10 Ways Consultants Transform Organizations

Consultants | Archivists | Records Management | Information Governance

margotNote

Margot Note | April 29, 2019

As a Certified Archivist, a Certified Records Manager, and an Information Governance Professional, I help my clients to benefit from their information, from its creation, use, storage, and disposition. Working with a skilled consultant gives you peace of mind that your data is always ready to be leveraged throughout its life cycle.

The Alchemy of Adroitness

No matter how big or small your project is, an archives and records management consultant can help you transform your organization through its information. Here are ten ways in which consultants work magic:

  1. Expertise. The skills necessary for the growing and changing needs of an organization are unavailable inside the organization. Therefore organizations turn to consultants to complete projects or solve problems.
  2. Time. Even when the skills are available in the organization, staff members may not have the time to complete special projects or research. A consultant can be a part of the organization just long enough to achieve what needs to be done.
  3. Experience. Certain professions have a shortage of trained employees. Consultants can fill in until demand is met by training or hiring new employees.
  4. Flexibility. Consultants can be brought in for the short term to complete a project. When the work is completed, the organization can terminate the relationship easily and quickly.
  5. Objectivity. Consultants provide fresh perspectives. Outsiders can look at a problem in a new, unbiased way. Read more…

Paywalls block scientific progress. Research should be open to everyone

Open Access | Scholarly Communication |Academic Journals | Research

To democratise scholarly publishing, individual academics need to take action
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‘It’s a case of either giving broad society access to scientific advances or allowing these breakthroughs to stay locked away for financial gain.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Paywalls, which restrict access to content without a paid subscription, represent a common practice used by academic publishers to block access to scientific research for those who have not paid. This keeps £19.6bn flowing from higher education and science into for-profit publisher bank accounts. My recent documentary, Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, uncovered that the largest academic publisher, Elsevier, regularly has a profit margin between 35-40%, which is greater than Google’s. With financial capacity comes power, lobbyists, and the ability to manipulate markets for strategic advantages – things that underfunded universities and libraries in poorer countries do not have.

Furthermore, university librarians are regularly required to sign non-disclosure agreements on their contract-pricing specifics with the largest for-profit publishers. Each contract is tailored specifically to that university based upon a variety of factors: history, endowment, current enrollment. This thwarts any collective discussion around price structures, and gives publishers all the power. Read more…

 

 

 

Leaders Keep Learning | Leading from the Library

Leadership | Continuing Education | Professional Development | Influencers

by Steven Bell | Mar 20, 2019 | Filed in Opinion
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If leadership is mostly learned rather than an innate ability, then continuous learning is a vital contributor to leadership growth. “Never stop learning” is good advice, but it is one of those tasks that’s easier said than done.

This column is predicated on the idea that no library leader is fully formed, possessing all the skills required for success. Rather, the path to leadership is one of continuous learning. I routinely see library literature and social media posts about low library worker morale and toxic leaders, leading me to question how it is that our profession has so many awful leaders. We have an abundance of leadership development programs. Many academic institutions have internal management and leadership programs. There is no dearth of opportunities to develop and improve as a leader. Possible causes for this failure are many, from library leaders simply not giving a damn to a total absence of self-awareness. For those leaders who do care about staff morale and strive for a workplace where staff want to be, constant learning is a must. So allow me to share some ideas that I’ve recently come across for making a stronger commitment to learning to be a better leader.  Read more…

Leaders Who Notice Make a Difference | Leading From the Library

Leadership | Academic libraries | Innovation | Trends

by Stephen Bell | Feb 21, 2019 from Library Journal

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Leaders can all too easily go through the paces on auto-pilot. Go to this meeting. Deal with that situation. Those leaders who are adept at taking notice of what’s less obvious are more likely to innovate.

The radio station I listen to during my morning routine has an occasional bit in which the program co-host becomes “The Noticer.” It’s a silly segment that features oddball news stories, puzzling consumer products, or otherwise absurd societal observations. While it makes for an entertaining diversion, it occurred to me how much of my own leadership revolves around noticing things. Most of what’s noticed, whether it’s about librarianship, higher education, or something altogether different, leads to nothing in particular. Every so often, however, just taking notice of something can have an impact on what we do and why we do it. It may lead to an innovation or waking up to a needed change. If you lead but fail to take notice of things that could make a difference for your library, perhaps becoming a Noticer would lead to new discoveries.

 

UNDERAPPRECIATED SKILL

When leadership books, seminars, and blogs point to the critical skills leaders need to succeed, noticing is rarely mentioned. It’s hardly surprising, as noticing is rarely recognized as a leadership skill. We should give it more attention. At best, leaders are advised to conduct environmental scans, to stay abreast of trends in their field or hobnob with other leaders to exchange those “what keeps you awake at night” issues. Noticing is somewhat different. Rather than a planned activity, it’s more of a spontaneous reaction to something read, heard, or observed. It might be the start of pattern recognition, but more likely it simply engages the gears of curiosity. Observing that students always sit on the floor in a particular corner of the library could lead to the introduction of soft seating. That’s a fairly straightforward example. Read more…

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Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, is the current vice president/president-elect of ACRL. For more from Steven visit his blogs, Kept-Up Academic Librarian, ACRLog and Designing Better Libraries or visit his website.

Get a job! (Ep. 32. ALA Dewey Decibel Podcast)

Mentoring | Career advice | Success | Librarianship

Looking for a job can be arduous and anxiety-inducing. It’s not surprising: The end results can be life changing. And organizations looking to hire new employees face challenges, as finding the right candidate for a job can be difficult if the search isn’t conducted correctly. What can job seekers and employers do to improve the process to everyone’s benefit? In Episode 32, we find out.

First, ALA Editions acquisitions editor and Dewey Decibel contributor Jamie Santoro speaks with Caitlin Williams, author of Be Opportunity-Minded: Start Growing Your Career Now (ALA Editions, 2019), about tips for those on the job hunt and job market trends.

Next, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries associate editor Phil Morehart talks with David Connolly, recruitment ad sales manager for the American Library Association’s JobLIST, about what job hunters should be doing to find the right fit and what employers should be doing to find the right candidates.

Paywall:L The Business of Scholarship (CC BY 4.0)

Open Access | Paywall | Academic Libraries | Scholarly Communication Jason Schmitt Published on Sep 5, 2018 Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, produced by Jason Schmitt, provides focus on the need for open access to research and science, questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, examines the […]

How to Figure Out How Much Influence You Have at Work [HBR]

by Maxim Sytch | February 18, 2019

Informal leadership | Mentoring | Career advice |Success |Relationships |Impact

A banker in Southeast Asia wanted to allow employees of a car rental agency to buy used cars from the employer. But not a single business unit was able to put together that product. Different units were stopped either by the existing product portfolio, the underlying risk, or regulatory guidelines. One of the banker’s colleagues, however, was able to facilitate valuable introductions across the company. That led to the solution being co-designed and jointly offered by two business units.

Credit the success of this new financial product to the banker’s informal power. Informal power — which is unrelated to your formal title — can enable you to mobilize resources, drive change, and create value for the organization as well as yourself. And in the modern workplace, informal power is increasingly pivotal and can secure your place within your organization. Read more…