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Manual of Strategic Planning for Cultural Organizations

This revision and expansion of The Manual of Strategic Planning for Museums (2007) has been expanded to relevant to a broader group of cultural organizations including museums, art galleries, gardens, zoos, science centers, historic sites, cultural centers, festivals and performing arts. This approach responds to the 21st-century reality that boundaries are being blurred among institutional types- with many gardens incorporating museums and many museums part of multi- disciplinary cultural centers and festivals and so on. Also the leader of a museum today may change jobs and become the leader of a cultural center or historic site tomorrow- so the purchasers of the new Manual will benefit from a book that is "whole career" orientated. In addition to broadening the audience for this book and creating all new case studies, this new version features new content in three key areas: * Leadership change- explaining the role of strategic planning when an institution is going through the process of hiring a new director. This is a question we are frequently asked- should the strategic plan precede the search process or should it wait until the new director takes up the position? * Institutional change- increasingly cultural organizations are going though major change often from public sector agencies to non-profit status; or from private ownership to non-profit status; or from non-profit status to Foundation- and many other variations. We will address the role of strategic planning during these transitions * Staff empowerment- the previous edition did not address fully the opportunities for staff at all levels in the organization to grow by participating in strategic planning. This edition will focus on how to engage and empower staff. Manual of Strategic Planning for Cultural Organizations: A guide for museums, science centers, gardens, zoos, heritage sites, libraries, and performing art centers is an exciting book with broad reach into the cultural sector while still serving the museum community.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 WHY Conduct a Strategic Plan? 1.1 Forces of Change 1.2 Understanding Your Cultural Organization 1.3 The Significance of Foundations Statements Case Study 1.1: The Guggenheim Bilbao Strategic Vision 2020 Case Study 1.2: Why do you Need Libraries Anyway? The County of Los Angeles Public Library Strategic Plan: A Case Study Case Study 1.3: Soft Power and The Gardiner Museum's Strategic Plan Chapter 2 WHEN to Conduct a Strategic Plan 2.1 Professional Standards 2.2 New Director 2.3 New Circumstances 2.4 New and Renewed Facilities and New Location 2.5 Readiness Checklist Case Study 2.1: It's Time for Strategic Planning at the Whitney Museum of American Art Case Study 2.2: A New Strategic Direction for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Chapter 3 WHO AND WHAT: The Structure of Strategic Planning 3.1 Leadership 3.2 Facilitation 3.3 The Ten Steps of Strategic Planning Case Study 3.1: Tafelmusik's Strategic Plan for Acoustical Excellence Case Study 3.2: Benefits of Strategic Planning in Science Centers Chapter 4 HOW: Methods of Engagement 4.1 Principles of Strategic Planning 4.2 Internal Assessment 4.2.3 Using Technology 4.3 External Assessment Case Study 4.1: Why Strategic Planning for Cultural Organizations Needs to Include the City Case Study 4.2: How Art League Houston Engaged Communities Chapter 5 From Problems to Strategies 5.1 Thinking Strategically 5.2 Identifying Key Issues 5.3 Comparison and Benchmarking 5.4 Construction of Scenarios Case Study 5.1: The Role of Strategic Planning in Formalizing and Communicating the Changing Role of the Toronto Zoo Case Study 5.2: A New Governance Strategy for the Tom Thomson Art Gallery Chapter 6 From Strategies to Goals: The Strategic Planning Retreat 6.1 Setting Realistic Objectives for the Retreat 6.2 The Retreat Agenda 6.3 Retreat Report Case Study 6.1: Creativity is Center Stage in Strategic Planning for Roundabout Theatre Company Chapter 7 From Goals to Objectives and Tasks 7.1 Strategic Planning Workbook 7.2 Facilitating the Staff Process Case Study 7.1: Henry Ford Estate - Fair Lane: A 21st Century Blueprint for an Iconic Historic Home Chapter 8 Implementing the Plan 8.1 Detailing the Plan 8.2 The Financials in the Plan 8.3 The Budget and the Plan 8.4 Alignment with the Organization's Long-Range Plans 8.5 Alignment with Human Resources Strategy 8.6 Alignment of Staff and Board 8.7 The Public Dimension: Communicating the Plan Case Study 8.1: A Great Garden of the World -- Our Planning Story Chapter 9 Evaluating the Strategic Plan 9.1 The Board's Role in Evaluation 9.2 Involving All Board Committees 9.3 Staff Roles in Evaluating the Plan 9.4 The Bigger Question: Are These the Right Goals? Or, Is It Time for a New Plan? Case Study 9.1: Measuring What Matters in Strategic Planning Case Study 9.2: Using Metrics to Further Alignment at Hillwood Chapter 10 Conclusion: What Can Go Wrong and How to Fix It

About the Author

Gail Dexter Lord is co-founder and co-president of Lord Cultural Resources. With Barry Lord, she is co-editor of The Manual of Museum Planning (1991, 1999, 2012), co-author of The Manual of Museum Management (1997 and 2009), and with Kate Markert co-author of the first edition of the Manual of Strategic Planning for Museums (2007). Gail's most recent book is Cities, Museums and Soft Power (co-authored with Ngaire Blankenberg in 2015). Kate Markert is executive director of Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington, D.C., where, as the result of a strategic planning process, a special exhibition program and revitalized gardens have spurred a 50 percent increase in attendance over five years and has tripled the membership. She has been director of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford Connecticut, associate director of the Walters Art Museum, and deputy director and acting director of the Cleveland Museum of Art.


Strategic planning is at the heart of every successful business. Museums and cultural institutions are complex organizations. For them, strategic planning is even more vital to both survival and success. Gail Lord and Kate Markert have revised and expanded one of the essential volumes on planning for cultural organizations. From gardens and zoos to art museums and libraries, The Manual of Strategic Planning for Cultural Organizations is a blueprint to be followed. Too often, planning is deferred, replaced with attention to more pressing and immediate needs-which can result in lackluster performance or even failure. With this volume, strategic planning is made accessible and understandable in a straightforward manner. This book is both a `how-to' guide with great, concise case studies and an essential theoretical overview of the processes, philosophies, and practices that underpin any solid strategic planning effort. I hope it will serve as a guide and encouragement for many to invest in the most important task any cultural organization can make beyond a solid mission: its strategic plan to success. -- Alex Nyerges, director and CEO, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Every cultural institution today is operating in a time of great change and has an obligation to help its constituents and stakeholder understand, adapt to, and in many cases take on leadership roles. Lord and Market have created an inspiring manual on how to meet these challenges through change management and strategic planning. This manual is much more than a `how to' primer; the cases studies provide deep insights in ways leaders can execute best business practices to efficiency and effectively achieve a shared mission. Philanthropists, board members, and nonprofit leadership will all want to roll up their sleeves and get to work after reading this forward-looking guide."- -- Howard Axel, CEO, Four Freedoms Park Conservancy

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