On a + note

How do you counteract complacency. #34: 2013

Posted in on a + note by flickfancy on August 26, 2013

kitty#34Do you remember from Management 101 the classic tale of the little green frog who, when tossed into a pot of boiling water immediately jumped out (unhurt!) only to be tossed into a pot of warm water, slowly brought to a boil and cooked to death?  The gradual rise in water temperature fools the poor frog into relaxing and believing all is well, until it’s too late. However, if the water is boiling the frog is forced into immediate action and hops out of the boiling pot.

It is a bit of a grim tale, but the management lesson speaks to how we keep the library moving ahead and how we embrace complacency and organizational change even when there is no immediate crisis driving action.

So, how do you counteract complacency when there is no immediate crisis to focus on? How do you keep the library innovating and moving ahead?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Say Yes, instead of No…No will just keep you in the pot of warm water! This takes courage and faith in your employees, but the rewards are huge.
  • Cross department teams offer a great opportunity to challenge the status quo and keep the pot boiling as staff learn about other departments and help problem solve in a different environment. Every year GPL does a service review or as we call it a Task Force. In 2013 we reviewed our Teen services. We had subject specialists on the team but also staff from other departments. The result was review and action plan that was challenging, appropriate and will improve our teen services across the system.
  • frog-1Ask yourself  when was the last time you:
       – did something really challenging and out of the box?
       – started a project and didn’t know the end result?
       – promised a bit more than you thought you could deliver?

If the answer to any of these questions is “not in a long time” them maybe it’s time to turn up the heat.

kpope@library.guelph.on.ca                                                                 #34 August 2013


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