Strategic Direction Setting Processes
For Libraries
By
Dan Wiseman
Wiseman Consulting and Training
133 W. Palatine Rd. #20...
Wiseman Consulting and Training
Our Approach
How do we do business?
Our Approach is one of:
Building commitment to a desir...
We measure the success of our planning projects in several ways. The most
dramatic is when they can lead to the passing of...
3. Coaching on an as needed basis of library staff and board on the planning process and
logistics
4. A report on the key ...
Instructions: The items are in two categories (see model below) importance and
involvement. Total your results for each ca...
Option #1 Basic Board Driven
In this model we would go through a very basic process with the board and staff in a
one day ...
OPTION 3 Standard
Form planning team to
manage process logistics
and outcomes
• Select planning team
from member libraries...
groups to evaluate library
realities, current
strengths, and potential
needs. (includes staff)
• Conduct interviews if
nee...
PLA Service Responses
1. Be an Informed Citizen: Local, national, and world affairs. Residents will have the information
t...
17. Visit a Comfortable Place: Physical and virtual spaces. Residents will have safe and welcoming
physical places to meet...
worked in a multitude of library settings in Indiana, Illinois, Texas, and Pennsylvania.
The libraries range from public a...
Earlier in Dan’s career, he held senior organization development positions with
Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Indiana, Gulf St...
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Strategic Direction Setting For Libraries Nov. 2010

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A new approach to doing strategic planning.

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Strategic Direction Setting For Libraries Nov. 2010

  1. 1. Strategic Direction Setting Processes For Libraries By Dan Wiseman Wiseman Consulting and Training 133 W. Palatine Rd. #202 Palatine Il 60067 847-221-5197 Dan Cell 847-902-9034 connect@wisemanconsulting.com www.wisemanconsulting.com 1
  2. 2. Wiseman Consulting and Training Our Approach How do we do business? Our Approach is one of: Building commitment to a desired future through the Strategic Direction Setting Process. Our approach has been honed through working with hundreds of libraries and communities over the last 12 years. As a result we have adopted a new approach that focuses not on the production of a detailed planning document but a shared commitment to create a sustainable and motivating sense of direction for the library. It is one that should resonate with the community. We do only for you what you cannot do for yourself. The approach is anchored on five key elements: 1. We use an appreciate inquiry based methodology that stresses assets and strengths not problems or issues. 2. Secondly we use a high involvement strategy that stresses energetic sessions with the community, library staff, board involvement and key community leaders. People are committed to what they help create. 3. We use a layered and targeted data collection methodology that balances hard statistical data with rich contextual data. 4. We believe a key outcome is the selection of core service priorities and supporting organizational goals with specific actionable areas. This should be communicated in a format that is easily understood by staff and community. We believe this document should be created largely by the staff. This enhances the ownership and relevancy of the document. A more detailed planning document is created by the library staff departments after the direction setting process is adopted. This keeps the process from bogging down in details. 5. We believe that implementation planning is a critical part of the process to ensure that the direction process results in action and momentum. Staff needs to play a critical role in examining the library’s organization design, policies, and measures of success. We support a scoreboard methodology that allows for the tracking of key direction priorities and projects by the staff, board, and community. In addition we passionately believe in community based planning processes. We use a variety of approaches to establishing your priorities including some of the methods in the 2007 PLA Planning for Results Process (Streamlined Version) in a flexible way to define excellence locally and to tailor the method to your specific needs. Our specialty is gathering community data with innovative methods ranging from townhall meetings and search conferences to focus groups, and community design teams. We believe in developing library staff in the change process as much as possible in order to insure its sustainability. Our goal is to ensure that the library continues to be designed to meet core community needs as defined by your patrons and citizens. When libraries do this they are vibrant institutions with no questions about their relevance and sustainability. Our high involvement process leads to libraries being able to align their strategies, goals, and service response to the core community needs. 2
