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Four years ago today, Library Lost & Found launched to help lost leaders find the tools and resources they need to succeed. Since then we have published close to 400 posts written by library leaders all over the world. Over 72,000 visitors have viewed the site over 126,000 times, with the most popular day being Wednesday! Many thanks to our devoted followers, talented writers, and supportive friends.

Don’t Get Crushed

Kevin King —  March 13, 2017 — Leave a comment

If you want to carry the world, do not tie it with a rope, otherwise the rope will break and the world will crush you.” – African proverb

A good friend recently shared a post on Facebook about Donald Vass, one of the last bookbinders in the business working at the King County Library System. She described the story as a “religious experience” and could not agree more. After watching the news segment, I immediately looked for more info on this guy and found this short video. The wisdom I experienced from Vass in about 13 minutes should keep me going for the rest of the year. As it was sung in Hamilton, “Let’s get this guy in front of a crowd” or at least a show on PBS. He needs to be a keynote at any and all library conferences.

 

Collaboration is Hard

Kevin King —  February 1, 2017 — Leave a comment

collaboration-mindsetIn the library world, conflict is avoided more than it is embraced. I have noticed that when faced with a situation in which you would like to verbally disagree with a colleague over an idea or plan, most people stay silent. This response only leads to stagnant innovation. Collaboration is hard. Overcoming this difficulty happens when a team can establish a trust-filled, safe environment where everyone on the team has a voice, great things happen.

Author Liane Davey, an expert on teams in the workplace, writes:

Collaboration is crumpling under the weight of our expectations. What should be a messy back-and-forth process far too often falls victim to our desire to keep things harmonious and efficient. Collaboration’s promise of greater innovation and better risk mitigation can go unfulfilled because of cultural norms that say everyone should be in agreement, be supportive, and smile all the time. The common version of collaboration is desperately in need of a little more conflict.

Davey goes on to explain ways in which teams can develop ways to make collaboration and conflict. Her methods include:

  1. Discussing team roles before the team tackles a new idea.
  2. Use a personality assessment tool to highlight team members differences.
  3. Set ground rules around dissension.

I encourage you to read more about each of these methods here. Teams that contain members that trust one another, understand the personalities at play and have established the guidelines for engagement will not only realize that collaboration is not that hard but also more innovation than you can manage.

Need some tunes to get you ready for Atlanta? I present to you a playlist of artists based in either Atlanta or Georgia that you can listen to while you pack, sit in the airport, or walk to your next meeting. If I missed anything, please post in the comments.