On my bookshelf

Lucy Marder, Issue 118/03, p56, 01.03.2018
Tools for Success: A Manager’s Guide, by Suzanne Turner
I spent a day working with Suzanne Turner shortly before her handbook, Tools for Success, came out in 2002. I was impressed by her clarity of thought and wasn’t disappointed by the book. It is the most battered volume on my bookshelf, full of sticky notes. It has literally been around the world with me.

My work centres on brokering and facilitating collaborations. Partnership working demands communication across different organisational and professional cultures. Early in human history, someone worked out that roads would work better with two lanes, one for traffic in each direction. Similarly, shared frameworks can help partnerships keep on track and avoid accidents, making all the difference between blocked and fluid communication.

Each of the 94 tools in Turner’s book comes with tips on how to use it and an example. Tables help choose the most appropriate tool for the task, be it analysis, creativity or implementing change. The concise introduction reminds us not to let the tool become the boss. My sticky notes are mostly me shortlisting tools prior to involving a client in how a workshop will run.

Tools for Success doesn’t contain all the models I use as I’ve also developed my own. But it’s the best compendium I’ve come across and is likely to travel with me for many years.

Lucy Marder is the cultural partnerships officer of the South East Museum Development Programme

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