  3. 3. We measure the success of our planning projects in several ways. The most dramatic is when they can lead to the passing of referendums or the focused implementation of new products and services resulting from the plan. Another way we measure success is the confidence level of the stakeholders that the plan reflects their views and dreams. We measure this with the outcome measures listed in the plan itself or special surveys we create. The most common ways is to meet periodically with the staff and board to see what has been implemented and the impact on patron satisfaction and library results. See attached materials for examples of our measurement tools (balanced family of measures etc.) Listed below are the key aspects of the project. These elements are not rigid but from our experience are ones most often found to be useful in getting a solid and workable plan. We provide coaching, offsite planning, and team facilitation to support the planning process. When skill development is needed, we will also provide that to the staff, leadership team and board members. Wiseman Consulting and Training Statement of Qualifications: Sharon B. Wiseman and Dan Wiseman are the principals of the firm. Sharon has over 28 years of experience in libraries. That experience includes formerly being the director of Staff Development for the Chicago Public Library, the HR director at Arlington Heights, a branch library director and associate library manager, Associate Director of the Indiana State Library for Library Development, and 10 years experience as a library consultant primarily. Sharon is currently the Director Staff and Organization Development at the Gail Borden Public Library District in the Elgin IL.. Dan Wiseman also serves as co- principal in the firm. He brings 25 years of experience in organizational change consulting including work with more than 50 libraries and non-profit organizations. He has designed leadership projects for Indiana Librarian, served on the faculty of the Institute of School and Public Librarians (Illinois State Library as well as frequently presenter at state library workshops across the Midwest. Both Sharon and Dan are adjunct faculty members of the Dominican University Graduate School of Library Sciences. Sharon and Dan have both been trained by in the PLA New Planning for Results, Managing for Results, and Staff for Results Processes. Dan and Sharon have been engaged by more than 40 libraries in their planning and change processes. The organization has also conducted training for Illinois Librarians in the planning processes. Some of those libraries for which they have developed plans include Peoria Il., Zion- Benton, Quincy IL, Warsaw IN, Byron, Dixon, Angola IN, South Bend IN, Lombard Illinois, Eureka IL, Carmel IN, Champaign IL, Fondulac Twp. IL, Lagrange IL, Westfield IN, Evansville IN, and Kokomo IN. Key Project Deliverables by WCT: 1. A flexible planning process consistent with the Public Library Association’s 2007 Planning for Results methodology and other successful approaches geared to the community and library’s setting. 2. Facilitation of all Library Team and Community Planning Team sessions in a way that is instructive, efficient, creative, energetic, and focused. 3
  4. 4. 3. Coaching on an as needed basis of library staff and board on the planning process and logistics 4. A report on the key themes and issues from community focus groups and other data collection methods. 5. Feedback and assistance on writing the final planning document 6. Consultation on communicating and implementing the agreed upon plan. 7. A draft plan (if selected by Library Leaders) summarizing the data, key priorities and potential activities. Key Planning Process Outcomes: 1. Clarity on the community’s needs and vision though the use of layered data gathering. 2. Identification of community needs the library is capable of meeting. 3. Identification of 4-6 library service responses or priorities that meet the community’s key needs and goals. 4. Begin the building of agreement in the community of the need for changes in the library’s services, funding, and facilities. 5. Creation of a strategic direction document that has high degrees of acceptance and credibility by the board, library leaders/staff, and the community. 6. Creation of an implementation strategy to insure that the direction setting process has momentum and action elements. 7. Creation of a communication strategy to insure so that all stakeholders understand the direction the library is taking. • Billing: We will bill monthly for all work performed in that time frame. Only approved work tasks will be billed. The general rate for all work performed by WCT is from $1200 a day. The billing rate is negotiable based on your individual situation. Work is billed in half day increments on a monthly basis. • Communication: The board and director will be regularly updated on the progress. No communication will be made by WCT to non-library groups unless authorized by the Board or Director. • Consultant’s Role: Dan Wiseman will be a project manager . Other consultants who may be present will be discussed with the Library Director. The agreement may be mutually modified at any time with two weeks notice. The library will be responsible for the printing of project materials and WCT will provide camera ready originals of project materials. Our role is to provide facilitation and guidance on the development of the plan. We will assist in the actual writing of the plan in a way that is cost effective for the library. The library is to designate a point of contact for project communication and to manage the logistics and deliverables of the project. We will provide very limited guidance on the financial matters of the library. Selecting a Planning Process Questionnaire 4
