Planning for Strategic Planning Meetings

We had planned on May 27 for an all-day strategic planning retreat for the Library Technology Services Department, at a lovely venue, with lunch, and great time for connecting as whole workers. Now, we’re holding July 14 as the date, and looking at how to do this in a meaningful manner using zoom for in-person time and asynchronous work prior.  I’m not sure what format this will take yet, but we’ll build it soon. I always like strategic planning meetings to include readings prior to help us define our terms, mission, role, and ways of working. Having pre-readings helps to get our minds in a space that is beyond immediate-need and is more oriented to larger goals, contexts, and possible futures.

For pre-readings for strategic planning meetings, there’s so much great stuff to share! The work is really in paring it down to a reasonable number of readings that are concise (and short), and that have existing support from conversations and work, to ensure we’re all speaking the same language. I’m working on building our list of potential readings (which can then be pared down from the list, and with selected-parts-only of some readings). I will post the list on once we have it. For now, I am posting to share and hold the note for one reading I expect to include:

Software Engineering Manager Playbook,

This is a nice, concise overview on a lot of topics, and I especially appreciate the notes on how to do one-on-one meetings. There are lots of ways to do one-on-ones, and the best way varies based on job/work type and other contexts. That said, I’ve found lots of folks haven’t had the opportunity to discuss how to do one-on-ones and so there are patterns/practices that aren’t the best, and that are super easy to improve if folks are given time/space to reflect on them. Like one-on-ones, it’s also always important to talk about things like managing up and managing sideways. I lead through grounded work that’s evidenced-based and data-driven, so I ask for a lot of data. I know I have to provide context on the whys/what next for my requests, and this sort of work requires a culture and community practice for how we all reliably and consistently share information with sufficient context to empower us all to do our best work. Concrete steps on how to manage up and manage (I would use the word organize) together are really useful.

Sharing brief thoughts now, and more to come on readings and format for our strategic planning work!