Michael Jon Jensen
5701 Lillibridge Street #5
Lincoln, NE

michaeljonjensen * g mail dot com
[Michael Jon Jensen image]

Consulting History
In something like 1989, the director of MIT Press first engaged me as a consultant -- in the sense that they brought me in to spend at least a full day presenting material, engaging with staff, and/or writing a report or recommendation, and paid me for it. I realized several years later that Frank Urbanowski probably brought me in from Lincoln, Nebraska to MIT to jumpstart his press into Press-wide databases and local area networks: "If this guy from Nebraska can do it, MIT Press needs to get going on that stuff NOW."

Over the years, in no particular order, I've consulted in publishing and communications for: The American Political Science Association, the American Historical Association, University of California Press, University of Georgia Press, The World Bank, The International Monetary Fund, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, Mexican Publishers' Association, Colombian Scholarly Publishers, Turkish Publishers (via USIA), Polish Publishers and Baltic Publishers (via PubWatch and USIA), Czech Publishers (via USIA), the Swedish Publishers Association, Hong Kong University Press, Google Book Search, the Association for the Export of Canadian Books, Israel's Center for Educational Technology, the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, University of Illinois, Amsterdam University Press, Getty Publications, Indiana University Press, State University of New York Press, Texas A&M University Press, University of Virginia Press, and many more. Pro bono work (presentations, workshops, and white papers) are not included in the above.

Consulting Services

Though I can be very useful as a high-level advisor to a Press's (or Library's, or Digital Humanities project's) Director and management team regarding digital tactics as well as overall digital strategies, I'm best when I'm engaging with the larger staff, enlisting participation in group brainstorming, and getting not just buy-in, but even enthusiasm about the inexorability of technological change.

In these sessions, I've been amazed and delighted by the thoughtful creativity I've seen demonstrated by staffers at all levels, regarding a Press's (or Library's) unique properties, especially backlist resources waiting for a rethinking in the digital ecosystem. This is also a way of identifying staffers who might take deep ownership of a particular project.

The perfect consulting scenario, as of 2015, is to have a half- or full-day workshop for Press staff on the near-future implications of digital technologies on the organization, followed by a day of strategic planning with the management team, informed by staff input. I then spend a day writing a report for the Press and/or its administration.

In general, based on past experience, what I can do best is:
  • Lead intensive brainstorming with staff, or with the publisher management team, to develop, refine, and right-size digital strategies:
    • new(ish) acquisitions strategies
    • reuse/repurposing of backlist
    • identifying new sales opportunities
    • identifying new collaboration opportunities
    • identifying new direct-to-consumer options
  • Hone opportunities for optimising a Press's service to the institutional mission
    • Identify and explore "mission"
    • Unravel implications of "mission" to the organizational strategies and tactics
    • Locate opportunities to fit actions to mission, within the organization.
  • Give editorial help in editing & focusing reports on digital projects
    • Polish for buzzword inclusion, current-meme enfoldment, and silly-term engagement. Also polish for sanity and coherence in the digital environment. That's a joke, but also not.
  • Provide external validation of Press-driven infrastructure initiatives
    • If the project is viable, I'll explain why. If it's not, I'll explain why it made sense to try.
  • Strengthen staff buy-in for change tactics and strategies
    • Inform and educate
    • Enlist and engage
    • Encourage and empower
  • Recalibrate EDP (Editorial, Design, Production) approaches
    • Elicit suggestions from participating staff
    • Invite involvement from staff
    • Applaud in-house solutions to specific problems
    • Explore and inspect potential technologies, in light of issues specific to your Press and your communications strategies
  • Provide independent advice for choosing digital partners
    • Talk with multiple potential partners
    • Report on likely advantages, pro and con
    • Provide a written reason for partner selection
  • Develop tactics for reducing the environmental footprint of a Press
    • Full-cycle analysis of a Press's processes and priorities, in a carbon-neutral-goal framework
    • Develop buy-in from staff and management
    • Engage institutional management (via a consultant's recommendation prerogative) in building sustainable practices
    • Educate staff on small, mid-range, and long-range efficiencies
    • (For most consulting projects, I will make this part pro bono, if even lightly encouraged by management or the administration.)
  • Futurecasting exercises, especially for regional impact
    • Half-day workshops on likely near-term regional futures
    • Developing strategies and tactics appropriate to those scenarios
    • Developing local resources, and institutional strengths, to maximize potential positive impacts
  • And more....
    • Reconsidering existing throughput processes via a lens of the future
    • Workshop sessions about cultural change; its impact on print books, and e-books; long-form writing on handheld devices; ecological and economic inevitabilities, and their impact on publishing; scholarly publishing in an environment of hyper-abundance; and more
    • Identifying chokepoints and troubles in systems proposed by those who don't understand the current scholarly publishing ecosystem, much less the future ecosystem.

If you feel a pressure at your Press, or Library, or Association, regarding strategies for the future of scholarly communications, let me know -- I'm all about trying to find viable solutions to likely problems, and about enlisting participants in finding those solutions.

Contact me at: michaeljonjensen AT gmail DOT com

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