  5. 5. Instructions: The items are in two categories (see model below) importance and involvement. Total your results for each category. Use the following scale when giving your answers: 1=strongly disagree 2=disagree 3=neutral 4=agree 5=strongly agree Category Response Question Importance 1. While, there is no real urgency to complete the process in a short period of time, our situation requires that we must plan for our future. Importance 2. We have the funds and time to necessary on the implement the planning process. Importance 3. The library is considering major building or capitol spending projects that require public approval. Involvement 4. The staff and board do want to be heavily involved in the process. Involvement 5. The public expects to be informed and involved in the planning process. Involvement 6. The library and the community have a long history of collaborative planning Involvement 7. The library has very limited data on both community’s and library’s needs Importance 8. The plan must not only focus on our critical priorities but on our staffing, funding, facilities, services and technology. Importance 9. We desire to be seen as a leading edge library in all aspects of service (staffing, collection, customer service, facility, technology etc.) Involvement 10. We have had conflict between our staff, board, and community about the direction and future of the library Totals: Importance Average (Items 1, 2, 3, 8, 9) ______ Involvement Average (Items 4, 5, 6, 7, 10) ______ The Planning Matrix: High Importance, Low Public Involvement. Keep process internal. Required moderate to extensive process and out side assistance if conflict exists. Comprehensive required critical input from all stakeholders. Issues are complex and of high importance. Often needs outside presence. Low risk, importance, or complexity. Priorities are clear and focus. Internal staff or board led process done quickly Priorities low/moderate and clear but public support needed to make changes or improvements. If conflict present consider outside facilitation. Planning Process Options 5 Importance Complexity Low =1 High=5 High =5Outside Involvement
  6. 6. Option #1 Basic Board Driven In this model we would go through a very basic process with the board and staff in a one day session using the following elements: This process can usually be done in one day with some advance data collection by the library staff. This is an appropriate method for library’s with out pressing facility, technology, or service needs where the communities needs are well known. • Review logistics and methodology in advance • Review community data (collected by staff) • Identify current community strengths, needs and future opportunities, and challenges. • Prioritize community needs • Review community needs the library might be able to address • Review library performance data (from staff or annual reports) • Identify Service Response Priorities • Brainstorm potential activities and ways to meet the priorities • Discuss ways to write and communicate the plan Option #2 Streamlined Date Event Outcome Process Resources Form planning team to manage process logistics and outcomes 1. Select planning team from member libraries 2. Conduct conference call to review process, outcomes and methodologies 0.5 (by phone) Community Needs Assessment 1. Collect community demographic and library data (Staff) 2. Conduct 3-5 focus groups to evaluate library realities, current strengths, and potential needs. (includes staff) 3. Conduct interviews if needed with key community leaders 4. Summarize key findings 1.0days onsite and 0.5 days offsite writing report of focus groups. Prioritize Service Responses Meet with Board and key staff to review focus group data and prioritize service responses 1.0 Days consulting Draft Plan Staff and board create plan Staff 6
  7. 7. OPTION 3 Standard Form planning team to manage process logistics and outcomes • Select planning team from member libraries • Conduct conference call to review process, outcomes and methodologies 0.5 (by phone) Community Needs Assessment • Collect community demographic and library data (Staff) • Conduct 3-5 focus groups to evaluate library realities, current strengths, and potential needs. (includes staff) • Conduct interviews if needed with key community leaders • Summarize key findings 1.0days onsite and 0.5 days offsite writing report of focus groups. Meeting One: Identity and Prioritize community strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats 3-4 hour evening meeting with consulting prior to session. 1.0 days Meeting Two: Identity and prioritize Library strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats 3-4 hour meeting with consulting prior to session 1.0 days Meeting Three: Prioritize library service response and potential facility, collection and staffing recommendations 3-4 hour session with consulting prior to session 1.0 days OPTION 4 Comprehensive Form planning team to manage process logistics and outcomes • Select planning team from member libraries • Conduct conference call to review process, outcomes and methodologies 0.5 days Community Needs Assessment • Collect community demographic and library data (Staff) • Conduct 3-5 focus 2.0days onsite and 1.0 days offsite writing report of focus 7
