Doing away with the 5 year strategic plan, better yearly planning

The most surprising and heartening thing we talked about at last Wednesday’s trustee meeting was a proposal by library director Mike Crose to move away from the five year cycle of strategic planning. That process would be replaced with broader input and deeper planning in our yearly budget cycle.

This makes a lot of sense to me. It seemed like it was taking us a lot time to get out of the blocks on this years strategic planning process, so makes sense that this is being proposed now.

I was never a fan of the five year plan. After two or three years, there is a risk to see the plan as outdated. And, if you save your in-depth public process for every five years, there’s a risk of not seeking public input otherwise.

We’ll get a written description from the library director next month, but generally speaking, here is what I understand the new process to include:

  • A May start with community chats hosted in conjunction with board meetings.
  • Some sort of web based forum
  • That the budget is more than balancing income and expenses, but as an “expression of values.”

From what I’ve seen from last year’s budget process, this would be much broader and deeper. I’m wasn’t disappointed with the process, I felt fully informed the whole way through. But, if wasn’t on the board, I would have felt a general lack of context and ability to have input on the process.

So, in a way, this could solve two problems. It could help make our planning process closer to reality and bring some context to our budgeting process.


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Filed under Meeting reports, What Timberland is doing

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