Leadership and LibrariansStephen Abram, MLSCILIP, Cambridge UKJune 17, 2013
Where have I learned?• Associations• Jobs• Consortia• Politics• Travel• Mentoring• Training• Projects• Be the change andchange the world
What is Leadership?Leaders see an improvement to bemade – a desirable future state,sometimes before others, and activelyseek to achieve those improvements.
Who is a Leader?Everyone can lead.Leadership is different frommanaging or supervising.
Lies we tell ourselves• I’m not a leader• Shyness versus introversion• I don’t do presentations to management• People will notice my good work• They’ll read my report, memo . . .• Leadership is someone else’s job• I don’t make the decisions around here…• That’s their responsibility – not mine• Criticism in the absence of constructive criticismand critical thinking
7Future Driven Leadership Training for Librarians• Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute• iSchool at Toronto e.g. Public Library Institute• Crucial Conversations• ALA Emerging Leaders• Mountain Plains Leadership Institute• Tall Texans• Snowbird• iSchool @ Toronto Symposia– MOOCs, Makerspaces, New Measurements…• Etc.
Recent Research: PhD Dissertationson Leadership in LibrariesMary-Jo Romaniuk, San Jose State Univ.Cheryl Stenstrom, San Jose State Univ.Donna Brockmeyer, Univ. of Saskatchewan, Thomas MoreCollegeKen Haycock, Marshall School, University of California8
9Research Insights into what Makes a Difference• Passion is foremost• Confidence next• Influence not just Advocacy• Risk Taking – in context• Change Management• Flexibility• Dealing with Ambiguity – having the aptitude tointroduce change aligned with the future state.• Influencing Skills = selling ideas
10What doesn’t help or work• Not taking the long view• A dysfunctional view of time• Being risk averse• Playground competition• Lack of cooperation• Backbiting and blamestorming• Fear of change or, indeed, fear at all• Generally – ‘negativity’
SLA Alignment ResearchKey Highlights:• True Relationships (not just contacts)• Real Networks, Collaboration• Consultation – based on authority, expertise,quality and short conversations• Speed – Save Time• Packaging for Added Value Answers• Educate and Train• Understanding libraries/ians is an underservedand regularly expressed need11
Positioning the Library andLibrarian / Library StaffReal professionals have names and reputationsWhat is your value proposition?You versus the library versus the institution?Why do you, the library, or your institution exist?
THE EXPERIENCE OF THE LIBRARYSo let’s talk about . . .36HumanResourcesServiceLearningValue
SHARING YOURSELF AND YOUUp Your Game• Embedded team member• Embedded teacher• Embedded research coach• Embedded personal librarian• Re-intermediation• Tools – business cards, e-mailsigs, web pages, social media(Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr,…)
UNCOMFORTABLE CHOICES:SACRIFICEUp Your Game• Dog, Star, Cow, Problem Child/?• Reduce investment in successes – This isn’t a typo• Increase investment in future successes – learn from failing• Look at TCO - Do NOT value your own time at $zero• Look at all costs incurred and not just hard costs• Review the opportunity costs in soft costs (e.g. ILL …)
Being Open to AmbiguityBe the Change We Want to See
Entering the Knowledge Era• Right answers/facts give way to consensusanswers/informed guesses• Information combined with Insight rules• Knowing where and how to look is infinitelymore valuable than knowing facts• Knowledge is an immersion environment -an Information Ocean - where are the mapsthat work here?
