A cat may look at a king.

Managing In The Info Era In the knowledge-based economy, workers will be valued for their ability to create, judge, imagine, and build relationships.
By Geoffrey Colvin


How does the content of Colvin’s article relate to school libraries?

Colvin’s article relates to school libraries in that the school library is often a  hub for all the varying constituents of a school. It is often (or should be) the heart of learning, a space for collaboration and exploration.

The article gives great advice to anyone who works with, and leads others.

It acknowledges that  humans are complex creatures and that they are  ‘knowledge workers’ rather than ‘physical labourers; that organisations are regarded more like organisms than machines.’ This rings very true in relationship to schools. Teachers need further recognition of their expertise and what they offer to society, and schools are certainly a living organism!!

Teacher Librarians, and all who wish to inspire and lead must consider ‘what really attracts and motivates the best knowledge workers’, appreciate ‘the value of teams,’ the benefits of project work , how to use infotech wisely,  and the ‘flattening of hierarchies’ to create a deeply connected team working with the same goals.

“lots of people with aligned values constitute an awesome power.” An awesome quote and extremely true for schools to consider. An agreement, as a whole school, about learning and information processes based in enquiry, enables students to thrive.

“Creating, articulating, and sustaining the organisation’s values thus become one of management’s most important jobs.” The library and its staff fit within this broader organisation and must support the overall aims and values of the school community.

The article refers to ‘relationship’ as being a key factor in good management. Engaging staff, making them feel supported, heard, and appreciated. In my experience a trait all good leaders have.

“management is a human art and getting more so as infotech takes over the inhuman donkey work”. This applies not only to the management of staff but also to the management and relationship to students. We all need direct human interaction from those skilled in communication and motivation. The TL has the perfect opportunity to be a centralised point for bringing together ideas, and creating positive and supportive relationships within the school learning community.

“Most managers now seem to understand that they will find competitive advantage by tapping employees’ most essential humanity, their ability to create, judge, imagine, and build relationships.”

Module 2 quotes Mary Parker Follet stating that  management is “the art of getting work done [well] through people”. Follet subscribes to “powering with” rather than “powering over,”, and further  explains that “Leadership is not defined by the exercise of power but by the capacity to increase the sense of power among those led,

The most essential work of the leader is to create more leaders.” a quote I strongly believe should be the mantra for all leaders.

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