Wednesday, April 18, 2007

David Lee King: Guiding Libraries & Infopros through Change

By David Lee King

this session on change management will focus on change management, but will apply to other types of change

• SIRSI Dynix One Source – article by Stephen Abram on change management
• OCLC Perceptions report

Creative Management
Good to Great

One of the ways to de-motivate people is to ignore reality.

2004 – “Web 2.0” coined as a phrase

Two most popular websites right now: MySpace (founded 2003) and YouTube (founded 2005)

All the books about change are by corporate types.
• The old way: leaders ordered change; when it failed, the leaders looked to see where it went wrong;

However, while change is an external thing, but transitions are internal. Most leaders focus on getting the change accomplished rather than getting the workers through the transition process.

Three steps to transition:
• Saying good-bye
o i.e. letting go of the past, or the way things used to be
o they may feel like they are letting go of their whole world of experience
o most people still think of libraries of just books, but we are not just about that any more – hard for some people to make the switch
• Shifting into neutral
o In-between state full of uncertainty and confusion
o e.g. two companies joining together, and then middle management has to figure out how all the details
o rules are getting changed and re-written
o can be a personal thing; to get past this stage you have to want the change and to accept the change
o some people never get past this stage, don’t want to let go of past ways; some get stuck in the neutral zone, and others freeze at the new beginning
o librarians are deciding en masse not to accept the stage and to leave positions – many would take early retirement rather than learn something new. Those of us at this conference are in the minority.
• Moving forward
o Requires behaving in a new way, can be disconcerting and put your sense of competence at risk;
o Resistence can start happening at this point.
o 80% of executives say that resistance to change is why most new technology fails; however, David King says that it is more likely that it fails because of management’s response to the resistance that makes most fail.
o E.g. if a library uses Flickr to store photos, IT dept. freaks out because you are storing them off-site
o E.g. comments on MySpace – some libraries freak out when there are comments posted

Information-based resistance
• Disagreement with the idea itself, don’t understand or confused about the idea

Physiological/emotional resistance
• You feel your job is threatened
• Feeling of loss of power, feeling loss of competence
• All mental, but still real to the person

Other types of resistance
• E.g. cultural differences, disagreement over values

How to navigate through the change:
• Leaders and techies are usually the first to deal with change
o People making the decisions have already come to terms with the change
o It is the transitions people are going through that usually is the problem, not the thing being changed itself.
• Plan the details of the change very carefully
• Use different forms of communication that are regular
• Help people respectfully let go of the past
• Provide a constant stream of information, even when projects slow down and speed up
• Big picture – what are things going to look like and feel like once the change has taken place? How can you help people get there?
• Model new behaviour e.g. you as the administrator should be adopting the change for example using RSS aggregator

• Confuse novelty with innovation
• Confuse motion with action
• Keep something going if it “has a few good years of life left” (sometimes takes a while for people to can their pet projects)
• Adopt a culture of “no”. Common in IT departments.

Always share too much training and too much information – it should feel like you are sharing too much

Watch out for “Technolust” and “Technomust”

If you refuse to change, there are missed career opportunities out there. If you accept other changes in your life, you will learn new skills that make you more marketable. They also bring new networking possibilities. You can shape your own destiny.

Learn all you can about the change if your leaders are not telling you about it.

Stress management.

Whine with purpose. Constructive criticism is good!

Frame the change so that it helps you meet your mission, serves the customer.

One page brief about the change gets on the table a lot faster – elevator

Q&A: Resistance versus laziness – if they were not lazy about the old things, then it is a resistance thing. Laziness is an HR issue.

Q&A: Resistance versus inertia

Q&A: technochange fatigue – there is a balance; you have to restrain yourself from implementing too much change; you will feel like you are taking baby steps.

You have to get supervisors on board. You cannot change if the administrators are not there.

Q&A: Communicating in ways that don’t become a barrier –
• don’t say no (become a culture of no); say instead yes, and then put it into place in the priorities and focus.
• Learned from a workshop on communication styles: person is his/her own communication mode and are not thinking about yours – taking other communication styles into perspective.
• Another method is to be honest and to give constant communication telling what is happening.

Technolust – someone who just wants to implement new technology without a reason – have that person to spend 5 minutes figuring out why you are setting it up, who it will serve, who will continue the work in 1 year, 2 years.

No comments: