David Clover: A Research Librarian does CPD23

my CPD23 blog


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Leadership and the New Science

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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CPD in your later career (the “Old” Professionals Network)

What does CPD mean, later on in your career?

So as background: I qualified in 1992 in New Zealand, worked there for 7 years in professional posts and then moved to London and carried on – mainly in academic libraries but with brief stints in a national libray, a public library, government, law and an international development NGO.

Is CPD different? As a late Chartership candidate, one thing I’ve noticed in comparison to those I mentor is that much of my CPD then was by doing rather than attending courses. Which isn’t to say that courses don’t have their use, but endorses the fact that much of what you learn is by doing, and by taking on new tasks, responsibilities and roles. My Revalidation was a chance to think about the next stage, and once I hand that in Fellowship the next goal (and one difference I perceive is I’m more likely to be presenting or organisaing a confernece than just going along and listening – though when I do the latter it is a nice place to be).

Obviously my career is still developing and changing. Some key things I have done which will be included in my revalidation submission have been attending the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s Future Leaders Project, and my study tour to the US via the CILIP/English Speaking Union Travelling Librarian Award. I spoke about both of these at a CDG confernce last year. Much of my focus has been in two directions – in subject specialism areas and in management and leadership, nicely reflecting my current role. In the future I see increased management roles as being where I’m heading. At the same time I’ve been keen to keep up with new and emerging technologies. While my systems librarian days are well behind me I feel a need to have a good overview of developments and to understand new tools.

In an environment where everything moves (and very quickly) and in a career where I want to keep moving too, continued CPD is essential and remains important.