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Notes From The Garrison 3: Planning and Leadership Presence

In the last blog we discussed developing your organization’s lessons learned over the last few months. For example, what worked and what didn’t work during the transition off campus. This information is very important in planning for the next few months and year. One way to understand how your organization has changed or will need to change over this time period is called scenario planning. In scenario planning you develop 2 to 3 possibilities for how your organization may accomplish its mission as we move away from the initial response to the pandemic. Use the lessons learned and whatever information you can find about what this future may look like. How might your communities change—factors could include economically, socially, medically, politically and technologically. What new opportunities or weaknesses have you discovered in your organization? Develop each of these scenarios in some detail—how does it affect the people you serve and how you serve them. A part of this work will involve your financial model, but you must go deeper into how you accomplish your mission and purpose. Push to really differentiate the scenarios rather than them being minor variations on the same theme. When you are done, you will have a path for the next months/year and will also improve your ability to respond to shifts in the environment. Don’t let this time pass without being better at the end of it!!

I want to add a topic for this blog entry. You have probably heard of a technique called “leadership by walking around”. While that is hard to do at our institutions now, I think it is important that you stay connected to your colleagues—those whom you serve and those you lead—just as it was when you were in an office or on-campus. Simple check-ins and short conversations can help support them professionally and personally as all of us adjust to a new normal.

Thank you for everything you do for your communities!!

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