To help organisations, communities, and people working through the coronavirus pandemic, I’m offering remote services, webinars, and videoconferenced sessions to support and coach you in dealing with key organisational issues.
Following previous successful long-distance engagements in Australia and the US, I’m offering clients the opportunity to address issues of strategy, foresight, and internal or external engagement remotely from my office in London.
You will drive the agenda. You’re the best judge of what you need to work on. I’ll help you to create insight and awareness by asking questions, listening carefully, offering provocations, and seeking new perspectives to meet the goals and actions which matter to you.
Barbara Lemon, Executive Officer, National and State Libraries Australia (NSLA):
“We approached Matt to help us shape up a new strategic plan just as the outbreak of COVID-19 was reaching its crescendo around the world…With face to face workshops no longer an option, we decided that he was the right person to help us clarify our thinking at a distance, in a context that was changing as quickly as we could verbalise it.
Matt worked one-on-one via zoom with the NSLA Executive Officer in Melbourne, and facilitated online workshops with the NSLA Chair and Deputy Chair in Canberra and Brisbane. He cheerfully and skilfully shepherded us to find consensus on a series of priorities that could resonate with nine libraries around Australia – all the while asking us why, how, and what if. Matt’s approach was refreshingly accessible and jargon-free. We were reminded through this process that a strategy is much more than a collection of unconnected aspirations, and that the whole is only as strong as its parts.
Matt has been delightful to work with. In a relatively short time, he left us well placed with a strong draft plan to present to our full committee of nine library CEOs, as well as a series of resources and ideas for measuring impact in libraries – all managed from the opposite side of the globe.”
You will be in a safe space. The sessions are built on a foundation of support and trust. I may challenge your thinking, or encourage you to reframe a given situation, but always in a respectful and constructive way.
Maria Isabel Garcia, Executive Director, ASPAC:
“In August 2020, we asked Matt to conduct two workshops as part of a masterclass for 40 emerging leaders in our Asia-Pacific network of science centres. The two workshops were ‘reimagining the future of science engagement’ and ‘redesigning science centres’, respectively.
Matt laid out very clearly and very generously how the participants were going to reimagine and redesign. The workshop was supremely engaging and Matt’s approach strongly motivated the participants to follow the process. The breakouts which were prompted by Matt’s questions allowed for heightened collaboration!
The “tributes” from Masterclass participants showed that they overwhelmingly felt Matt’s workshop made them push boundaries that they had not even previously acknowledged, or were afraid to cross. This was especially relevant during this pandemic and will be for a long, long time, if not forever. We have more courage now among our emerging leaders.”
We’ll structure the engagement together. Once you gain clarity about exactly what needs to be achieved over the course of an engagement and beyond, I’ll use a mixture of questions, discussions, feedback, and assignments to help you define a route to achieve your desired results. I’ll focus on finding the approach that works best for you – whether that’s helping you to brainstorm ideas, setting exercises to work on between sessions, or providing space for you to reflect on and address a key issue.
David Bratchford, Chief Librarian, Supreme Court Library Queensland:
“The entire collaboration with Dr Finch was successfully undertaken remotely, which made it affordable for SCLQ by avoiding the expense of international travel. For the library’s CEO and leadership team members, who collaborated with Dr Finch, the experience of undertaking the project with him was extremely positive. We found him to be knowledgeable, experienced, organised, and highly professional, while remaining approachable and good tempered throughout the term of his engagement. He was a fast learner and a good teacher, always generous with advice and happy to share his experience. His enthusiasm was infectious, and helped inspire us to first create a compelling vision and then embody it in the plan.Apart from leaving us with a plan to guide our strategic direction over the next five years, he also left us with the tools and the knowledge to undertake similar visioning and planning processes for ourselves in future – so his engagement proved to be a wise investment.”
To find out more about working together remotely, get in touch via my Contact page.
Dr Marie-Louise Ayres, Director-General, National Library of Australia:
“We approached Matt to deliver a presentation to our Senior Management team in May 2020, noting they were juggling multiple challenges as they continued high quality delivery of key priorities and online services, and motivated and managed their staff remotely in the COVID-19 operating environment.
Matt offered my team a unique perspective on how to leverage the challenges they were facing as an opportunity – he suggested that as soon as it was safe, we should slow down and take time out to reflect on what we have learnt from the sudden shift to different ways of working, to carefully consider what we want to continue to do differently, and to reflect on what we would do differently if we were in the same position in the future.
Matt wove stories from history, foresighting theory, real life and interesting case studies into an engaging and insightful session that was just what my team needed in a time of great uncertainty. They were lifted out of their day-to-day and also provided with tools to help them identify and leverage what they have learnt.”
Trina Walker, Founder and Lead Consultant, TRW Strategy:
“The Bureau of Library Development of Pennsylvania’s Office of Commonwealth Libraries originally planned to bring Matt Finch to Pennsylvania in June of 2020 to provide one general session on strategic planning tools and one in-depth “train the trainer” type session to further teach the planning and foresight tools.
With the onset of COVID-19, we had an accelerated need to deliver strategy and foresight training. Matt suggested a combination of online sessions: one general overview open to all library staff and board members; and a three-part series of sessions for Library District Consultants, Advisors and System Administrators to provide them with the ability to further lead libraries in using and applying the tools.
Matt was able to schedule the sessions within just a few weeks of our conversation, and adapt the content to be very specific to current needs. Nearly 200 library staff and board members participated in the general session, with many more viewing the recording. The three-part advanced strategy course was attended by 60.
Matt has a very personable and collaborative presentation style — and even online, he engaged each group in questions and discussion. Participants overwhelmingly enjoyed the sessions and felt Matt taught the tools and principles in a way that was easy to understand and made them immediately practical. The tools he presented are ones that libraries were able to use immediately and will continue to be helpful for future planning and decision-making. His encouragement to play, experiment, use and adapt the tools truly opened the doors to more people being able to learn through the participants he instructed. In fact, during subsequent online discussions, we used the Arrows of Time as a hands on exercise for board members. I’m confident that Matt’s instruction has laid some great strategic groundwork for Pennsylvania libraries. It was certainly an uplifting and encouraging approach during this time of crisis.”
Susan Banks, Bureau of Library Development, State of Pennsylvania
“I wish we could clone Matt Finch and have one of our very own. I have seldom experienced something as wonderfully ‘sticky’ as the concepts covered in Matt’s training in Strategy and Foresight. The outcome was undoubtedly amplified by the challenging times in which we’ve found ourselves as a library field in Pennsylvania, but even with that in mind, I have been thrilled by the number of times Matt’s training has been cited, praised and applied.
Each tool he shared comes up frequently as a route to resolving thorny problems or understanding complicated situations with which we’re faced. Practitioners in the field and our own staff at the state level speak wistfully of the time spent learning with him online. The experience was clearly transformational and the rare level of positivity it generated is a source of great satisfaction for all concerned.
Thank you, Matt Finch, for bringing our statewide library leaders together for such a valuable and lasting learning experience!”