RLI 278 20
March 2012 research Library issues: a QuarterLy report froM arL, cNi, aNd sparc
THe ARL BALAnced ScoRecARd iniTiATive meeTS THe ARL 2030 ScenARioS
Figure 2. Agenda for mcmaster University Library Planning Retreat, Summer 2011
Welcome, Opening Remarks
Desired outcomes
Review current strategic plan
Introduction to Scenario Planning
Theory, background
Overview of ARL 2030 scenarios
Brief look at each scenario
Early indicators
Scenario Deep-Dive
What are the strategic implications for research libraries?
How does our current strategic plan (i.e., strategic initiatives)
hold up?
1:00–2:00 p.m. Scenario Deep-Dive (cont’d)
Summarize key takeaways from deep-dive exercise with focus on
strategic initiatives
3:00–3:15 p.m. Break
3:15–4:00 p.m. Debrief
Implications for Organizational Development unit
Feedback on the use of scenarios as a strategic planning tool
Staff found the scenarios challenging, which was understandable given their brief introduction to
scenario-based planning, the short amount of time they had to familiarize themselves with the four
ARL scenarios, and the wide spectrum of experience they brought with them to the table. Some of the
scenarios resonated more with staff than others. For example, they could see the early indicators of the
“Research Entrepreneurs” scenario already in play, and could envision what the library might look like
if that scenario actually came to pass. Other scenarios did not translate so well. Participants struggled
to envision what role the library would play if the “Disciplines” assumed center stage. And in each
scenario it was important to remind staff that the research environment had been the strategic focus of
the development of the scenario set. Staff were keen to envision the implications of each scenario for the
library’s other major roles, e.g., teaching and learning. Overall, the discussions were lively and staff were
intrigued by the concept of early indicators and took great delight in finding examples for each scenario.
Although the workshop was compressed and fast-paced, the impact was long-lasting. For weeks after the
session, staff were still identifying new indicators of the four scenarios that they encountered during their
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