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February 10, 2010 Elaine Meyers, Coordinator Big Picture with Dave Fleming Creating a Conversation with Dave Discussion of the Symbolic Frame Tips on sharing.

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Presentation on theme: "February 10, 2010 Elaine Meyers, Coordinator Big Picture with Dave Fleming Creating a Conversation with Dave Discussion of the Symbolic Frame Tips on sharing."— Presentation transcript:

1 February 10, 2010 Elaine Meyers, Coordinator Big Picture with Dave Fleming Creating a Conversation with Dave Discussion of the Symbolic Frame Tips on sharing airtime in discussions— leadership culture of many voices Arizona Library Leadership Academy Orientation

2 “Meaning is not given to us; we have to create it.” (p.248) Our public library system means…… Democratic forum People’s university Reader’s sanctuary Job development center Virtual 24/7 information hub Youth and family support systems Your suggestions….

3 9-9:45Rapid Review of Ideas in Symbolic Frame Prepare notes for questions about this frame with Dave from 1-2:30 Lunch we will have quick time to eat with those from other systems and then develop questions for Dave 2:30-3:00 Break and Super Bowl and Symbolic frame contest (humor and play) 3:00-3:30 Creating our myth, story, hero or heroine and symbols 3:30-4:30 Creating our leadership song/slogan/mission and thinking about strategic planning and meetings and “share the air”.

4 Chapter 12: Organizational Symbols and Culture

5 Organizational Symbols and Culture Myth, vision, story, heroes and heroines, ritual, ceremony What is organizational culture Why is so important?

6 Reading is …..

7 Core Assumptions of Symbolic Frame Most important – not what happens, but what it means Activity and meaning are loosely coupled People create symbols to resolve confusion, find direction, anchor hope and belief Events and processes more important for what is expressed than what is produced Culture provides basic organizational glue …life as figurative, more serendipitous than linear. (p. 254)

8 Organizational Symbols: Myths Myths undergird an organization’s values…values are intangible Create visions of the future Creates drive for progress

9 Stories and Fairy Tales Sparking action Communicating who you are Communicating who the company is Transmitting values Fostering collaboration Taming the grapevine Sharing knowledge Leading people into the future

10 Heroes and Heroines Symbolic role of cultural heroesNot all icons are at the top Heroes come in every shape and size; Adding something very special to others in their lives No one gives you medals and the world won’t know your name But in Southwest’s eyes you’re heroes all the same. Not media celebrities Not symbols of corporate greed Solid leaders of time-tested companies who delivered results.

11 Larger than life librarians…. Louisville Free Public Library's director named LJ's 2010 Librarian of the Year Charlie Robinson: Baltimore County Public Library, B & T Award

12 Rituals: when you lose rituals, you lose a sense of civilization… Momentous accomplishmentsInitiation Quinceañera

13 Ceremonies…socialize, stabilize, reassure and convey messages to external constituencies. Political events and elections Caldecott and Newbery Award Ceremonies

14 Metaphor, Humor, Play.. “As if” role of symbols: indirect approach to issues that are too hard to approach head-on Metaphor: image to compress ambiguity and complexity into understandable, persuasive message Humor: way to illuminate and break frames Play: permits relaxing rules to explore alternatives, encourages experimentation and flexibility

15 Hit Number 18:Geert Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences in Work-Related Values Culture: “collective programming of the mind that distinguishes one human group from another” Dimensions of national culture: Power distance: how much inequality between bosses and subordinates? Uncertainty avoidance: comfort with ambiguity Individualism: how much value on the individual vs. group? Masculinity-femininity: how much pressure on males for career- success and workplace dominance?

16 Organizations as Culture Organizations have cultures or are cultures? Definitions of culture: Schein: “pattern of shared basic assumptions that a groups has learned as it solved its problems…and that has worked well enough to be considered valid and taught to new members” “How we do things around here” Culture is both product and process Embodies accumulated wisdom Must be continually renewed and recreated as newcomers learn old ways and eventually become teachers Manager who understand culture better equipped to understand and influence organizations

17 Conclusion In contrast to traditional views emphasizing rationality and objectivity, the symbolic frame highlights the meta-rational and tribal aspects of contemporary organizations. Symbols help us make sense of ambiguous and confusing realities Culture as basic organizational glue, the “way we do things around here” Symbols embody and express organizational values, ideology

18 Chapter 13 Organizational Culture in Action

19 Team Dynamics Peak Performance Use of initiation rituals, humor, play, specialized language, ceremony Use of symbolic forms to weld a diverse and fractious group of individuals into a spirited, successful team

20 The Eagle Group’s Sources of Success Why do some groups produce extraordinary results while others produce little or nothing? Story of the optimist and pessimist… Play, spirit and culture are at the core of peak performance Examples from library land….

