The Evolution of OMSI

The Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI), one of the United States' leading science centers, has an international reputation for innovative exhibits and educational programs serving over 1 million people. However, the organization is in a time of critical change. Having operated successfully as a regional museum for nearly 70 years, it is now embarking on an ambitious expansion of its programs and geographic footprint.  

In 2014, OMSI began working with XPLANE on a comprehensive visioning and strategic planning process. OMSI chose XPLANE because they didn't want to just "go through the motions" of planning. They sought a customized approach to strategic planning that honors OMSI's unique culture of inquiry, openness, inspiration, and fun. 

After facilitating alignment on a 20-year vision for the institution, XPLANE co-designed a customized experience to achieve OMSI's planning goals in a culturally authentic way: the OMSI Strategic Planning Game. Over the course of 2014, XPLANE and OMSI piloted the game, which involves four rounds: listen, synthesize, explore, and decide. In playing the game, stakeholders are engaged through a series of ideation workshops, then participants generate "opportunity tiles" based on emergent patterns. The tiles are built upon and played in a series of prioritization exercises until the final set is agreed. 

The Results:

  • Broad stakeholder engagement across 1000+ staff, board, volunteers, visitors, and community leaders
  • A 20 year vision map, including a refreshed mission and vision statement
  • Deep research into OMSI's communications patterns; an insights report with recommendations to improve ongoing strategic alignment and transformation momentum
  • A 5 year strategic plan, focusing the organization on key foundational steps toward the 20 year vision
  • A repeatable process (the OMSI Strategic Planning Game) and accompanying Playbook to build leadership capacity for the long term

Traci Jones is the Director of Marketing at XPLANE.

XPLANE's xBlog has been up and running since 1999. 

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