Libraries as Learning Organizations

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Presented by Christine M. Abrigo as the 5th Marina G. Dayrit Lecture Series on the theme "Libraries as Learning Organizations" held at the Epifanio Delos Santos Auditorium, National Library of the Philippines, on 29 November 2013.

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Libraries as Learning Organizations

  1. 1. 5th Marina G. Dayrit Lecture Series National Library of the Philippines T.M. Kalaw, Manila, 29 November 2013 LEARNING ORGANIZATION IN LIBRARIES Christine M. Abrigo De La Salle University Libraries
  2. 2. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” -- CHARLES DARWIN (on survival of the fittest)
  3. 3. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, ARE the ones most responsive to change. -- CHARLES DARWIN (on survival of the fittest)
  4. 4. Does your library thrive on…
  5. 5. “Academic librarians struggle to understand the dimensions of (the) change and to find the means to accomplish it.” -- FOWLER, 1998
  6. 6. Understanding LEARNING
  7. 7. When you commit shortcomings; When you fail at something Problem: Making mistakes in an organization becomes a personal issue. This culture has to be erased and instead, be realigned to the culture of learning. when do you know you are learning?
  8. 8. Learning in the context of LO Getting your act together and move forward Lifelong generative • expanding it to produce the results that we want to achieve • Lessons learned, lessons applied Continuous and conscious Doing your homework • Identify problems/gather data, review all areas - people, processes
  9. 9. Types of Learning Maintenance learning • Short term • Just in time; deal everything at hand • Keeping current processes, systems, operations, services at bay • End product: Plateau • Nothing added, nothing removed, nothing changed, no new development; Just existing
  10. 10. Types of Learning Anticipatory learning • Long term • Vision-oriented • New knowledge is acquired and applied; working to achieve the best improvements • Participatory • End product: Bamboo • Adaptable, useful, forward-looking, injects innovations and change
  11. 11. Understanding LEARNING ORGANIZATION
  12. 12. Learning Organization • Ideal form of organization • Needs effort vs. Organizational Learning • Activities/processes • Exists without any efforts
  13. 13. LEARNING ORGANIZATION
  14. 14. Learning Organization "Organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.“ (Peter Senge, 1990)
  15. 15. Learning Organization "An organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights.“ (Giesecke and McNeil, 2004)
  16. 16. An organization that rocks the boat. (CMAbrigo, 2013)
  17. 17. LO takes place in… Organizational Group Individual
  18. 18. LO takes place in… Your library Your team You
  19. 19. Learning Organization NOT a self-serving school of thought, but an organizationserving discipline Always geared towards improvement (all levels) A source of competitive advantage End goal: Organizational effectiveness
  20. 20. How do you spell LO? A cquiring knowledge C reating knowledge T ransferring knowledge I nstituting change O vercoming failures to gain N ew knowledge …For YOUR Library.
  21. 21. Disciplines of LO (Senge, 1990) Designed to be inter-connected; You can choose to learn and apply any. You are not expected to master all in one go. But you can try.
  22. 22. Disciplines of LO (Senge, 1990) Personal mastery • Developing knowledge and skills that will benefit both self and organization • Continuously hones craft with the future of the organization in mind
  23. 23. Disciplines of LO (Senge, 1990) Mental models • Embedded assumptions and generalizations of how the organization is viewed • Ingrained perceptions that affect one's actions and learning behavior • Maybe negative, maybe positive
  24. 24. Disciplines of LO (Senge, 1990) Shared vision Forming one vision for the organization and work together to realize it Not just a statement, but a picture of the future that will inspire one to learn and be a contributor to keep the organization moving forward
  25. 25. Disciplines of LO (Senge, 1990) Personal masteries in one pot Team learning Open environment; all on equal footing Successful only if there is a shared vision
  26. 26. Disciplines of LO (Senge, 1990) Systems thinking • The glue that sticks all disciplines together • Seeing that one action affects the entire organization (holistic view) • Everything in the organization is interrelated • A thinking that will lead to the continuous improvement of the organization
  27. 27. LO Model (Senge, 1990) CORE LEARNING CAPABILITIES • Systems thinking • Personal mastery • Shared vision • Team learning • Mental models
  28. 28. The ball game called LEARNING ORGANIZATION
  29. 29. Players People Manager •Leader •Visionary •A 'big picture' person •Learner •Staff •Work-related learning •Brains are picked; allowed to speak their minds out •Skills are appreciated •"Strike anywhere" attitude
  30. 30. Players Organization Should create opportunities for learning (therefore, improving services)
  31. 31. Game • Learning behavior
  32. 32. Ball • Knowledge • You manage it, then you share it
  33. 33. LEARNING ORGANIZATION in Libraries
  34. 34. Be best friends with Change Promote learning; challenge thinking SHARE knowledge (leads to change for the betterment of the organization) Reward learning How does your library become a LO?
