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Shaking up organisational culture online seminar


QUT Information Studies hosted an online seminar on "Shaking up organisational culture"
Library and information organisations need to radically rethink the way they do business to ensure their long term relevance. One powerful way to enact change is to invest in developing a positive, energising organisational culture that encourages creativity, recognises raw talent, and gives staff a space to contribute to the organisation’s direction. Mal Booth, University Librarian at University of Technology Sydney gave practical insights on how to create the kind of organisation everyone wants to work for.  Mal was joined by a panel of leaders from across Australia, including Kim Tairi (Information Services Manager, Prahran, Swinburne University Library), Ruth Baxter (Manager, Collection Access, University of Melbourne) Constance Wiebrands (Manager, Library Collections and Access, Edith Cowan University Library).
Highlights of the seminar and tweets are below:
  • Becoming extraordinary
  • Adopting social media strategies does not automatically mean organisational cultural change.
  • Connecting people, knowledge and culture at the heart of the campus – we can no longer be neutral and passive or we will close down. 
  • Move onwards from neutral space towards more inclusive terms e.g. welcoming space, engaging space.
  • We are not just about searching we are about discovery.
  • We are not Google – Google are Google  - We are something else
  • Technology is not a solution, it is an enabler.
  • Libraries are not the controllers of knowledge, but participate with the customer in discovering knowledge.
  • There is still a very real role for librarians as assistance in navigation, discovery and adding relevant context to info
  • We should adopt a new and different service model – devise our own service model – look at what service model would suit your library.
  • Allow staff to make mistakes – place some trust in them.  Engage staff ... encourage collaborative participation from all staff and encourage participation and experimentation.  Work together and share ideas and knowledge.
  • Accept no negative feedback unless it comes with a way to avoid it.
  • Managers should model good behaviour and lead by example.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail.
  • Forge connections with outside partnerships.
  • Everybody in the library has a role in building community.
  • Change is constant – are your systems set up for you to be innovative?
  • You cannot change an organisation’s culture on your own ... identify your fellow change agents and pick your battles.  Be clear about what you want to do and what you are looking to change.
  • If you have been hired as a change agent then make sure there are others there who have your back ... the support is so important!
  • Look to leaders and mentors  - look to your PLN, use your social media connections, learn from their successes and failures.  Get different perspectives.
  • Don’t let failure stop you from trying new things. 
  • Swinburne believes in shared leadership and growing people.
  • Libraries are currently too obsessed with perfection and rules.
  • Knowledge is about more than information, it is about exciting curiosity.
  • Hire some students and encourage them to tell you stuff and listen.
  • Libraries need to adapt to advance.  It isn’t just the role of the Liaison Librarian to connect and engage. 
  • Sometimes within the same library there can be different values in different sections – find a way to get them to share same values.
  • Create a design culture not just copying others. Design for users.
  • Space for play and creativity for staff creates innovation, energy, reduces SILO mentality e.g artist in residence.
  • Develop some kind of performance development reward – reward for success.
  • Join a creative group outside of the profession ... get ideas from outside.
Zaana Howard has put together a curation of the tweets here

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