On a + note

How to stay on track

Posted in on a + note by flickfancy on February 24, 2014

kitty#7As we start a new year, I have been thinking about how to cut through the noise and distractions and focus on staying on track and on budget.

Here are a few ideas to keep focused:

1.   Be a leader and clearly define the library’s goals so staff know where you are going and what your priorities are for the year. A strategic plan is your number one tool to stay focused and on track.

2.   Past performance is no guarantee of future results. For example, because overdue fine revenue was $100,000 last year, there is no guarantee it will be the same this year. It is prudent to assess revenue trends and track first quarter results, then make a plan for the remainder of the year so the library ends up on target.

3.   How financially literate are management staff? Do they read and understand the monthly financial statement? Do they regularly meet with the finance department staff to review budget variances?

4.   Well-crafted and supervised performance evaluations with annual goals are one of the most important tools to keep the library on track and moving ahead.

5.   To quote Ben Franklin “a penny saved is a penny earned” especially in the first half of the year. As the savings from careful management accumulate, the third quarter is the time to make adjustments.

6.   Read reports and articles that provide contrasting opinions to yours. It gives you the opportunity to test your opinion and look at alternatives.

7.   Avoid the tendency to change course mid-way through a test or trial. Let the test run its course, which is why a test first is such a good idea.  The end of the trial is the time to assess the project and either embrace or ditch it.

Staying on track is all about having a good plan and watching it closely to make sure that by year end you have reached the library’s goals. This is really what good management and library leadership is all about!

Kitty Pope                                                                                            #8 February 2014



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