I spent the day yesterday with the colleague from our Head office who is the expert on our Oliver system. He introduced me to some of its amazing features. Part of this week’s case study was regarding the need for marketing strategies for the library and to showcase the work that happens in the library. Having read Group 5s response I found myself relating well to their key points, especially related to showcasing the library at staff meetings and using Oliver to promote the library. I replied to their post writing how their ideas are excellent practical tips for addressing the issues being faced by NWC that are very similar to the situation at my school. Some of their solutions are what we are currently implementing and plan to implement as solutions to similar issues as being experienced at NWC.
The learning gained from the case study work has been more than just the subject matter. Moreover, it has been about what makes a good team and what makes a team function well. I found that it is really important to support one another. Sometimes people have external events occurring, and need extra support to fulfil their roles. I found that for Case study 5, giving support to other members and their work gave them the confidence to continue. I used to think that once I had fulfilled my own personal role that I was done. However, from this experience I have learned that the sum of the group work is of main significance, and I need to be concerned with that as opposed to only being concerned about my own contribution.
From the experiences with the group work it is clear that there needs to be someone who organises the process and drives it. Once that has been established people are quite happy to complete their work and make their contribution. Without someone to lead the process it is inefficient and people are left wondering what to do. The same problems exist in any school and that is why we have leaders or managers of departments. It is the manager or leader who organises. They are not necessarily the most talented or skilled, but they co-ordinate the work of others to ensure that is it streamlined. Issues arise when others are not willing to follow what has been set in place, or when conflict arises between staff.
It was clear to me from the Case study 2 that organisations usually have a number of issues happening at once. Schools are like other organisations in that they are busy, complex institutions that must manage so many things all at once. What I learned from the case study this week was that all schools have problems that need to be rectified, but some schools have a multitude of issues or inefficiencies that need addressing. Schools are made more complex by the fact that they have so many people with so many varying needs and it isn’t easy to manage these needs. This case study highlighted to me the importance of good leadership that addresses issues and is willing to put into place change to ensure things work more efficiently. What this case study highlighted to me was the importance of clear communication, staff involvement and clear systems that are structured and reviewed regularly. It also made me realise that sometimes initiating change in one area can actually have a beneficial flow on effect throughout other areas.