Still here at Harvard living in the dorms while I solve all my leadership issues, and I have had some serious reflection time. (Yes, i am supposed to be disconnected. shh...don't tell anyone i'm posting). The framework we are learning about has 4 frames from which to approach any situation, and one of them is Symbolic, or vision. I have always strongly felt that vision is a key element of leadership for me. Vision has played strongly in my leading and being led, and assessments this week confirmed that. Okay - so it's important. And my point is??
I have been having conversations about my last post on my vision for the future of libraries and IT, and I have been again asked an interesting question - Why don't I leave libraries for IT? Well, there are a lot of reasons, but what I am finding is one of them is vision. IT so often lacks a deep shared vision. It is easy for us to have a big hairy vision of what we do in libraries and frame it in this beautiful, meaningful context. Now, all we need to do is act on it....
You know my vision, and I truly think libraries are in a fantastic position - we have the opportunity to transform ourselves to be centers of Information and Knowledge Management by shifting our focus away from our traditional role as collectors of information towards a hub of information dissemination and knowledge transfer. This is what I see as the future I want for us. I see the future as an intimate integration of what is now IT and libraries to form a new force that actively reaches out and enables innovation among our constituency.
What form does this take? I think that depends on the context - and that means it might be different for each library and it also means it will absolutely be different throughout the future for all of us, a constantly moving target. Yes - it probably means less books. Yes - it means our needed skills and knowledge will change. Yes - our comfort zones are gone. Yes - it means we need to do our research to know what this should look like, and then act on it! and Yes - it means we will bring significant, deep and unique value.
Off to my last day of classes at Harvard. I've almost got the accent down.