenges participants to move beyond their comfort zones, recognizing broader contexts and opportunities for personal growth.
- Empowers leadership based on individual styles, self-awareness, and authenticity rather than “one right way” of leadership.
- Creates a strong cohort of leaders and enduring professional relationships within a global network of over 1,900 alumni.
Faculty comes from top ranking institutions including the USC Marshall School of Business and the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. Faculty members incorporate museum case studies and hands-on exercises in their curricula that draw upon current events and trends, blend theory with best practices, and that are applicable to issues in the visual arts. Guest speakers include strategists, thought leaders, and executives from the museum field and Los Angeles area cultural institutions.
“I felt so honored and so lucky to participate in this program. This experience and all the learnings have already influenced my leadership style, and has helped me to focus on a key objective for the organization.” – GLI 2018 Participant
“A life-changing experience. The best thing I have ever done in my own leadership development. The content, the process and the top professional approach – I would recommend it to everyone interested in challenging themselves, in growing as a leader, and in seeking inspiration.” – GLI 2018 Participant
“The way the GLI team had set up everything it allowed us to be able to take the best of everything – the arrangement and organization was incredible so we could focus 100%. The support and dedication was so rewarding for the cohort – your belief in us contributed hugely to how much we got out of our time in the program. Truly appreciated!” – GLI 2017 Participant
“GLI gave me a set of tools, analytical, observational, strategic, and human interactive that I did not have or thought I did not have. It has prepared me to think ahead (of what I have now, or where I am now) helping to identify my future career goal.”
– GLI 2016 Participant
Program Dates & Information
January 22, 2020 – Applications Due.
May 4-16, 2020 – Online weeks: Asynchronous online classroom with live peer interaction and faculty webinars.
June 5-20, 2020 – Residency weeks: Classes at the beautiful tree-lined campus of the Claremont Graduate University in Southern California.
How to Apply
Step One: Read the Eligibility and Selection criteria.
Step Two: Read the Application Submission Guidelines.
Step Three: Share this Recommendation Form link with your recommenders.
The 2020 program fee is $10,000.
The fee includes accommodations at the Claremont Doubletree Hotel, most meals, and all course materials. Need-based scholarships may be available.