  8. 8. groups to evaluate library realities, current strengths, and potential needs. (includes staff) • Conduct interviews if needed with key community leaders • Summarize key findings groups. Meeting One: Identity and Prioritize community strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats 3-4 hour evening meeting with consulting prior to session. 1.0 days Meeting Two: Identity and prioritize Library strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats 3-4 hour meeting with consulting prior to session 1.0 days Meeting Three: Prioritize library service response and potential facility, collection and staffing recommendations 3-4 hour session with consulting prior to session 1.0 days Investment Required: Option 1: o Consulting expenses for one day= $1,200 o Travel expenses for mileage ($.50/mile round trip), meals, and one overnight room at cost if necessary (estimated at $120/day). Option 2: o Consulting expenses: 3.0 days at @$1,200/day=$3,600 . o Travel expenses: Living expenses at roughly $120.00/day. Mileage @ $0.50 miles. All expenses for materials billed at cost. Sites expense not included (facilities, food, materials etc.) Option 3: o Consulting 5.0 days @$1,200 = $6,000 o Travel expenses: Living expenses at roughly $120.00/day. Mileage @ $0.50 miles. All expenses for materials billed at cost. Sites expense not included (facilities, food, materials etc.) Option 4: o Consulting 7.0 days @ $1200= $8,400 o Travel expenses: Living expenses at roughly $120.00/day. Mileage @ $.50 miles. All expenses for materials billed at cost. Sites expense not included (facilities, food, materials etc.) 8
  9. 9. PLA Service Responses 1. Be an Informed Citizen: Local, national, and world affairs. Residents will have the information they need to support and promote democracy, to fulfill their civic responsibilities at the local, state, and national levels, and to fully participate in community decision-making. 2. Build Successful Enterprises: Business and non-profit support. Business owners and non-profit organization directors and their managers will have the resources they need to develop and maintain strong, viable organizations. 3. Celebrate Diversity: Cultural awareness. Residents will have programs and services that promote appreciation and understanding of their personal heritage and the heritage of others in the community. 4. Connect to the Online World: Public Internet access. Residents will have high-speed access to the digital world with no unnecessary restrictions or fees to ensure that everyone can take advantage of the ever-growing resources and services available through the Internet. 5. Create Young Readers: Early literacy. Children from birth to age five will have programs and services designed to ensure that they will enter school ready to learn to read, write, and listen. 6. Discover Your Roots: Genealogy and local history. Residents and visitors will have the resources they need to connect the past with the present through their family histories and to understand the history and traditions of the community. 7. Express Creativity: Create and share content. Residents will have the services and support they need to express themselves by creating original print, video, audio, or visual content in a real- world or online environment. 8. Get Facts Fast: Ready reference. Residents will have someone to answer their questions on a wide array of topics of personal interest. 9. Know Your Community: Community resources and services. Residents will have a central source for information about the wide variety of programs, services, and activities provided by community agencies and organizations. 10. Learn to Read and Write: Adult, teen, and family literacy. Adults and teens will have the support they need to improve their literacy skills in order to meet their personal goals and fulfill their responsibilities as parents, citizens, and workers. 11. Make Career Choices: Job and career development. Adults and teens will have the skills and resources they need to identify career opportunities that suit their individual strengths and interests. 12. Make Informed Decisions: Health, wealth, and other life choices. Residents will have the resources they need to identify and analyze risks, benefits, and alternatives before making decisions that affect their lives. 13. Satisfy Curiosity: Lifelong learning. Residents will have the resources they need to explore topics of personal interest and continue to learn throughout their lives. 14. Stimulate Imagination: Reading, viewing, and listening for pleasure. Residents will have materials and programs that excite their imaginations and provide pleasurable reading, viewing, and listening experiences. 15. Succeed in School: Homework help. Students will have the resources they need to succeed in school. 16. Understand How to Find, Evaluate, and Use Information: Information fluency. Residents will know when they need information to resolve an issue or answer a question and will have the skills to search for, locate, evaluate, and effectively use information to meet their needs. 9
  10. 10. 17. Visit a Comfortable Place: Physical and virtual spaces. Residents will have safe and welcoming physical places to meet and interact with others or to sit quietly and read and will have open and accessible virtual spaces that support networking. 18. Welcome to the United States: New immigrants will have information on citizenship, English Language Learning (ELL), employment, public schooling, health and safety, available social services, and any other topics that they need to participate successfully in American life. References 1. Donald Napoli, Director St. Joseph County Public Library (South Bend Indiana). 574-282-4601 2. Wendy Phillips, Director Carmel Clay Library (IN). 317-844- 6255 3. Tim Jarzemsky, Bloomingdale Public Library (IL), 630-529- 9840. 4. Jeff Owen, Alton Public Library (IL), 618-462-0677 5. Penny O’ Rourke, Bryon Area Library District, pennyo@byron.lib.il.us. 815-234-5107 6. Carole Medal, Director Gail Borden Public Library (Elgin Il). 