Thursday, July 31, 2008

A View From North Andover pt.3

Day 4

Today we discovered on the second to last day here that the classroom is actually air conditioned. It was nice to have on but, it was really loud so we ran it until the room cooled down. At least this week hasn't been sweltering.

The morning session led off with a discussion on organizational theory. The charts were really interesting. This is something that is borrowed a lot from the business world. It's fascinating how flow charts can distill complex systems down to a bunch of boxes and arrows. The next part of the morning session was really fun. We grouped up and had to envision what libraries would be like in 2013. I thought it was a smart exercise because envisioning 2013 is a lot more realistic than envisioning 50 or 100 years from now, and these are possible goals for change that I could actively have a hand in.

The first part of the afternoon session was about the process of change. This involved a lot of charts and diagrams too. One concept that was interesting was how organizations spend a lot of energy and resources on people who are resistant to change in order to get them to buy into it, when in actuality the resources might be better spent on the people who are more accepting of the change or are seeking out the change. In the second part of the afternoon session we discussed the leader's role as a coach and mentor. This led to a fun activity in groups of three that had us be a client, a coach, and observer. Tonight we will be meeting with the mentors and they will be discussing topics we came up with for them.

Tomorrow is the last day here. I am not sure I will be able to post since I am borrowing this laptop that I am currently using, and my Internet might still be out when I get home, but I will post next week if I don't get around to it tomorrow with some final thoughts.

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