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How to Build Alliances-from Roy Tennant in LJ

Posted by Editor on August 17, 2010

July 13th, 2010 in http://blog.libraryjournal.com/tennantdigitallibraries

If you’ve heard me speak, you may have heard me promote the idea of reading outside of librarianship. I don’t just recommend this, I do it myself. A couple things I read (well, skim and then read selected bits) are Fast Company and Inc. Something I came across in Inc. the other day provides useful advice not just for businesses, which is their core market, but for libraries as well.

Called “How to Build Business Alliances,” if you just substitute “library” for “business” it strikes me as pretty good advice for establishing alliances in the non-profit sphere as well. Here’s the outline:

  1. Selecting a partner:
    • Don’t settle for more of the status quo.
    • Think long term.
    • Investigate reputation.
  2. Cutting a deal:
    • Draw the big picture.
    • Establish subjects and a timetable for the talks.
    • Make sure everybody buys in.
  3. Making it work:
    • Plan the decision-making process.
    • Meet all your partners.
    • Find a champion.

Don’t miss the sidebars on “How to Share Ideas” and “Put it in Writing”. Altogether a very fast read but still a good blueprint for establishing an effective alliance. In these days of financial challenges, I think libraries should be seeking to do just this wherever possible.

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