847-429-4699. cmedal@gailborden.info. 7. Mary Soucie, Three Rivers Library District. marys@trpld.org. 815-467-6200. 8. Karen Egan, Illinois State Library, kegan@ilos.net. 217-782- 7749. Biographies of Consultants Sharon B. Wiseman Sharon is currently the Director of Organization and Staff Development for the Gail Borden Library District (Elgin IL) and also a managing partner with her husband Dan in Wiseman Consulting and Training. WCT, located in Northwest Chicago, focuses on providing transformational consulting in the non-profit sector with special emphasis in libraries and religious organizations. Sharon has the Director of Staff and Organization Development for the Chicago Public Library as well as the Director of Human Resources for the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. Her practice includes work with library systems, state libraries, university libraries, and individual libraries as well as other non- profit and for profit organizations. She focuses her practice on helping organizations creatively plan for the future, build employee motivation and commitment, develop skills at facilitating change and continually improve their service and performance. She holds Masters Degrees in library science from Indiana University and also a Master of Arts degree from Holy Names College in Oakland, California. Sharon has 10
  11. 11. worked in a multitude of library settings in Indiana, Illinois, Texas, and Pennsylvania. The libraries range from public and special to systems, academic and state libraries. Prior to moving to the Chicago area Sharon was Associate Director of the Indiana State Library responsible for Library Development. Sharon has also done work with the American Productivity and Quality Center in Houston, Texas in the areas of quality improvement, meeting facilitation, team development, leadership skills and communication. In addition, she has provided training and development services for several profit and non-profit organizations in both staff member and consulting roles. Sharon’s work with schools, libraries, and businesses typically causes them to understand each other better, be more effective as an organization and have a lot of fun in the process. Sharon is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in Chicago. She teaches courses in library leadership /communication, public relations, and history of the book Daniel R. Wiseman Dan is a managing partner with Wiseman Consulting and Training along with his wife, Sharon. WCT, located in Northwest Chicago, focuses on providing transformational consulting in the non-profit sector with special emphasis in libraries and religious organizations. Dan’s professional career has involved more than 30 years of providing consulting, training, and coaching in the areas of organization development, change management, leadership development, and strategic planning for both profit and non- profit organizations. He worked with more the 50 libraries and non profit organizations on planning, leadership and change projects. He played a major role in the design and development of the LEAD-IN process (a leadership program for Indiana Librarians). Dan also has played major roles in large scale change projects with library systems in Illinois. He is a guest lecturer on leadership development at the Dominican University Graduate School of Library Science. Dan was a senior organization effectiveness consultant at United Airlines where he was responsible for designing and implementing large-scale organization performance improvement processes at international airports and supporting human resources initiatives, career planning, leadership development processes, and departmental change management initiatives. Prior to working for United Airlines, Dan was a senior faculty member/consultant with the Indiana Labor & Management Council. Dan also was a key program manager and consultant for the American Productivity and Quality Center in Houston, TX. The Center was the originator of the Malcolm Baldrige Award. At the APQC, he was a key contributor to an innovative white-collar organizational change process and a lead designer and instructor for a highly regarded series of seminars on organization change and high performing work teams. Dan holds a bachelors degree in Business Economics from Purdue University, a master’s degree from Indiana University in Educational Psychology, and is a (ABD) Ph.D. candidate in Adult Education at Indiana University. 11
  12. 12. Earlier in Dan’s career, he held senior organization development positions with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Indiana, Gulf States Utilities (TX), and the John Gray Institute (Lamar University, Beaumont, TX). He also designed innovative education service for disadvantaged inner city youth in Indianapolis. Dan created some of the first EAP programs in Indiana while working at Ft. Benjamin Harrison and later with a grant from the National Council on Alcoholism. Dan has authored several publications in the areas of organizational change and team development. He helped found several chapters of ASTD and was nominated for a national torch award in 1995 for his work in creating a national strategic awards program and a local chapter quality process. Dan’s work is characterized by unique combination of creativity, resourcefulness, pragmatism, and playfulness. In his spare time, he participates in personal development programs, travels widely, and plays the trombone and euphonium in a brass band. 12

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