George Needham and Joan Frye Williams and un-conference
started with brain-storming about the elements (attributes, ingredients) of an excellent library
70+ combined years of experience...variety of perspectives
libs can't go where they want to go without middle management
challenges of mid-management...btwn a rock and a hard place...need to lead/follow, ask/tell etc.
need to design and implement the work
don't ignore challenges
it's not your job to make everyone happy!
there are ways to disagree and move forward
make people PRODUCTIVE
management does not equal control...it's about making people effective
we are given influence, not control
what makes group work successful...brainstorming...collaboration/communication/leadership/budget/snacks/
soooo....someone has to be responsible for these elements of successful projects: voila le mid manager...don't leave things to fate
mid-managers need to own the responisbility to make stuff happen...empower people to do it
clear expectations: WHY is your dept/lib/project here...WHAT does your dept do?...be clear...HotShots / Dave the coach are good at this...play your hardest / fun, fitness, friendship
TBPL as a whole needs more clarity...so everyone has a clear vision re why we're here...is it to get more circs than last year?!...if not, then what?
“here's what we know right now”...good phrase for mid-managers...b/c things change / expectations change... “...so therefore the expectation is...”
don't loose track of why we're there...what the point is
expectations need to be communicated
understand what you have, not just what you don't have...”appreciative inquiry” (AI) (a phsychology concept)...how you can leverage your strengths (see salmon coloured handout for more on AI)...FAB!
focus on your strenghts...be a player / what can you bring to the table
in SWOT focus is on WO ...but need to focus on STRENGTHs...
beware of professional eyeors! (naysayers) who focus on what you don't have
there is more than one path to success / more than one way to do things right...and that is not chaos, that is empowerment!...provide a variety of tools / options...and focus on the end results, not the process
lead by example...treat peeps with respect, and make it clear that's what you expect
empathy...try and see things from other peeps' perspectives...Aristotle: it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it
know what your goal is, and focus on it
use the “parking lot” to park ideas which aren't part of the focus for now...and then have a “parking lot day”...good idea...I should make a “parking lot” folder / file / box
actions have consequences...and also in-action is an action, and it has consequences too
when someone isn't doing something, say to the person: “I see this isn't happening...what can I do to help?” (sort of like saying to a cranky waitress... “are you having a bad day...?”...and also like Madam Lavoie's strategy: first talk...)
innovation is about making things happen: finding the best ideas
“fresh practices” vs “best practices”
steal from people with R&D money!!! (ie not other libraries!)
put on my wall: “A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” John Le Carre...you have to get other perspectives...esp with the community...
meetings are not the same as conversations...if you have the choice, have a conversation
what do we do about the chorous from management re “what are other libraries doing?”
manage communications does not equal “control” conversations
default to tarnsparacney on the facts (good point!!!)
deal with the eyeroll... “tell me more about how you feel about that”
“here's what in it for you”...make it real for the person / how it affects them
communicating bad news:
stick to the facts
no sugar coating
link to principles
speaking truth to power: management needs to kow what's going on...be 100% sure of your facts...be clear about the facts...find the facts first...lead with facts...”here is what I know...”...and offer a solution (don't just present a problem) ...if not a fully formed solution, then an offer to work on the solution
handling rumours:....library workers tend to catastrophise!...tie in to the grape vine
good communication requires that facts get showered on rumours...it's your job to confirm or deny rumours as soon as possible
don't quote or assess blame, just get the facts out
if the rumour is about an individiual, you need to talk to them, get the facts, and find out how they want to handle it...let them know you have their back / will support them
if rumour affects your work you need to deal with it...acknowledge that productivitiy is affected, so you have to deal with it
good site for feedback: www.insidebridge.com/tipsfeedback
“the classic objections” slide...make it into a poster and bring it to every meeting!...acknowledge... “quit being so negative” is not productive...instead say, “You're right, HOW CAN WE make it different this time?”
move from an obejction to a design criteria
translate objections in to “how can we'....?” make people work with you to find a solution
don't resist the negative force, go with it
blue sheet: about communicating new ideas effectively...study it! Scripts for presenting new ideas / phrases etc.