Five Laws of Library Science• Books are for use.• Books are for all; or, Every reader his book.• Every book its reader.• Save the time of the reader.• A library is a growing organism.S.R. Ranganathan
Five New Laws of Library Science• Libraries serve humanity.• Respect all forms by which knowledge iscommunicated.• Use technology intelligently to enhanceservice.• Protect free access to knowledge.• Honor the past and create the future.Walt Crawford and Michael Gorman
Librarian Core Value Commitments• Democracy• Stewardship• Service• Intellectual Freedom• Privacy• Literacy and Learning• Rationalism• Equity of Access• Building Harmony and Balance– Michael Gorman, Library Journal, April 15, 2001VALUES
To have the right staffGet the right informationIn the right formatTo the right peopleAt the right timeTo make the right decisionRIGHT
Differences in the Private and Public SectorApproaches to DevelopmentPrivate Sector Competitive advantage is the ideal Innovation is key to long-termexistence Focus on clients and marketshare Business strategies Responsibility to shareholders orowner/investors Increasing revenue Risk oriented Economic success is a primepersonal motivator Competitors, partners and allies e-Business is the challenge Focus on “results”Public Sector Collaborative advantage is the ideal Good service is the key to long-termexistence Focus on citizens and social contract Political agendas and governmentimperatives Responsibility to parliament and tocitizens Wise use of tax dollars Risk averse Making a positive impact on society isa strong motivator Other departments, levels ofgovernment, unions e-Government is the challenge Focus on “process”
Leadership is People not Projects• "Successful knowledge transfer involvesneither computers nor documents butrather interactions between people."Tom DavenportPeople like librarians, teachers, faculty,counselors, therapists, social workers,advisors, . . .
Taking The Knowledge Positioning• Data >>>• Transformations are:• Applying standards• SGML, HTML, Fields,Tags, MARC,normalizing . . .• Information >>>• Transformations are:• Representing data:• Display, Chart, Format,Publish, Aggregate,Picture, Graph, Sort,Rank, Highlight, etc.
Taking The Knowledge PositioningData >>> Information >>> Knowledge >ApplystandardsTangibleRepresentationsof DataLearningKnowingFilteringEvaluatingBalancing
Taking The Knowledge Positioning• Behaviour• Decisions that result in action, even if that actionis non-action• Key success factors are intelligent, informed andimpactful results• Has value in proportion to its results in thecontext of the individual or social organization• Measure behavioural impact – don’t just collectstatistics.
Taking The Knowledge PositioningData====>Information=======>Knowledge======>Behaviour======>ApplyStand-ardsStore&MoveDisplayChartGraphPublishPictureFormatKnowingLearningFilteringEvaluatingGerundsDoDecideChooseApplyEnactActionVerbs
Understanding Adoption Types:Innovators• Technology fascination• Motivation -- Implement New Ideas• Confidence Level High -- experiment, risk• Self taught, independent• Latest technology, few features, performance• Self sold, when turned on, word of mouth
Understanding Adoption Types:Early Adopters• The coming thing• Motivation -- leap frog the competition, provebusiness• Willing to try new things, reasonable risk• Will attend night school to learn• Innovation, better way to do job, selective• Sold on benefits, references, word of mouth
Understanding Adoption Types: LateAdopters• Obvious solutions to problems• Motivation --social pressure, fear ofobsolescence• No risk, slow to change, needs references• Seminars, proven products, hand holding• Brand important, pay for needed featuresonly, terms & conditions important• Examples, address cost/technical support
Understanding Adoption Types:Laggards• Absolute need• Extreme competition/social pressure• Reluctant to change• Will send someone to a seminar, needs proof,ease of use• Lowest cost, competitive terms, brand• Productivity increases, fear
What kind of librarian are you? Critical thinker or Criticizer?What is your library culture around change or innovation?
Four Key Questions• What changes will be offered (i.e. the breadth and depthof the product line)?• Who will be the target users (i.e. the boundaries of themarket segments served)?• How will the products reach those users (i.e. thedistribution channels used)?• Why will users prefer these product(s) to those ofcompetitors (i.e. the distinctive attributes and value to beprovided)?• Bonus: Are they (clients/users) different from you, aslibrarians?
Making Decisions and SacrificesTools for effective decision management and ideaframe generation:– Four Square– Six Thinking Hats– Six Action Shoes– SWOT– Diverge / Converge– Post-its– Mind Maps– Fish Bone– Rory’s Story Cubes
Making Decisions and SacrificesNice tohaveMusthaveLow Value High ValueThe 4-SquareValueDecisionBox
Making Decisions and SacrificesStrengthsThreatsWeaknessesOpportunitiesResults
De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats1. White Hat2. Red Hat3. Black Hat4. Yellow Hat5. Green Hat6. Blue Hat• What do we need to know?• How do I feel about this?• Let’s ask critical questions.• What are the opportunities here?• How can we grow this idea?• What’s the process here? Havewe thought of everything?
