It should be no surprise to the readers of this blog that librarians are passionate. Even the most common librarian stereotypes depict us as passion-driven people (cardigans, cats, what not). But more often than not, time, workload demands, and the office environment dampen our drive. Thankfully, there are tactics library administrators and leaders can use to mitigate these darker moments of our professional lives. Paul Alofs, author of Passion Capital, offers a number of ways to create a passionate work culture in an article for Fast Company (h/t G. Hardin). These three are my personal favorites:
“Once you have the right people, you need to sit down regularly with them and discuss what is going well and what isn’t. It’s critical to take note of your victories, but it’s just as important to analyze your losses. A fertile culture is one that recognizes when things don’t work and adjusts to rectify the problem.”
In my experience, we are too quick to sweep communication problems under the rug and, perhaps, in slower technological times it was possible to wait for issues to resolve themselves. But we have the tech and the tools to create quick and easy (and relatively inexpensive) fixes to our communication problems. The first step to solving any issue is admitting we have a problem, but we can’t do that without easy-to-access channels of communication.
7. Create the space.
“In cutting-edge research and academic buildings, architects try to promote as much interaction as possible. They design spaces where people from different disciplines will come together, whether in workspace or in common leisure space.”
I’ve talked about this before. We need fewer cubicles and more break rooms (with better coffee).
8. Take the long view.
“We tend to overestimate what we can do in a year, but underestimate what we can do in five years. The culture needs to look ahead, not just in months but in years and even decades.”
Jenica Rogers recently spoke about this at the CARL 2012 conference and it continues to stick in my brain. We need to think strategically in relation to where we want to go, not where we are now. There is no way we can know what the future of libraries will look like, so let’s focus on creating one we will enjoy working within.
Check out the full article.