Managing Decision Making:
important to let people know the CONTEXT for decisions making...so people don't think your decisions are arbritrary...where you're coming from...can help others improve their work / how your professional principles inform your decisions
acknowledge real-world constraints
tie thinks back to your mission
don't justify your decision after the fact
“second bananaas” group...network with your fellow mid-managers
assume responsibility for solutions...don't say someone else will do it (eg. We need more marketing...classic TBPL whine...take on the responsibility)
avoid binary thinking...it's not all black and white...soutions ususally a mix of things
keep things as simple as possible, but no simpler!!!
treat exceptions as exceptions....ie don't cater to the squeaky wheel!!! (we are guilty of that I think)
diff btwn principles, outcomes and techniques...
principles / outcomes / technique: know the difference...
principles = big picture / values
outcome = what happens to the peeps (patrons / community) as a result of their interaction with the Library
technique = tools to delivr the outcome
G&Jdid a podcast on this...will share link
“This I Believe” piece on G&J website (check it out) defines overriding lib principles
when you need to change a techniques, acknowledge the related otucomte and principles (which prob won't change)
important to make these distinctions when talking about change
consensus is about the preperation for moving forward...make the process fair; make sure people understand the decision criteria; that people have the chance to be heard...important:
“Even if the decision isn't exactly what I would have chosen, I will support it fairly in my communications and actions.”....makre sure people agree to this....
run your shop like this...follow the three consensus points + ask people to agree to the fourth
try to spot patterns of dissent and anticipate needs
“suck it up, take the money and do the work”! Library staff have a tendancy to feel entitled to have things done their way. Decisions get made, and people have to follow through. Here's the task that has been set – let's get together and figure out how to get there.
If you're an employee you will be “employed” (ie. “used”!) many peeps forget this!!!
manage relationships / network / help your colleagues / work with partners
work with mentors: good to have someone outside of your organization...it's an honour to be a mentor...I should find one!!!...find someone who makes sense to you...cultivate the relationship...someone to tell you you're not crazy!
More than one mentor is good...one inside, one outside...or more
like other relationsips, mentors may change over time ... needs to be mutually beneficial
don't let it be lonely at the top!
Hang out with people you don't work with (HOCKEY!!!!)
good to cultivate a non-library peer group
overcome the urge to hide!!!
stop and breathe
get out of your office...have some fresh air fun!
Go back to appreciattive inquiry (AI)...look at the assets....express gratititude to perk yourself up!
“at least I didn't break both legs!”
How do you eat an elephant?...one bite at a time!
Extra credit: infiltrate non-library groups! (HOCKEY!!! and TOASTMASTERS!!!)
manage results: think about continues results...cultivate continuous improvement
praise people for progress
think of little bits of improvement as normal
prepare for success! (eg OverDrive...+ adding Advantage program...+ adding classes...good for us)
good question to ask: What are we going to do if this works?
What keeps people motivated: #1 thing = a feeling of connection
therefore staff appreciation is so important
opportunities for growth are important
leave room for people to be creative...to create some work
connect to the otucomes...people need to know they're making a difference
people need to know management has their interests at heart
overcoming resistance...people who have “retired in place”, unmotivated etc and GET AWAY WITH IT...make other people qustion why they are bothering...#1 thing to do is NOT IGNORE resistance
“when staff dig in”: link to outcomes, listen to concerns, encourage participation, cultiveate champtions, reward desirable behvaiour, be prepared to change yoruself, repeat as nesc.
Sometimes resistance really is someone who doesn't want you to step in the poo
neutralize the pit dwellers!...how? Give them two choices: whine privately, or don't come with us. Tell them, “This is the direction we're going...I would love it if you would join us...if not...stay behind, or be quiet.” Don't reward the negaitivity. The naysayer might be your boss.
Leveage mistakes: sometimes you wll step in the poo...so, learn from it. Debrief...so the traps become less random. Ask questions: what can you do?...what could you have done differently? Don't appologize, but rather investigate / learn from it / what did work? (appreciative inquiry)...your job is not to guarantee perfection...don't loose track of what is resonable
“if you're in control you're not going fast enough!” Mario Andretti
middle manager is like the concert master...in charge of your section, under the umbrella of the conductor
when in doubt choose:
simplicity! (good rule for life in general!)...don't cater to all the exceptions
generosity (you don't have to be perfect...cultivagte inter-staff generosity...we're better together)
flexibilty (tools not rules)
urgency (we have to move quickly...can't wait for perfection)
trust (it's ok to ask for back up...help me get ready for this)
fun (YEAH!....staff appreciation...YES!) (identify the most mickey-mouse rule, for eg!) people learn more when they're having fun
show the passion (but you don't have to get the “bald kid with the book” tattooed on your body!)...let your colleagues see your passion
signs you're on the right track (post this slide in my office!.(pg 25 in handout)...and ask self @ end of day “What did I learn today?”....if nothing, take a step back and re-focus
don't try to make everyone happy!