On my bookshelf - Museums Association

On my bookshelf

Always Time for Coffee, by Kate Minchin
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Abigail Godfrey
Duty manager, Holburne Museum, Bath

This is a brilliantly practical guide for managers on the front line. It covers an array of subjects, from culture and communication to training and trying to effect change in an organisation. As Minchin says in the introduction, there is little investment in training for front-line managers despite being considered key in achieving high customer satisfaction. This book certainly goes some way to bridge that gap.

I was in the second year of my role as duty manager when I first read this book, and as soon as I finished I lent it to many of my colleagues. What I found useful is how detailed Minchin is about day-to-day front-line management – the case studies in particular are a great way of reflecting on your own experiences and approach to management. I particularly loved the creative solutions to training without a budget, and why every organisation should have a plan ready for a zombie apocalypse.

It is useful to all levels of management, and a guide on how to continually aspire to lead in a kind, good-humoured and personable way. Minchin does not shy away from the difficult facts about leadership: management can be uncomfortable and owning up to mistakes is hard but an important thing to do. However time-pressed you might be, there are small actions that can be taken that make a big difference in your working relationships. And there is always time for a coffee.

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