Change Management: Style 23, Rule 6, and Other Ideas


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A talk given to medical librarians at the 2011 NCNMLG/MLGSCA meeting in San Francisco (I never did look up those acronyms, but they were a fun bunch).

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  • medical librarians are assessment-focused and open to change\n
  • One of my favorite expressions is change is fun -- you go first. \n
  • First, a little about me. Here I am as the budding librarian. \n
  • I am also a writer. \n
  • I’m also reading management books recommended by our university president. \n
  • And--trust me, this will be relevant--one of my hobbies is homebrewing beer. \n
  • And--trust me, this will be relevant--one of my hobbies is homebrewing beer. \n
  • And--trust me, this will be relevant--one of my hobbies is homebrewing beer. \n
  • “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” \n
  • Don’t downplay your vision. Don’t go emotional. Have ownership for your ideas--first-person singular for your mistakes, first-person-plural for your successes. In this talk I almost went girly on myself but chose to take ownership for my ideas. \n
  • One of the most common pieces of advice from the management gurus is to hold yourself to this test: explain you’re changing in simple language anyone can understand. Build a change narrative and continuously evaluate the narrative against this guidance. not what you are doing, but why.\n
  • “The fox knows many little things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing" -- from an essay by philosopher Isaiah Berlin\n
  • “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”\n
  • Be relentlessly positive--especially when you don’t feel it.\n
  • Ok, she was probably crazy. But she was passionate, focus, and knew how to articulate a vision. \n
  • \n
  • MPOW, October 29, 2009. \n
  • The first thing I did was stop information literacy and take money out of the database budget to spend on computers, conferences for staff, and event supplies. And by event supplies I mean I bought so many nibblies last year that I qualified for executive membership at CostCo. \n
  • Establishing reference. Radical, eh?\n
  • Dump the stuff you shouldn’t be doing to eke out more time for the new things\n
  • Our old reference area. \n
  • Weed, weed, weed.\n
  • Almost there.\n
  • We had fun with weeded journals. \n
  • This area is now a hub for events. \n
  • Camino is a pilot project from SCELC, a consortium serving over 100 libraries in California and beyond. Camino provides express delivery resource-sharing and is based on OCLC’s Navigator software. 7 libraries are participating, including Holy Names. \n
  • Never let people feel incompetent...Bring them into the process...Reiterate your expectations...Be patient...Know your internal deadlines for change\n
  • Create a guiding coalition. You need critical mass for change to happen. You will have hardcore change agents and hardcore “no-skies.” Focus on bringing over the people in the middle. \n
  • Avoid stereotypes. Your greatest supporters may be old. Your underminers may be young. \n
  • You cannot overcommunicate. Share your vision, your strategy, your expectations -- over and over again. \n
  • Just keep trying. \n
  • we sometimes need to dwell on things that aren’t upbeat. For example, it’s important to know that CostCo can only ship caskets to 34 states. And also, that they offer both expedited and standard shipping. Like Wall Street, people can function better with bad news than with no news.\n
  • You also have to be focused on your external communications. \n
  • If you really want to kill a change initiative, form a committee\n
  • Let people acclimate to new ideas. \n
  • Make concessions. “One well-placed blocker can stop an entire change effort”\n
  • How do you create space for good ideas?\n
  • Style 23 gives people room to experiment. This is explicitly a catch-all category for any beer that does not fit into an existing style category. No beer is ever “out of style” in this category, unless it fits elsewhere.\n
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  • Passion is key. You need other skills, but passion will keep you going far longer than anything else. \n
  • Critical mass: also called a guiding coalition: if you seriously don’t think you will ever get a majority support for your vision, don’t bother\n
  • Change Management: Style 23, Rule 6, and Other Ideas

    1. 1. Style 23, Rule 6, & Other Notes on Change Management Karen G. Schneider Director, Cushing Library Holy Names University
    2. 2. By Flickr user Sellers Paxton
    3. 3. 61”
    4. 4. The Stockdale Paradox
    5. 5. By Flickr user teejaybee
    6. 6. By Flickr user Cavalier92Controlled Burn
    7. 7. Garbage Truck, by Flickr user Salim Virji
    8. 8. (A SCELC project)
    9. 9. Touched by the Blessedness, by Flickr user dorena-wm
    10. 10. Iterate! Iterate! Iterate!
    11. 11. Polar Bear, by Flickr user tollers
    12. 12. Courtesy of Flickr User Lynn
    13. 13. Style 23
    14. 14. Laws of Library Science, Apocryphal Rule 6: But the greatest of these is love.
    15. 15. Thank