Magazine article Information Outlook

Leading Change: Advice on Getting to the Table

Magazine article Information Outlook

Leading Change: Advice on Getting to the Table

Article excerpt

The challenge to lead change is everywhere in our profession. Wireless communication devices, virtual reference desk software innovations, and peer to peer companies present just a few of the latest opportunities for innovation for information professionals. Professionals need to exercise intellectual leadership in their area of expertise in order for their profession to he respected. While most information professionals realize that it is necessary to lead change in their workplace, getting that leadership role is frequently an uphill struggle. While the information revolution has made our profession critical to a wide range of endeavors like knowledge management, the information profession faces stiff competition from other professions that desire this leadership role. Success can depend on the ability to exercise good political skills to ensure that our profession is at the table when decisions in our area of expertise are made. Yet, many in our profession cringe when the 'p-word" is mentioned.

There is such a thing as good politics, the art of bringing people together to get the right things done for the organization. Both politics and librarianship are art forms. The word art comes from the Latin word artus, which is to join, fit together. The information professional joins people to text and more importantly, people to people, those who have knowledge with those who need it. Politicians join people to people as well, and both require similar skills. Politics is also a process of helping others get to yes for your initiatives. While our jobs would be a lot easier if good ideas were just recognized as such and immediately implemented, it is instead often necessary to convince others with different points of view and different professional concerns of the value of your initiatives and positions and politics is the process by which you achieve that. …

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