Finding Your Way: Managing & Leading Through Change in Libraries


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Keynote for Back in Circulation Conference
November 15, 2012
Madison, Wisconsin

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  • The library I grew up with in St. Augustine, Florida on Aviles Street
  • When I was old enough to ride my bike alone we got a new library. The library was a different place. Like most libraries today it was warm, filled with light, books. It felt like a safe place and became my home away from home.
  • The day I fell in love with a librarian. When my mom challenged this book.
  • In most libraries who is the first person seen and the last person seen by patrons? Beebe Memorial Library
  • May 2010 – $81 Million in Cuts
  • These are things happening that I may or may not be concerned about.
  • These are things that I am concerned about but have no control over.They may impact me but I cannot control the outcome.
  • These are things that I am concerned about and have control over.This is where we need to focus our physical and mental energy
  • Issues affecting libraries
  • 1. Increase urgency Examine market and competitive realities Identify and discuss crisis, potential crisis, or major opportunities Provide evidence from outside the organization that change is necessary 2. Build the Guiding Team Assemble a group with enough power to lead the change effort Attract key change leaders by showing enthusiasm and commitment Encourage the group to work together as a team 3. Get the Vision Right Create a vision to help direct the change effort Develop strategies for achieving that vision 4. Communicate for Buy-in Build alignment and engagement through stories Use every vehicle possible to communicate the new vision and strategies Keep communication simple and heartfelt Teach new behaviors by the example of the guiding coalition 5. Empowering Action Remove obstacles to the change Change systems and / or structures that work against the vision 6. Create short term wins Plan for and achieve visible performance improvements Recognize and reward those involved in bringing the improvements to life 7. Do Not Let Up Plan for and create visible performance improvements Recognize and reward personnel involved in the improvements Reinforce the behaviours shown that led to the improvements 8. Make Change Stick Articulate the connections between the new behaviors and corporate success
  • “Often, creating value requires significant change!” this is how John Kotter concluded 1990 in his  book “A force for Change: How Leadership Differs from Management”.
  • Finding Your Way: Managing & Leading Through Change in Libraries

    1. 1. Finding Your WayManaging & Leading Through Change in Libraries Lori Reed Slides at Back in Circulation Again University of Wisconsin Madison October 2012
    2. 2. Who am I?
    3. 3.
    4. 4.
    5. 5. 1995 Library of the Year
    6. 6.
    7. 7. “…close 12of its24branches.”
    8. 8. 120 employees laid off April 2010
    9. 9. Additional 66 for a total of 188 July 2010
    10. 10. Peak versus 2010
    11. 11. In calm weather, all ships have goodcaptains.Swedish proverb, often attributed to Adam Smith
    12. 12. The Stages of GriefActive Anger Stability Acceptanc Bargaining e DenialPassive Depressio Immobilized n Time
    13. 13. The Stages of Change Stage Stage Stage Stag One Two Three eActive Anger Four Testin g BalancinPassive Confusio g n DEFENSIVE ACKNOW- ACCEPTANCE SHOCK RETREAT LEDGEMENT Time
    14. 14. Circles of Control The World Circle of Concern Circle of Influence
    15. 15. All the world’s problems Water crisis in China Kardashians anything on the news Michael Jackson’s Doctor Worm going extinct
    16. 16. My Concerns gas prices library budget The Electionhow bad the Panthers areplaying who is going to get laid off interest on my 401K
    17. 17. Circle of Influence ideas I can implement my job performance helping library patrons . changing 401K allocations update resume get on Linked In
    18. 18. What’s in your Circle of Influence? The World Circle of Concern Circle of Influence
    19. 19. Thank you LISHost
    20. 20.
    21. 21. “If you want to make enemies, try to changesomething.”– Woodrow Wilson
    22. 22. Why change fails• allow too much complexity• fail to build a substantial coalition• do not understand the need for a clear vision• fail to clearly communicate the vision• permit roadblocks against the vision• are not planning and getting short-term wins• declare victory too soon• do not anchor changes in corporate culture
    23. 23. “Change is the only constant.”– Heraclitus, Greek philosopher
    24. 24. Kotter’s Change Model 1. Create urgencyCreate climate for change 2. Build teams/coalitions 3. Create a vision 4. Communicate for buy in Engage & enable 5. Enable action 6. Create short term wins Implement & sustain 7. Don’t let up 8. Make change stick
    25. 25. “Often, creating value requires significantchange.”– John Kotter
    26. 26. Coping with chaos and changeImage Source:
    27. 27. Find balanceImage Source:
    28. 28. Be flexible
    29. 29. Accept that libraries aregoing to look verydifferent in the future
    30. 30. Accept that “books” aregoing to look very different
    31. 31. Find your silver lining
    32. 32. This is an opportunity!- to learn- to grow- to adapt- to improve- let go of what’s not working
    33. 33. “When you’refinishedchanging,you’refinished.”- Benjamin Franklin
    34. 34. “Change yourthoughts and youchange yourworld.”- Norman VincentPealeLori ReedSlides at