Revisiting Strategy in a Time of Crisis

Gregory A Smith


The season of upheaval brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is a critical occasion for libraries to revisit their organizational strategies. Strategy includes two complementary dimensions: alignment with the environment and the pursuit of competitive advantage. Rapid changes in the environment call for practicing strategic thinking iteratively rather than engaging in a fixed rhythm of multi-year planning. An effective library strategy displays four key attributes: (1) It responds to the concerns of diverse stakeholders. (2) It is flexible enough to adapt to emerging conditions. (3) It enacts organizational mission but can also help to reshape it. (4) It integrates with organization development to achieve success with and through people.


libraries, strategy, environmental change, organization development, COVID-19 pandemic

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American library Association Texas Digital Library