It is now time to start looking at developing a 3 year vision or plan for both the school library I work in and my next university assignments. Perhaps I can blend them together eventually and save a lot of time and stress in the long run.
I am reading Davies & Davies The Strategic Dimensions of Leadership and on the first page it makes this interesting point:
Strategy… encompasses direction setting, broad aggregated agendas, a perspective to view the future and a template against which to evaluate current activities. (p.7)
This reading has resonannce with me as to plan for the future of the Library, I need to evaluate what the library offers now and look at what the library can offer going into the future. Do we need an e-platform? Do we need to increase the numbers of books students can borrow? The question I need answering is:
What does the school community need from the Information Resource Centre?
Davies & Davies (2005, p.9) describe that is critical that a leader creates a strategy with others and not dictate it. In the case of a school library team- it would allow discussion, debate, the suggestion of innovative ideas based on the ideas of others. Most importantly it would give the ‘team’ ownership of the vision and hopefully a willingness to fully commit to the implementation.
Davies & Davies cite Burgleman and Grove (1996) to describe that organisations reach key moments for strategic change ‘when it is possible to develop new visions, create new strategies and move in new directions.” (p.11) For the library I work in, I think that time has come as the school moves into its evaluation phase in preparation for the new 3 year plan.
Davies, B. J., & Davies, B. (2005). The dimensions of leadership : the strategic dimensions of leadership. In School leadership in the 21st century : developing a strategic approach (2nd ed.) (pp. 7-16). London : RoutledgeFalmer.
I am trying to be optimistc and positive about this group assignment as being negative doesn’t achieve anything except increase stress.
What is working (at the moment)…
1. The design of the PowerPoint is fantastic- I am very proud of it.
2. The two missing group members are back online and trying to contribute.
What needs to be worked on to make it better:
1. We need a logical structure to focus our writing.
2. We need to assign Jobs to everyone so that the work is broken up once we have a structure. (We should have done this at the very beginning.)
3. We need clearer guidelines from the lecturer about what our PowerPoint should look like ie structure, word count etc.
In my reading and research I did come across Lencioni’s 5 dysfunctions of a team. Our group is experiencing every one of the dysfunctions.
Here is a summary
I have just been reading an interesting article on conflict resolution which might come in handy : Mackay, H. (1998). Resolving conflict through listening. In The good listener: better relationships through better communication (pp.189-199). Sydney : Pan Macmillan.
It is 5 days to the next Skype conference. Here’s hoping that we can get it all together….
The last few days have been very frustrating. Since our Skype meeting 2 of the members of my group have stopped contributing anything to the group wiki. One has been sick but she promised to upload her contribution before the end of the weekend and the other is not responding via emails at all. I will have to try and ring him from work tomorrow. If there have been problems then, in my opinion the considerate thing to do is ring or email and say I have a sick child, so that the rest of the group is aware that the person will be offline for a few days.
Now all the work has been left to the 2 of us. Fortunately I have been teamed with someone who is very gifted at reading copious amounts of information, making sense of it and is very generous in sharing his analysis with me. I have been trying to contribute my readings as well as designing a fabulous powerpoint template for the assignment. If I do say so myself- it is the best one I have ever created. I bought a photo of an exploding brick wall and manipulated it in Photoshop. Between the 2 of us remaining members of the group, we have chosen the colours of red, white and black as the key colours of the presentation.
At this point- I don’t care about our missing group members. I am working to get the best possible mark for my pair and I. My pair and I have decided that when we get to the next Skype meeting and the other 2 show up- they can’t make changes unless they contribute this week.
To make matters worse- the lecture has failed to provide standards referenced frameworks for this assignment. In class, all teachers are expected to demonstrate examples of each marking band ie what does an A look like? If this was an assignment in high school- it would be challenged by the assessment committees for the contradictory instructions and lack of standards referenced frameworks.
One of the most unusual aspects of my Teacher Librarian university degree is doing one of the assignments via groupwork. To add to the challenge, the group members are spread across the whole state so we are unable to come together in the same place.
To help the group plan and write the assignment, I developed a wetpaint wiki tlasleaderassignment.wetpaint.com. The advantage of using a wiki is that group members can contribute to the writing at their convenience.
I also used what I have recently learned about embedding and widgets to put YouTube videos about Life after death by PowerPoint and I used a website called doc stoc to embed examples of PowerPoints related to the assignment.
My group members seem to be liking what I have created for the group. One team member called me a champion because I was able to give him explicit instructions on how to access and edit the wiki.