resilience

The O.E.D. definition of resilience includes this:

 a. Elasticity; the power of resuming an original shape or position after compression, bending, etc.

Ecologist C.S. Holling defines stability in much the same way:

"the ability of a system to return to an equilibrium state after a temporary disturbance; the more rapidly it returns and the less it fluctuates, the more stable it would be"

Since museums are long-term institutions, holders of the three-dimensional record of civilisation and keepers of intergenerational memory, there is a temptation to believe that their institutional form should be, and always will be, stable. MRL holds that this intergenerational 'duty of care' is best served through the development of resilient, not merely stable organisations.  We define resilience as an adaptive property of individuals and institutions: 

"Resilience is more than survival; it is the ability of organisations and individuals to express their core values over time with flexible persistence, to absorb and benefit from the forces of change"

Such adaptive, flexible resilience, generated through good leadership and characterised by astute governance, diversified assets and plural income streams, is the surest guarantee of cultural institutions fulfilling their intergenerational purpose.