The world was a very different place in April 2015 when I wrote the following post about the necessity of planning and then the reality—and opportunity—of chance intervening. Museums, libraries, schools, millions of lives, and the world were different too. But the essence of navigating between planning and chance has not changed. If anything, the need to be thinking about it is even more critical than ever.
Planning prepares us for what might come. We look back at what has happened; we look out at what is changing around us; and we look forward at our enduring purpose and how we might be more helpful in the future.
So, when a set of nearly-unimaginable events converge—like a pandemic, economic hardship, and social unrest—we can draw on and update our understandings and prepare to move forward in new, responsive ways. It would be utterly foolish to suggest this is easy. But returning to recent planning or using the time a museum is closed now for planning makes movement possible and puts a museum on a path to deliberate action that could not have been recognized before.