10 Tips to Plan for an Uncertain Future


The one thing that is certain in our future is change. Unfortunately, we can’t predict the future, but here are 10 ways that your library or organization can more effectively deal with the change and uncertainty it faces:

  1. Create a Culture of Continual Improvement – Deal with future change by having your library always look for ways to get better. Reject remaining stagnant.
  1. Empower Your People – Starting with staff, but also including your board, Friends, foundation, volunteers, and patrons, listen to and empower a broad network. Having more people directly involved in your library increases the likelihood of staying on top of change.
  1. Be a Strong Part of Your Community – Change is affecting most of our communities, and that is likely to continue. Integrating into the community makes your library more relevant.
  1. Track Trends – Spend the time to review and read about the latest trends in technology, libraries, community development, publishing, and more. (Check out some of the latest library trends.)
  1. Innovate, Within Reason – Don’t innovate for the sake of innovation, but on the other hand, be open to taking risks to move the organization forward.
  1. Embrace Technology – Technological change isn’t going away and the revolution has only begun. Find ways your library can use technology, new or old, appropriately.
  1. Focus Professional Development on Future Trends – Some professional development needs to be training for current issues and services, but be sure to use some of your professional development resources to explore what’s next on the horizon.
  1. Evaluate and Assess Your Library and Services Regularly – The flip side of continual improvement is examining what might need to change.
  1. Diversify Your Funding – Having more legs to stand on makes an organization stronger and more likely to successfully weather change or tough times.
  1. Plan Proactively – One can’t plan for all eventualities, but using a planning framework that actively looks to the future will help your organization address uncertainty and change.