  35. 35. Current reality You subconsciously practice LO principles.
  36. 36. How other libraries apply LO • Session 100 - Libraries as learning organisations: how to nurture growth in our staff and our communities - Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning with Education and Training (79th IFLA WLIC 2013, Singapore)
  37. 37. Some LO practices mentioned in Session 100 University of Western Australia • Service implementation method (New service: Student ID Support) • Core capability: Reflective conversation State Library of Victoria • Maturity assessment matrix • Core capability: Aspiration
  38. 38. Some LO practices mentioned in Session 100 University of Bucharest • KM model for Romanian academic libraries • Core capabilities: Aspiration and Reflective conversation Virginia Tech University Libraries • New instructor cohort • Core capabilities: Aspiration and Reflective conversation
  39. 39. So, you think your library can dance to the tune of LO?
  40. 40. LEARNING ORGANIZATION in the Local Library Scene
  41. 41. Why do we strive for our library to become a learning organization? Because we are in the business of imparting knowledge (and this is dynamic) to our clients. We level up our learning as an organization because lifelong learning is our mission for our stakeholders.
  42. 42. Why do we strive for our library to become a learning organization? Because of the growing • competition for services • new technologies • changing customer expectations • changing values in the workplace • challenges of higher education
  43. 43. Common issues Making excuses about learning new things (e.g., low confidence level, no budget, et al.) Factions Organizational Complacency near-sightedness (simply exists) Bundy clock attitude (a willing prisoner of routine) Taxing in time and energy to implement ideas
  44. 44. Practical applications TIP: Focus and develop 1 or 2 LO disciplines e.g., Shared vision + Mental models
  45. 45. Practical applications Head or Chief Librarian Staff • Should be the primary mover on behalf of the entire library organization • Maps out strategic directions for the library • Should be active not just in acquiring new knowledge, but more importantly, to use this knowledge and SHARE it with co-staff
  46. 46. DLSU Libraries version of LO
  47. 47. “Re-defining the way we learn” Our motto Though no concrete framework yet, LO principles are apparent Lifelong learning
  48. 48. Team learning • Annual inhouse general staff training and policy refresher • Librarians’ mentoring
  49. 49. Team learning Sharing knowledge gleaned from trainings / conferences / seminars participated in
  50. 50. Shared vision Framing a common vision from bigger group down to the library group
  51. 51. Personal mastery • Active participation in skills trainings and research • Integrating knowledge gleaned to the library operations for improved service
  52. 52. “Mission and purpose will abide; methods and modes will morph.” -- Rettig, 2003
  53. 53. What is your charge?
  54. 54. Be flexible. Sway with the wind but keep your stand.
  55. 55. Challenge As the Supervisor/Head Create a climate of learning, experimenting, risk taking. (Giesecke & McNeil, 2004) See the big picture LEAD
  56. 56. Challenge As the Staff • Appreciate change; accept challenges • Acquire new and beef up skills…BUT, impart what you know
  57. 57. Challenge As an ORGANIZATION Be one in mind Acquire new knowledge and beef up skills…BUT, impart what you know
  58. 58. Is your library a LEARNING ORGANIZATION?