21 Sources of cultural success How someone becomes a group member is important Diversity provides a team’s competitive advantage Examples, not command, holds a team together A specialized language fosters cohesion and commitment

22 Sources of cultural success Stories carry history and values and reinforce group identity Humor and play reduce tension and encourage creativity Ritual and ceremony lift spirits and reinforce values

23 Sources of cultural success Informal cultural players make contributions disproportionate to their formal roles Soul is the secret of success “All Great Groups believe that they are on a mission from God, that they could change the world, make a dent in the universe. They are obsessed with their work. It becomes not a job but a fervent quest. That belief is what brings the necessary cohesion and energy to their work.” (Bennis, pg. 289 text)

24 Conclusion Symbolic perspectives questions traditional views on team building Right structure and people are important, but not sufficient The essence of high performance is spirit Banishing play, ceremony and myth would destroy teamwork, not create it Team building at its heart is a spiritual undertaking: peak performance emerges as a team discovers its soul

25 Heroes and Heroines Symbolic role of cultural heroesNot all icons are at the top Heroes come in every shape and size; Adding something very special to others in their lives No one gives you medals and the world won’t know your name But in Southwest’s eyes you’re heroes all the same. Not media celebrities Not symbols of corporate greed Solid leaders of time-tested companies who delivered results.

26 Chapter 14 Organization as Theater

27 Dramaturgical and Institutional perspectives Metaphor of the theatre company: to please and influence the audience Use of evaluation, strategic planning and other processes project vital messages for internal and external audiences.

28 Library openings, ground breaking, tours, SRP kick off, …

29 Organizational Theater eater Theater plays to both internal and external audiences A convincing dramaturgical performance reassures external constituents, builds confidence, keeps critics at bay Drama may have happy endings (like Polaris case) or tragedy (like Hurricane Katrina)

30 Dramaturgical and Institutional Theory Dramaturgical theory: internal focus (organizational participants as players in a drama) Institutional theory: external focus on how organizations project images to external audiences “Institutionalized organizations” focus more on appearance than performance When goals are ambiguous and performance hard to measure (as in universities and many government agencies), organizations maintain stakeholder support by staging the right play, conforming to audience expectations of how the organization should operate

31 DiMaggio and Powell, “The Iron Cage Revisited…” “Isomorphism” – process of becoming similar to other organizations in the same “organizational field” Coercive isomorphism – organizations become alike because law, regulation or stakeholders pressure them to do so Mimetic isomorphism – organizations become more alike by copying one another Normative isomorphism – organizations employing the same professionals become similar because the professionals have similar values and ideas

32 Organizational Structure as Theater Structure as Stage design: an arrangement of lights, props and costumes Makes drama vivid and credible Reflects and expresses current values and myths What is the stage design when you enter our theater/library? Public schools reassure stakeholders if… The building and grounds look like a school Teachers are certified Curriculum mirrors society’s expectations Colleges judged by: Age, endowment, beauty of campus Faculty student ratio Faculty with degrees from elite institutions

33 Libraries are judged by… Buildings Staff Collections Services Programs Virtual presences Budgets and community support Partnerships……

34 Organizational Process as Theater Meetings as “Garbage cans” Attract an unpredictable mix of problems looking for solutions, solutions looking for problems, and participants seeking opportunities for self-expression Planning as ceremony to maintain legitimacy and reinforce participants’ bonds Plans are symbols Plans become games Plans become excuses for interaction Plans become advertisements

35 Conclusion Organizations judged by appearance The right drama: Provides a ceremonial stage Reassures stakeholders Maintains confidence and faith Drama serves powerful symbolic functions Engages actors in their performances Builds excitement, hope, sense of momentum

36 Brainstorm some strategies for building on your skills What are your skills that are good and could get better? What are skills that you need to complement your strength? To make you more balanced? What behavior would an improvement in skill change?

37 GROW Model: GOAL What specifically do you want to achieve? What would be the most helpful thing for you to take away from this session? How will you know that you’ve reached your goal?

38 GROW Model: REALITY What have you done so far? What’s your experience with this? What would you like to do? What gets in the way of you achieving this? What resources do you have available to you to reach this goal? What other resources do you need? How will you get them?

39 GROW Model: OPTIONS What are all the different ways you could approach this goal? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? What else could you do? Which steps would give you the best results? What would happen if you did nothing? What is the worst that could happen if you do X? Which solution feels the best to you?

40 GROW Model: WILLING TO DO Which option or options do you choose? To what extent does this meet all your objectives? How will you know if you are successful?

41 GROW Summary with Mentor So what you’re saying is that you’re going to do X by Y (date) and measure your success by Z (result)—is that right?

42 How do our leaders work in the political frame? Symbolic frame

43 Politics! Me? Dustbunnies? Looking for luck or a tool Collaborate using rhyming Unison rhyming that made the vacuum sound haunted Walk out of the tube Get a lawyer and wait it out while getting to know the other dust bunnies in vacuum. Make new friends. Who needs a tool? Sooner or later someone is going to empty this vacuum cleaner.

44 Our questions for Dave Fleming How do you see libraries as symbols? How can we focus on what we want to be in face of stressful current realities? What are the ethical issues in taking personal risks versus the reality of taking risks with public resources? How do you get people to talk? How do you cultivate a sense of humor? How do you work around constantly cranky people?

45 Our questions for Dave Fleming What steps do we take to get leaders to lead well? How do you foster and take risks in a risk-adverse culture? What are the disadvantages of being the “golden child”? How do you cope with the loneliness?

46 Our questions for Dave Fleming How to be the chief-disturber rather than a “trouble-maker”? How do you go from the trouble-maker to the good leader? How do you change your reputation? How do you change stereotypes of libraries and librarians?


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