Notes re the first Library Leadership Reading Group book: Margaret Wheatley’s Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World
For more on the LLRG see https://docs.google.com/document/d/1d5ULHoLI7CpOoaBIdUSO8UajOfE-HHkfEfG_JzqweaQ/edit
Margaret Wheatley Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World
It was interesting seeing what others thought of this book – my notes were as below
Overall not an inspiring read… but with some elements worth noting…
- Focus on the whole rather than individual parts, look at whole systems.
- Look at relationships between and within networks
- Organisational values and vision can be seen as “fields” – unseen but real forces (e.g. fill space with word and deed/clear and consistent messages about customer service)
- Need to focus on intent and visions – don’t get caught in structures, let forms instead emerge and disappear, as systems respond to challenges and disturbances by reorganising
- Chaos enables new creative ordering
- Notion of “just-in-time strategy” Karl Weick Social Psychology of Organization (1979) 223,229
Workplace capacity for healthy relationships
- do people know how to listen and speak to each other?
- do people know how to work well with diverse members?
- do people have free access to one another throughout the organisation?
- are people trusted with open information?
- do organisational values bring them together, or keep them apart?
- is collaboration honoured?
- can people speak truthfully to each other?
Recognise potential – highflyers are such because people perceive them to be
Importance of feedback – role of positive feedback and amplifying feedback, not to regulate but to notice what is new
Sharing learning and information – set up processes to replace rumours/gossip… allow patterns to emerge rather than expecting conformity – individual decisions will not be the same
Criteria to judge effective leaders:
- ability to communicate a powerful vision
- ability to motivate people to work hard; achieve results; exceed plans and implement change