  59. 59. SCALE 4 = applies fully 3 = applies to a great extent 2 = applies to a moderate extent 1 = applies to little or no extent
  60. 60. Learning Organization Profile* Below is a list of statements. Read each one carefully, then decide the extent to which it actually applies to your organization by using the scale below: 4 = applies fully 3 = applies to a great extent 2 = applies to a moderate extent 1 = applies to little or no extent Be honest with your answers as the goal is to identify where your organization is presently at so that you can make improvements. Learning Dynamics: Individual, Group or Team, and Organization _______ We are encouraged and expected to manage our own learning and development. _______ People avoid distorting information and blocking communication channels, using such skills as active listening and effective feedback. _______ Individuals are trained and coached in learning how to learn. _______ Teams and individuals use the action learning process. (that is, they learn from careful reflection on problem situations, and then apply their new knowledge to future actions.) _______ People are able to think and act with a comprehensive, systems approach. Organization Transformation: Vision, Culture, Strategy, and Structure _______ Top-level managers support the vision of a learning organization. _______ There is a climate that supports and recognizes the importance of learning. _______ We learn from failures as well as successes. _______ Learning opportunities are incorporated into operations and programs. _______ The library is streamlined--with few management levels--to maximize communication and learning across all levels. People Empowerment: Employee, Manager, Customer, and Community _______ We strive to develop an empowered workforce able to learn and perform. _______ Authority is decentralized and delegated. _______ Managers take on the roles of coaching, mentoring, and facilitating learning. _______ We actively share information with our customers to obtain their ideas to learn and improve services and products. _______ We participate in joint learning events with supplies, community groups, professional associations, and academic institutions. Knowledge Management: Acquisition, Creation, Storage and Retrieval, and Transfer and Use _______ People monitor trends outside our library by looking at what others do--for example, by benchmarking best practices, attending conferences, and examining published research. _______ People are trained in the skills of creative thinking and experimentation. _______ We often create demonstration projects to test new ways of developing a product or delivering a service. _______ Systems and structures exist to ensure that important knowledge is coded, stored, and made available to those who need and can use it. _______ We continue to develop new strategies and mechanisms for sharing learning throughout the organization. *Source: Marquardt, M. (2002). 16 steps to becoming a learning organization. Virginia, USA: ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) Press.
  61. 61. Technology Application: Information Systems, Technology-Based Learning, and EPSS (Electronic Performance Support Systems) _______ Effective and efficient computer-based information systems help our organizational learning. _______ People have ready access to the information superhighway--for example, through local area networks, the Internet, and so on. _______ Learning facilities such as training and conference rooms incorporate electronic multimedia support. _______ We support just-in-time learning with a system that integrates high-technology learning systems, coaching, and actual work into a seamless process. _______ Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) enable us to learn and do our work better. Scoring (Maximum Score 100) 81 - 100: Congratulations! You are well on your way to becoming a learning organization! 61 - 80: Keep on moving! Your library has a solid learning foundation. 40 - 60: A good beginning. Your library has gathered some important building blocks to become a learning organization. Below 40: Watch out! Time to make drastic changes if you want to survive in a rapidly changing world. YOUR PROFILE E-mail address: _________________________________ Type of library where you are currently connected: ☐ Academic ☐ School ☐ Public ☐ Special Number of years connected to this library: ☐0-3 ☐4-6 ☐7-9 ☐ 10 - above Your current level of management in this library: ☐ Top management (i.e., Director/Chief Librarian/University Librarian, and the like) ☐ Middle management (i.e., Section/Department/Branch or satellite library Head) ☐ Others (please specify) _________________________________ *Source: Marquardt, M. (2002). 16 steps to becoming a learning organization. Virginia, USA: ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) Press.
  62. 62. SCORES 81 - 100 = Congratulations! You are well on your way to becoming a learning organization! 61 - 80 = Keep on moving! Your library has a solid learning foundation. 40 - 60 = A good beginning. Your library has gathered some important building blocks to become a learning organization. Below 40 = Watch out! Time to make drastic changes if you want to survive in a rapidly changing world.
  63. 63. What does it take…? Proactive Librarian Flexible Organization Learning Library Organization
  64. 64. KEEP. MOVING. FORWARD.
  65. 65. Thank you. christine.abrigo@dlsu.edu.ph
  66. 66. References Garvin, D. A., Edmondson, A. C., & Gino, F. (2008). Is yours a learning organization?. Harvard Business Review, 86(3), 109-116. Giesecke, J. and B. McNeil. (2004). Transitioning to the Learning Organization. Faculty Publications, UNL Libraries. Paper 5. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libraryscience/5 Jain, P. and S. Mutula. (2008). Libraries as learning organisations: implications for knowledge management. Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 25 Iss: 8, pp.10 - 14. Marquardt, M. (2002). 16 steps to becoming a learning organization. Virginia, USA: ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) Press. Ortenblad, A. (2001). On differences between organizational learning and learning organization. The Learning Organization, 8(3-4), 125-133. Stephens, M. (2013). Learning To Learn. Library Journal, 138(11), 44. Worrell, D. (1995). The learning organization: Management theory for the information age or new age fad?. Journal Of Academic Librarianship, 21(5), 351. Images source: Google Image Video source: YouTube

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