Business. It’s not a dirty word.
No, it really isn’t.
I see people almost shudder at the word. This worries me. Maybe it’s a fear of the unknown, or maybe it is thought to be irrelevant to this profession. An awareness and understanding of how and why an organisation exists, what drives it and what makes it tick, is so important….to any profession. The information profession is no exemption.
There have been ideas floating about the last few years at least, relating to the ’21st century librarian’, the picture being painted with business skills in mind. Meredith Farkas identified ‘high level’ competencies such as project management skills, ability to ‘question and evaluate library services’ (analytical skills), ability to evaluate the needs of stakeholders (marketing), and the ability to ‘sell library services’ (targeted marketing communication) among technology related competencies.
Taking a step back, there are two documents that provide necessary insight to help align big ideas, projects and services to the organisation’s direction – the strategic plan and annual report. Indicators of objectives, resourcing plans and availability of funds can be found in these documents. So I suggest to get to know your organisation well and the ability to plan and evaluate projects in a way that shows value, I’d say will develop from there. Big ideas and an analytical mind extends beyond just library services, in my opinion, as almost certainly business processes can be made more effective or efficient, particularly when it comes to quality and risk management. Identifying ways that processes can be improved, or even how knowledge is distributed throughout the organisation can fill gaps in service delivery.
You’ll find a workshop on offer at NLS6 that will provide you with an understanding of key principles of these complementary skills, business skills and capabilties that can improve your chances of success in your role and beyond. Develop a set of skills that will set you apart and will assist your organisation deliver on its goals and objectives.
See the bigger picture. Get signed up for the business skills workshop with Cory Banks. Business and libraries, they’re not ‘chalk and cheese’.
LIScareer.com (author Susan Sloan) suggests strategies for cultivating leaderships skills and qualities. These include: -
- knowing yourself
- be a mentor
- embrace change
- keep learning
Surely these help, but would these strategies really achieve what we understand as leadership? Do we know what it is? I’d say each person would have their own understanding as it relates to them, but that’s really complicating the issue, isn’t it? I’d also say leadership takes many forms, in many different settings or scenario. You don’t have to be at the top of an organisation to display leadership. Now enough from me, what does leadership mean to you?
Work towards a definition of leadership and identify tools and approaches to engage with these traits with the leadership workshop with Jenica Rogers.
Don’t forget early bird registrations close at the end of December! So get ahead, get down with business skills and leadership and book your spot now!
The role of business skills and leadership may not make sense now, but it will, it will fall into place and have you thinking about contributing to your organisation in a whole new way.