Posted by: COSI | April 1, 2010

How Could I Forget!?

COSI Partners

COSI Partners

Maybe it’s because I’m out of the office, but it wasn’t until near the end of the day that I realized that four years ago on March 31 I pulled up to the COSI parking lot, looked at this huge facility, and wondered who in their right mind entrusted me with leading this venerable organization.  COSI had certainly had some challenges since moving to the new facility, but the first run of Titanic (which concluded September, 2005) had re-engaged the public, brought in some cash and bought some time.

Taking advantage of that help, this team and board leadership have done an incredible job in building on what I called the “COSI DNA” and enhanced the COSI model and experience.  COSI, while still facing challenges like most cultural non-profits in Columbus, has certainly made progress since that first day I wandered around the building trying to sort out the architecture and behind-the-scenes parallel universe. (I am still finding little nooks and crannies in this place that I haven’t seen before! 😉  )

Probably the biggest change has been how this team has figured out how to really use this large and distinctive building as an asset through a partnership based approach.  The sign outside, announcing all the partners now adding experiences within COSI, is probably the single greatest indicator of how these four years have gone.

It’s been an interesting and rewarding four years working with this team, board, and community.  Can’t believe the time has gone so quickly.  Hope I get at least another four years with this privilege!

What do you think are the most significant steps forward that COSI has made in the last four years?

What would you suggest are the next most important steps for us to take?

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Responses

  1. Most important step for the future? I’m really feeling up for an Adventure, how about you?! :]

  2. I think COSI has come a long way in the last couple of years. It may not be the biggest of deals, but I think the adding of colors all around and the signs have helped the atmosphere a lot (the Spectrum in the front now looks great too).

    I wouldn’t expect much government backing in the future and think incomes are going to be tight for a long time. I personally say be prepared for really tough times. In that light, I think continuing the partnerships with so many has been really important and will be just as crucial in the coming decade.

    The one thing I’ll say (and I know I’ve said it before, but it’s one of those things I’ve got to keep saying), bring back facepainting for kids (and not just in little kids space where only the littlest can get it). We should be able to see elementary kids all over Columbus with their faces painted and know they were at COSI.

  3. Thanks for the comments, and affirmation that we’re on the right path. (Personally, by the way, adding color has been a campaign that I think has produced the greatest public perception value for the least amount of money–not that it replaces our core engagement but it creates a richer, warmer environment for that engagement).
    I’ll pass on the facepainting idea again and see if others agree.
    Lastly, watch this summer for information about our Adventure exhibition (and watch for member opportunities that continue to provide limited access).

    Appreciate the comments–keep them coming.


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