Presentation on theme: "The question: What, in your opinion, are the elements (attributes, ingredients) of an excellent library? The process: Write your answers on Post-its. Use."— Presentation transcript:
The question: What, in your opinion, are the elements (attributes, ingredients) of an excellent library? The process: Write your answers on Post-its. Use a separate Post-it for each element. Dont combine ideas into lists or long sentences. Write clearly so others can read your answers. Post.
Meet Me in the Middle A workshop with George Needham and Joan Frye Williams OLA Superconference – February 2, 2011
Challenges of middle management
Its not your job (or anyone elses) to make everyone happy
Or to get everyone to like you
Beyond the desk schedule Make your library more effective Make your boss more effective Make your staff more effective
What makes group work successful? Take five Post-It notes Think of a successful project youve worked on Write one aspect of that project on each of your five Post-It notes (one aspect per page) Attach the Post-It notes to the flip chart Clump the Post-It notes into common themes Circle and name the themes Prepare to shout out your results!
Manage the environment
Tools, not rules
Extra credit: Foster innovation Steal from the best Make analogies Use familiar tools in new ways Turn what you know inside out, upside down, or on its head Look through the other end of the telescope
A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world. John Le Carré
Honesty up, honesty down
Enough with the eye roll!
Heres whats in it for you…
Communicating bad news Be empathetic Dont delay Stick to the facts No sugar coating No sandwiching Link to principles
Speaking truth to power
Providing effective feedback
The classic objections It will never work We tried that in 1997 and it was a disaster Our patrons/member libraries/board wont like it It will take too much time We cant afford it We cant do it without more staff It means throwing away all the work weve done You cant prove its any better than what we have This isnt why I came to work here
How can we…
Extra credit: Translate the code words
Loyalty up, loyalty down
Loyalty across, too
A voice, a vote, or a veto?
Beware of yes men and women
Assume responsibility for solutions
Avoid binary thinking
Treat exceptions as exceptions
Whats the difference between principles, outcomes, and techniques?
Consensus The process was fair. I understood the decision criteria. There was an opportunity for my voice to be heard. Even if the direction isnt exactly what I would have chosen, I will support it fairly in my communications and actions.
Extra credit: Look for patterns and anticipate needs
Working with colleagues
Working with partners
Working with mentors
Dont let it be lonely at the top
Overcome the urge to hide
Extra credit: Infiltrate non-library groups
Cultivate continuous improvement
Prepare for success
Motivating yourself and others
When staff dig in Link to outcomes Listen to concerns Encourage participation Cultivate champions Reward desirable behavior Be prepared to change yourself Repeat as necessary
Neutralizing the pit dwellers
Extra credit: Leverage mistakes
How can you help your staff learn from mistakes? What can you do? What questions can you ask?
The top managers responsibility
The middle managers responsibility
The staff members responsibility
When in doubt, choose…
Show the passion!
Signs that youre on the right track You care deeply about what youre doing You spend much of your time actively listening You learn every day You share the credit People bring you ideas and not just complaints
Dont forget what we said about not trying to make everyone happy!