Navigating Change at BookSpring

by Dr. Emily Ball Cicchini, Executive Director

Change. It’s the one thing we can’t prevent from happening. So, I report during the continuing pandemic.

In my work at BookSpring, I use a little tool that I developed during my graduate program to try to categorize my observations of how the organization is functioning, always with a mind towards nudging them towards center:

  1. Are we more in a place of believing in our work, our vision, our capacity, or doubting these things?
  2. Are we more in a place of repetition, of order and flow, or of interruption of our activities?
  3. Are we more in a place of reasoning about our work, or of enacting, or doing it?
  4. Are we more in a place of substantiating, affirming or renewing our work, or of deciding to stop or discarding some aspect of our programs or strategies?
  5. Are we more in a place of seeing things with fresh new eyes, or of labeling and categorizing things so that we can better control them?

My hypothesis is that an organization does best when overall, there is balance between these two sides of our shared experience. One person may be feeling strongly on one side, but if several others feel weakly on the other, we are most likely to find the best center path through the opportunities or obstacles we are in the midst of addressing..

I believe deeply in the capabilities of our staff to execute our programs, and to fund and manage our work to all of the standards of excellence in our field.

I feel that our day-to-day, ongoing operational processes and policies have never been clearer, but that we’re able to deal with the interruptions of COVID quite flexibly without losing pace.

On the staff level we are focused on enacting our work. But the board and moments like the DEI meetings and committee meetings provides opportunities for rich reflection that we need.

We are still committed to substantiating the impact of our core Ed, Rx, and Go areas, but it is becoming time to discard our facilities for ones better suited for our goals.

And I try, every day, to see the organization and the people we interact with with new eyes, and resist categorizing and labeling, although I’m grateful for the Finance and the Development Team for their ability to define and apply codes labels!

Finally, I end this with a question: What place are you at in these five processes of dealing with change regards to the work of BookSpring…and where do you observe others being right now?

I would love to hear your answers and observations of how we’re doing at BookSpring today!  Drop me a line at emilybc@bookspring.org or call me at (512) 472-1791 x 106 anytime.

Navigating Change at BookSpring
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Navigating Change at BookSpring

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