Thanks to Mary Ellen Davis, Executive Director of ACRL, for sharing the article "Rethinking Tenure for the Next Generation" by Cathy A. Trower that was published in the Chronicle. While the article is focused on higher education reform, I found it applicable to bringing about change in school libraries, also.
In the article, Gary Hamel is quoted from a Harvard Business Review article published in 1996
"He cautions that people at the top of an organizational pyramid (in academe, full professors) have the "least diversity of experience, the largest investment in the past, and the greatest reverence for the industry’s dogma."
So in my thinking the people at the top probably have the least desire for radical change, yet they are usually the ones sitting around tables planning for those changes. Wow! I found that so applicable because I am more of a rule-breaker than a rule taker or a rule maker. Someone suggested that I was toward the top and I violently protested that I was a rebel and didn’t really belong at the table. I am convinced someone will realize I’m just a practical passionate working librarian and not a dogma loving cherisher of the past. (But don’t tell anyone yet because the seats at the table are where we rule breakers need to be even if we have to sneak in there)
Is your organization meeting your needs, living up to your dreams, and helping you achieve? If not, are you part of the solution or part of the problem? What are you personally doing to help achieve? And no, "sitting around chatting about how bad an organization is or how it doesn’t read your mind and do what you want" does not count as doing anything.
Last weekend I was at a Mary Kay retreat in the mountains where Charlene Grubbs shared the Top 5 Obstacles for Achieving our Goals and Dreams. I think these can be useful to you, especially if you feel you are not achieving.
- The six inches between our ears (emotional self-sabotage)
What will you do about bringing about change? Will you be part of the solution? Get involved. Attend a conference. Volunteer for a committee. Establish new standards of participation and take a look at how you can break into an organization to create radical change.