After completing the first four of sixteen full-day conferences that together make up the national leadership development program called Lead the Change, it is very clear that leading today’s libraries is not a static endeavor. Put simply, it requires a willingness to embrace change. In fact, leading today’s libraries demands fluidity, which requires the willingness to recognize the need for change, and then, the ability to lead that change. And, as we say at the Lead the Change sessions, “You don’t need a title to be a leader!”
A Bias Towards Action
While there is little debate that the successful implementation of change can result in award winning libraries and librarians – and many of them contribute to, and share freely at Lead the Change events, it is not well understood that the lack of doing so can send a library (or an individual’s career) into a very different direction. Libraries that pursue and embrace change are healthy, growing, and dynamic organizations, while libraries that fear change are often stagnant entities on their way to that dreaded word that I started to hear some eight or nine years ago – irrelevance. And while agility, innovation, disruption, fluidity, decisiveness, commitment, and above all else, a bias toward action will lead to the creation of change, it is the implementation of change that results in evolving, growing and thriving libraries (see San Diego County Library, Gale/LJ’s 2012 Library of the Year).
For a number of people, the first four Lead the Change sessions were inspiring. From San Jose and Cerritos, California to Columbus, Ohio and Atlanta, Georgia, we have had the pleasure and good fortune to meet with, listen to, and work with some of the best library leaders in the world. On Tuesday, August 21, we will resume our visits to the next twelve cities. I hope that if you live and/or work near those cities, you will join in on this national conversation about the future of our libraries.
Alison Circle of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH, who spoke at the Columbus Lead the Change event, said that 100 library staff from the five-state area around Ohio gathered to talk about how to be the change. “People were energized,” she says. “The audience was very engaged and felt there was real value in what they were covering. It was very hands on.”
David Bendekovic is the founder of The B. A. David Company, an organizational and leadership development company specializing in helping libraries create environments where extraordinary things happen every day.
|Lead the Change is a library leadership seminar that brings together library thought leaders to show participants how today's top libraries are leading change and transforming their communities. Attendees are lead through a series of exercises to help bridge key thoughts to individual leadership objectives to help them harness their ideas, their innovation and their ability to lead.|