In 2012, coinciding with the development of the strategic plan that would be used to define new working models at the National Art Museum of Catalonia, it was decided that a new management tool was to be applied, which would be used to implement this new project that was under development and provide a radically different positioning to that which the Museum had until then.
A tool that together with the new strategic plan would give the Museum a leading position in business management, in its relationship with society and the environment as well as in its business situation, elements which due to the economic recession had to be reviewed in order to adapt to the new social and economic reality.
In response to this challenge a project was set up which in 2013 led to our being awarded the European certificate for Corporate Social Responsibility IQNEet SR10, which made us the first cultural institution in the country to be awarded this certificate.
We consider it to be an essential tool to help contribute to sustainable development, and to allow us to operate in accordance with internationally recognized principles of social responsibility: accountability, transparency, ethical behaviour, respect towards our interest groups, respect for the principle of legality and for the international regulation for conduct as well as respect for human rights.
This tool is based on the Deming cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act) which involves continuous analysis in the three areas of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. It is therefore a tool which allows for continuous improvement in our regular activities, processes and tasks by treating all areas involved. This management system is complemented with the approval by the Museum Board of Management of a Code of Ethics and a Policy of Social Responsibility which are extended through, and guide, all the objectives and actions that are subsequently implemented through the management system.
In order to start working on this and be able to set the objectives it was first determined which interest groups were involved in the Museum’s daily running. To this regard, the following were identified: property / administration, sponsors and patrons, human resources, users, competitors, environment, suppliers, public administrations, media and the community and society. From working with these different groups an important piece of valuable information was discovered which allowed us to define very broad objectives with the intention of including the Museum’s entire radius of action and social responsibility.
Recently the Governing Board has been set up comprising a wide representation of the Museum’s staff and of the aforementioned interest groups related to the institution. Its function is none other than to set out new objectives on an annual basis for the museum, and to evaluate the achievements obtained in those previously set out. Apart from these participation and evaluation systems, everything is evaluated by an external auditor from AENOR, which takes care of the overall operating of the system. This ensures that everything which has been explained until now does not remain as a mere declaration of intentions, but the correct implementation of this system is annually checked.
Social Responsibility (SR) means that we are able to open new relationship channels both internally and externally which allow us to increase the communication and commitment of all the strategic areas which are related to us. An example of this is that SR has given us a new relationship structure with our sponsors and patrons. Firstly, forming part of an interest group has increased our communication. Secondly, in many cases, shared objectives begin to arise, which especially in companies that are also immersed in the implementation of SR processes, means that the relationship between sponsor and sponsored turns into more of a partnership, which brings logical benefits to all those involved.
To conclude, we believe that these systems in which values and management are combined can turn into valid tools to face up to the paradigm shift that the recent European crisis in public and private sector business has brought.
Josep M. Carreté Nadal
Deputy Managing Director, MNAC and lecturer on the Postgraduate Course in Museum Management, UPF-IDEC
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