CIL2007 – Guiding Libraries & Info Pros through change – David Lee King

David polled the attendees on their experience of change. We are all inspired to go back and make change, but will run into “brick walls” once we get back to work.

Essence of the quotes he used was that the only certain thing about the future is change! Best staff are self-motivated, the key is not to demotivate them.

Historically technology and libraries have not changed very fast. Going fast in the 90’s with gopher and telnet. 2004 – Web 2.0 coined. Library techie changed goes extraordinarily fast. Most popular websites are MySpace – 2003 and YouTube 2005.

Job titles: Digital Branch and Services Manager, Virtual Services Librarian and more coming with this change.

Change the old way:

leaders simply ordered changes

goal was to get it accomplished

when it failed, leaders reviewed to see where it went wrong

However, change is external, transition is internal, so they need to manage the change inside first, before external changes can happen. Most leaders focused on the change not the transition.

3 steps to Transition

– Saying goodbye – letting go of the past

– Shifting into neutral – focus on the details – but some people get stuck here

– Moving Forward – begin behaving in the new way – resistance will happen, doing new things can feel weird sometimes

Resistance is not the problem – management’s reaction to it creates problems, the resistors see it as survival.

Three levels of resistance:

Information based – not enough info, disagreement with the idea, not familiar with it, confusion

Physiological/emotional – job is threatened, future with the organization, respect of peers

Bigger stuff – personal history, identity, significant disagreement over values, transference (representing someone else)

How to navigate change:

Just for leaders and techies – already come to terms with the change, understand why people may not want to change, understand that its transitions, not the change that’s causing problems

Steps to take – describe it succinctly, plan carefully, help people respectfully let go, constant communication, create temporary solutions when needed, model new behaviour

Don’t do these things – don’t confuse novelty with innovation, don’t confuse motion with action, don’t keep something going if it “still has a few good years of life”

For techies – you might be able to change quickly, there are areas where you don’t, always share too much, technojust(ication) = no technolust or technomust

If you refuse to change – there are missed career opportunities, miss out on expanding your network and ability to develop new relationships, miss out on shaping your new destiny and reality

Parting thoughts on change – if you are not being told about it, ask! – work on stress management strategies, break old habits, whine with purpose – constructive criticism is good.