Leadership and Librarians Stephen Abram, MLS Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila Manila, Philippines April 15, 2013
What is Leadership? Leaders see an improvement to be made – a desirable futurestate, sometimes before others, and actively seek to achieve those improvements. 2
Who is a Leader? Everyone can lead.Leadership is different from managing or supervising. 3
Lies we tell ourselves• 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. 4
Future Driven Leadership Training for Librarians• ALA Emerging Leaders• Mountain Plains Leadership Institute• Tall Texans• Snowbird• Northern Exposure to Leadership• iSchool at Toronto e.g. Public Library Institute• Crucial Conversations• Etc. 5
Research PhD Dissertations on 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 California 6
Insights into what Makes a Difference• Passion is foremost• Advocacy• Risk Taking• Change Management• Flexibility• Dealing with Ambiguity – having the aptitude to introduce change aligned with the future state.• Influencing Skills 7
What 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 8
SLA Alignment ResearchKey Highlights:• Relationships, Networks, Collaborati on• Speed – Save Time• Packaging for Added Value Answers• Educate and Train 9
Positioning the Library and Librarian / Library StaffWhat is your value proposition?You versus the library versus the institution?Why do you, the library, or your institution exist?
The Complex Value PropositionSmelly OrYellow SexLiquid Appeal?
Risk Taking in LibrarianshipAvoiding the triple diseases of:1. Conflict avoidance2. Passive resistance3. Risk aversion
Too Much Respect for Rules
Fear of Looking Silly
Studying Things to Death
Not letting ideas grow . . .
Fear of Success
Failure to Reward Risk
So Much Complication!
Too Much Respect for Tradition
Are there any of these in your library? The Black Hole 27
Cookbooks, Chefs . . .
Cookbooks, Chefs . . .
The newbibliography and collection development Ask Us, KNOWLEDGE PORTALS KNOWLEDGE, LEARNING, INFORMATION & RESEARCH COMMONS
SHARING YOURSELF AND YOUUp Your Game• Embedded team member• Embedded teacher• Embedded research coach• Embedded personal librarian• Re-intermediation
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 opportunity costs in soft costs
Being Open to AmbiguityBe the Change We Want to See
Source Doc Searls blog
Entering the Knowledge Era• Right answers/facts give way to consensus answers/informed guesses• Information combined with Insight rules• Knowing where and how to look is infinitely more valuable than knowing facts• Knowledge is an immersion environment - an Information Ocean - where are the maps that 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 is communicated.• Use technology intelligently to enhance service.• 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 VALUES• Rationalism• Equity of Access• Building Harmony and Balance – Michael Gorman,Library Journal, April 15, 2001
To have the right staff Get the right information In the right format To the right people At the right timeTo make the right decision RIGHT
Differences in the Private and Public Sector Approaches to DevelopmentPrivate Sector Public Sector Competitive advantage is the ideal Collaborative advantage is the ideal Good service is the key to long-term Innovation is key to long-term existence existence Focus on citizens and social contract Focus on clients and marketshare Political agendas and government Business strategies imperatives Responsibility to shareholders or Responsibility to parliament and to citizens owner/investors Wise use of tax dollars Increasing revenue Risk averse Risk oriented Making a positive impact on society is Economic success is a prime a strong motivator personal motivator Other departments, levels of government, unions Competitors, partners and allies e-Government is the challenge e-Business is the challenge Focus on “process” Focus on “results”
A Few Definitions• "Successful knowledge transfer involves neither computers nor documents but rather interactions between people." Tom Davenport People like librarians, teachers, counselors, advisors, . . .
Taking The Knowledge Positioning• Data >>> • Information >>>• Transformations are: • Transformations are:• Applying standards • Representing data:• SGML, HTML, Fields, Ta • Display, Chart, Format, gs, MARC, normalizing . Publish, Aggregate, Pict .. ure, Graph, Sort, Rank, Highlight, etc.
Taking The Knowledge PositioningData >>> Information >>> Knowledge > Apply Tangible Learning standards Representations Knowing of Data Filtering Evaluating Balancing
Knowledge is not the path to: WISDOM
Taking The Knowledge Positioning• Behaviour• Decisions that result in action, even if that action is non-action• Key success factors are intelligent, informed and impactful results• Has value in proportion to its results in the context of the individual or social organization
Taking The Knowledge PositioningData Information Knowledge Behaviour====> =======> ======> ======> Apply Display Knowing DoStand- Chart Learning Decide ards Graph Filtering Choose Store Publish Evaluating Apply & Picture Enact Move Format Gerunds Action Verbs
Transformational Process• Data • Norm• Information • Form• Knowledge • Transform• Behaviour • Perform Success
The Five Stages of Technology Adoption • Awareness • Interest • Evaluation • Trial • Adoption
CHANGEThe $60 Million Dollar Question How do we more speedily process our organizations through this cycle?
The Classic Corn Research• Innovators 2.5%• Early Adopters 13 %• Early Majority 17.5 %• Middle Majority 33.5 %• Laggards 17.5%• Non-Adopters 16%
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, prove business• 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: Late Adopters• Obvious solutions to problems• Motivation --social pressure, fear of obsolescence• No risk, slow to change, needs references• Seminars, proven products, hand holding• Brand important, pay for needed features only, 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 depth of the product line)?• Who will be the target users (i.e. the boundaries of the market segments served)?• How will the products reach those users (i.e. the distribution channels used)?• Why will users prefer these product(s) to those of competitors (i.e. the distinctive attributes and value to be provided)?• Bonus: Are they different from you, librarians?
Making Decisions and Sacrifices• Tools for effective decision management: – Four Square – Six Thinking Hats – Six Action Shoes – SWOT – Diverge / Converge – Post-its – Mind Maps – Fish Bone
Making Decisions and Sacrifices Low Value High ValueNice to The 4-have Square Value DecisionMust Boxhave
Making Decisions and SacrificesValue Time
Making Decisions and Sacrifices Strengths Opportunities ResultsWeaknesses Threats
De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats• White Hat • What do we need to know?• Red Hat • How do I feel about this? • Let’s ask critical questions.• Black Hat • What are the opportunities here?• Yellow Hat • How can we grow this idea?• Green Hat • What’s the process here? Have• Blue Hat we thought of everything?
De Bono’s Six Action Shoes• Navy Formal Shoes • Routine Behaviour• Grey Sneakers • Collect Information• Brown Brogues • Pragmatism and Practicality• Orange Gumboots • Emergency Response• Pink Slippers • Human Caring• Purple Riding Boots • 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
Leaders have many modes.They choose to use the dimension that works in the situation. 74
• "An optimist is someone who says a glass is half full. A pessimist says its half empty. A re- engineering consultant says, "Looks like youve got twice as much glass as you need."
Are you on the ‘hits’ train?
QUALITATIVE INFORMATION and QUANTITATIVE DATA
Are you locked into library financial mindsets?
What about value and impact?
Or shall we stick with this?
Algorithms• Search differentiator• Commercial algorithms versus those based on big data• Measuring end user success versus known item retrieval…• “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) versus immersion 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.
Focus and Understand on the Whole Experience
Statistics, Measurements and Analytics • Counter & Sushi data are very weak metrics that don’t provide insights into the critical stuff • Database usage (unique user, session, length of session, 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. 86
What do we need to know?• How do library databases compare with other web experiences and expectations?• Who are our core virtual users?• What are user expectations for satisfaction?• How does library search compare to consumer search like Google?• How do people find and connect with library virtual services?• What should we ‘fix’ as a first priority?• Are end users being successful in their POV?• Are they happy? Will they come back? Tell a friend?
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 seasonal change - not revolution or evolution Prefer action over study: If you’re studying something to death - remember that death was not the original goal!
Conclusion: 28 Key Tips Mock- Up, Build, Rebuild, Beta, Pilot, Launch, Re-Do Remember the rule of six (6). You get very diminishing returns after asking the same question of like people. Remember the 15% rule: Humans have extreme difficulty in actually seeing a difference of less than 15%.
Conclusion: 28 Key Tips Use the 70/30 rule: “I agree with 70% and can live with the other 30%.” Remember the old 80/20 rule standby: No matter how few or many users you have, 80% of your usage/revenue/etc. will come from 20% of your users. Remember the 90/10 rule. 90% of your costs are in implementation, not development.
Conclusion: 28 Key Tips“Productize”: Be able to physically point at your product or service. Get out of your box! It is unlikely that you are the alpha user profile. You can’t step in the same river twice. Your knowledge of the new development means you probably cannot see the potential pitfalls.
Conclusion: 28 Key Tips Understand the differences between features, functions and benefits. Understand your customer and don’t assume - TEST. Don’t just ask your clients what they do, will do 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, what would 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 styles and multiple intelligence. Understand the adoption curve. Do research for yourself too. Set up alerts on your hot issues. Bring management on side first, then customers 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 piece of out-of-context feedback or let it loom out of perspective and balance. Measure - don’t just count: Decision-makers CANNOT interpret your statistics. When you have 100 options to choose from the critical skill isn’t choosing 5 but sacrificing 95.
The Library as Sandbox
Stephen Abram, MLS, FSLAConsultant, Dysart & Jones/Lighthouse Partners Cel: 416-669-4855 email@example.com Stephen’s Lighthouse Blog http://stephenslighthouse.com Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr: Stephen Abram LinkedIn / Plaxo: Stephen Abram Twitter: @sabram SlideShare: StephenAbram1