David Clover: A Research Librarian does CPD23

my CPD23 blog

Leadership and the New Science

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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

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