De Bono’s Six Action Shoes1. Navy Formal Shoes2. Grey Sneakers3. Brown Brogues4. Orange Gumboots5. Pink Slippers6. Purple Riding Boots• Routine Behaviour• Collect Information• Pragmatism and Practicality• Emergency Response• Human Caring• Use Your Authority
Bringing the User into the Loop• Advisory Boards• Editorial Boards• Reactor Panels• Neighbourhoods• Feedback tools (e-mail, etc.)• Focus Groups• Surveys• MBWA and Observation
Leaders have many modes.They choose to use the personal behaviourthat works in the situation.Be 3D or 6D, but not 1D
"An optimist is someone who says a glass ishalf full. A pessimist says its half empty. Aleader might say, "Looks like weve got twice asmuch glass as we need. Let discuss it."
Algorithms• Search differentiator• Commercial algorithms versus those based on bigdata• Measuring end user success versus known itemretrieval…• “Romeo and Juliet”• Problems with the unmonitored trial– Wrong tests– Poor sampling– Mindset issues
Sharing Learning and Research• Usability versus User Experience• End users versus librarians• Known item retrieval (favourite test) versusimmersion research• Lists versus Discovery• Scrolling versus pagination• Devices and browsers and agnosticism• Satisfaction and change• Individual research experience vs. impacts on e-courses, LibGuides, training materials, etc.
Statistics, Measurements and Analytics• Counter & Sushi data are very weak metrics thatdon’t provide insights into the critical stuff• Database usage (unique user, session, length ofsession, hits, downloads, etc.)• Web and Google Analytics (6,000+ websites)• Foresee satisfaction and demographic data• Search Samples (underemphasized at this point.)• Time of Year Analysis• ILS Data (from clients &n partnerships)• Geo-IP data, analytics and mapping.• Impact studies and sampling.• Gaining insight from information and data
Conclusion: 28 Key Tips Good not Perfect It’s not the steps that cause delays in development- it’s the space between the steps No mistake is ever final. Freeze and Go! The right metaphor is seasonalchange - not revolution or evolution Prefer action over study: If you’re studyingsomething to death - remember that death wasnot the original goal!
Conclusion: 28 Key Tips Mock-Up, Build, Rebuild, Beta, Pilot, Launch,Re-Do Remember the rule of six (6). You get verydiminishing returns after asking the samequestion of like people. Remember the 15% rule: Humans haveextreme difficulty in actually seeing adifference of less than 15%.
Conclusion: 28 Key Tips Use the 70/30 rule: “I agree with 70% and canlive with the other 30%.” Remember the old 80/20 rule standby: Nomatter how few or many users you have, 80%of your usage/revenue/etc. will come from20% of your users. Remember the 90/10 rule. 90% of your costsare in implementation, not development.
Conclusion: 28 Key Tips“Productize”: Be able to physically point atyour product or service. Get out of your box! It is unlikely that you arethe alpha user profile. You can’t step in the same river twice. Yourknowledge of the new development meansyou probably cannot see the potential pitfalls.
Conclusion: 28 Key Tips Understand the differences betweenfeatures, functions and benefits. Understand your customer and don’t assume- TEST. Don’t just ask your clients what they do, willdo or want. OBSERVE them. Have a vision and dream BIG!
Conclusion: 28 Key Tips Ask the three magic questions:What keeps you awake at night?If you could solve only one problem at work, whatwould it be?If you could change one thing and one thing only,what would it be? Never underestimate the customer. Seek the real customer.
Conclusion: 28 Key Tips Respect information literacy, learning stylesand multiple intelligence. Understand the adoption curve. Do research for yourself too. Set up alerts onyour hot issues. Bring management on side first, thencustomers and users, BEFORE you launch.
Conclusion: 28 Key Tips Feedback is a gift - you can keep it, return it,hide it in the closet. Don’t overvalue one pieceof out-of-context feedback or let it loom out ofperspective and balance. Measure - don’t just count: Decision-makersCANNOT interpret your statistics. When you have 100 options to choose from thecritical skill isn’t choosing 5 but sacrificing 95.