Do You Have The Guts To Say ‘Yes’?

The talkfest is over. It’s time for action. The Ideas Factory workshop generated 141 challenges which have been available for discussion and voting for nearly three months.

Two areas that generated significant discussion were staff development and relationship building. In particular:

  1. Staff development – preparing for the future
  2. Staff development – professional recognition in the organisation
  3. Staff development – renewing professional registration
  4. Staff development – keeping relevant (see also Donna Watt’s post)
  5. Relationship building – keeping our customers happy
  6. Relationship building – retaining budget and seeking funding from non-traditional sources
  7. Relationship building – telling compelling stories and creating opportunities to do so
  8. Relationship building – reconnecting with customer and connecting them with our collections/services
  9. Relationship building – convincing our organisation of our value

So now it is time to make something happen.

I don’t know how it is going to work.
I don’t know if it will work.
I don’t know how difficult it will be.
I don’t know how much time it will take.
I don’t know if it will work in your library.
I don’t know how much it will cost.
I don’t know who else will be involved.
I don’t know what LIANZA, APLM or National Library think.
I don’t know if it will result in a groovy national initiative that EVERYONE will want to be a part of.
I don’t know the answers.

I do know that I want to try.
I do know that I want to at least start.

It’s not going to be perfect. But it will be rapid*, because these challenges need to be addressed NOW.

Will you help me?

You might have experience.
You might have community insight.
You might know something that will stop us reinventing the wheel.
You might have already done some background reading.
You might have a solution you’d like to try in your library.
You might be interested in testing our potential solutions.
You might desperately want to address one or more of these challenges.

Will you help me?

I’m looking for 4-8 people (for each of the nine areas) who will meet either via teleconference or skype for an hour per week (probably in the evening). The meetings will be to make decisions which means that all information will be prepared and discussed beforehand via a wiki. You will also be expected to informally and rapidly test any possible solutions the group comes up with.

Expressions of interest close midday Friday 17 February. Details may change depending on demand.

Do you have the guts to say ‘Yes’?

* A set of small practical bits that can be subjected to real-world tests every three weeks. It will be rough-and-ready but at least we’ll know what works and what doesn’t without wasting too much time perfecting assumptions.

A version of this article appeared in Library Life: Te Rau Ora, 1 February 2012.

Other articles that may interest you:

  Working as a team with people I don’t know” was the most valuable aspect of The Cheat’s Guide to Project Management says Kerence Stephen, Taupo Library.
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