Skills to Cope with the Completely Unexpected: A COVID Perspective

Science programs often run on carefully balanced budgets. When unforeseen circumstances befall your lab, collection, digital data repository, or other research programs, what tools and resources do you have to effectively pave a path forward that keeps you afloat until the storm has passed? We’ve seen some amazing acts of ingenuity from spaces for science seeking to continue reaching their audiences and doing their work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of current events, SBI skills (strategic planning, communication, stakeholder engagement, financial management) are more important than ever. We provide you with an arsenal of tools and resources that are highly adaptive. Our course is designed to help you futureproof your program in times of growth, in times of maintenance, and in times of hardship.

“Things I learned in the Strategies for Success course, have been directly applicable to the situation we’re in right now”

Elizabeth Long, SBI Alumni 2018

Sustainability has been completely redefined in the wake of this pandemic. SBI Alumni, Elizabeth Long, oversees the Daniel Smiley Research Center of the Mohonk Preserve in upstate New York. Elizabeth has turned to her SBI toolbox when considering how the conservation science and research wing of the Mohonk Preserve, can adapt to a new normal. When asked about how she’s weathering the pandemic Elizabeth said: “Things I learned in the Strategies for Success course, have been directly applicable to the situation we’re in right now”.

When Elizabeth used the matrix mapping tool during her course, it helped her look more objectively at the programs the Research Center had dedicated resources to. When she looked at each of these programs based on the Preserve’s mission statement and the revenue each program was producing, some needed to be prioritized and some needed to be phased out. She pointed out how valuable this tool can be when making tough decisions in light of the financial hardship professionals across all industries are currently facing.

Together, we continue to battle the uncertainty this pandemic has brought to our daily lives, our monthly goals, and our yearly targets. Building programs that can sustain these conditions is no easy task. Our Strategies for Success course helps you: create budgets that tell stories of creativity and adaptability, strategically plan the future of your organization, and provides you with tools to rely on in times that require tough decisions.

If you’ve never taken our course before: We’re offering an online SBI course this fall to help you assess your situation, plan for uncertainties, and diversify your funding sources. If you want to get started ASAP, consider taking a look at the free resources we have and sign up for the October course before it fills up.

If you’ve already taken our courses: Time to break out that SBI Coursebook! If you’re struggling with sustainability, strategic planning, communication, or funding right now, your SBI Coursebook is a valuable resource and includes tools like matrix mapping, storytelling, the Kellogg Logic Model, and others. Don’t forget about the SBI team, your instructors, and your fellow SBI alumni, all valuable resources when you’re feeling stuck. Let us know what SBI skills you’ve found most useful lately for a potential feature on our twitter account!