Especially check out the final part of this presentation – it will give you a little insight into how my library decides on strategy – through data-mapping and GIS market segmentation data. Really handy stuff.
I recently read Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, by Charlene Li (she also co-wrote Groundswell). It was an interesting book… some really good thoughts. [Charlene/her publisher sent me the book - thanks Charlene!]
Before I get into those thoughts, a couple of things I didn’t like about the book:
Otherwise, a pretty good book on a tough topic – that of guiding leaders to be “open.” Which leads me to the title of this post – Open Mindsets. From page 8 – “… the biggest indicator of success has been an open mind-set – the ability of leaders to let go of control at the right time, in the right place, and in the right amount.”
Wow. Easy to say, hard to do, huh? She goes on to list some rules of open leadership (pgs. 14-15):
… and the rest of the book gives plenty of examples for accomplishing leadership in a more open way.
Definitely worth a read! Did you read it? If so, what did you think?
Kathy left a comment on my Posting and Traffic post, saying “I started off being the only one posting to our library blog. Then management decided that everybody contributing to it would be a good idea, so they put out a schedule. People were resistant, and kept “forgetting”. Now it’s back to…just me posting..”
Instead of the volunteer problem in the last post, this time the problem is two-fold:
1: staff not doing what they’re supposed to do
2: managers not doing what they’re supposed to do
Let’s use the reference desk as an example again. Managers – would you let people say “Nah, I’m not going to show up at the ref desk today. It’s just not a priority for me.” Um, no. That person would be booted out the door pretty fast, I’m guessing.
So what’s happening here? Honestly, it could be any number of things, including:
But really, the problem and the solution lies fully on management. Those “resistant” staff? That solution’s easy. Assign the work, then monitor it – just like any other part of the job.
Managers – do your job. And write a few blog posts, too, while you’re at it. Model the way for your staff. But do YOUR job, that of managing people and resources, and see what happens.
pic by eflon
Last week, Emily Lloyd at Shelf Check (very funny librarian comic strip and a fine blog, too) posted What would you do if you didn’t need the approval of 15 committees? And mentioned me. Here’s what she said (make sure to read the whole post AND comment on it. It’s good):
“I think of what, for ex, David Lee King does for Topeka & Shawnee. David has lots of talent; David has lots of gear…but a lot of folks who work in libraries have lots of talent and lots of gear. What ultimately matters most, it seems to me, is lots of permission. David has that, I think–at least it looks like it from here–and most of us don’t. Many of us don’t need to be told or taught at conferences how to engage with patrons via social media, how to market our libraries via YouTube or Facebook, etc–we need our administrators to be told or taught that they should allow us to do so … You can’t seize the moment; you can’t seize the day; you’re lucky if you can seize the year. Old Spice/New Spice practically seized the nanosecond.”
She’s right – I DO have a boatload of permission. How do I get that permission? I don’t think there’s an easy answer to that, but I’ll try! Here’s what I do to get that permission:
But I’d be lying if I said that’s ALL that happens. The organization plays a big part in my permission, too:
Not getting that permission? Here’s what might be going on:
Something to think about – no, you can’t change administration. If you have a bad library director or bad managers, the only real way to change that is to find another job (or wait it out, if you’re extremely patient, I suppose). Sorry about that.
But did you notice? The other three points under “not getting that permission” are things you can change, or at least have a say in – even if you’re not a manager. Maybe your library doesn’t have a strategic plan – you can still set annual goals for your job with your supervisor, and start working on those things. You can focus on aligning your projects with the library’s strategic goals. And you can ask for permission.
OK – I’m sure I’m missing something here, but it’s a start!
Update – make sure to read the next post, Help Others Get Permission … and make a comment!