Executing your goals

The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Back to fundamentals!

Need help accomplishing all of your wildly important goals because they are being choked out by your daily tasks? 

Do you sometimes feel like you’re getting things done, but not making any progress on the important stuff?

I recommend this podcast for insights on executing your goals.

The name stays SLA

This week we learned that the membership voted to keep the Special Libraries Association name, rather than switch to the proposed “Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals.” I was fairly clear that my preference was to change to the new name, so on some level, I’ll admit I’m disappointed. 

Still, I accept the results of the vote and I’m ready to move on. While a name is important, it is only one layer of how we describe ourselves and how we represent ourselves to potential members, employers, and clients.

There were some positive aspects in the debate leading up to the decision. One of them was how robust the discussion was—and that it took place using such a wide variety of media. Our members weighed the pros and cons in person, on the mailing lists, through the association blogs, using Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, and more.

Furthermore, the membership voted. In most of our elections, about 25% of our membership votes. For this ballot, the turnout was an incredible 50%. There was amazing engagement on this issue–it really got to people.

My intuition is that members are ready for a change, but not the particular name change they were presented with. Fair enough. We will continue to develop our membership services in terms of value, impact, and benefits. I just hope some of the passion of the past election can find its way into members continuing to help steer us into an uncertain future. 

I believe the Alignment Project will be the roadmap to our next steps. My copy of the Alignment Project, with all its scribbled comments, post-it notes, and dog-eared corners is really getting a work out. If you’re looking for an opportunity to make a difference within the Association, I urge you to print out your own copy and see if there is a place where you can plug yourself in.

Regardless of your personal take on the outcome—stay engaged! Participate and work with us to make SLA thrive. Our chapters, divisions, and association members need you!

Beaverton consultant leads global library association

I was recently interviewed by the Portland Tribune  for my role as incoming SLA President-Elect.

Beaverton consultant leads global library association

Cindy Romaine begins her term Jan. 1 on the Special Libraries Association board

By Christina Lent

Cindy Romaine is an expert when it comes to providing information consulting services and providing in-depth research strategies to corporations.

The Beaverton resident plans to put those skills to work as the president-elect of the Special Libraries Association by positioning the organization to be what she calls “future ready” to meet the “sea of changes ahead” for corporate, academic and government information specialists.

“There are shifting sands in the world of information technology and information delivery, which is very exciting,” said Romaine, who started her own consulting firm, Romainiacs Intelligence Research, two years ago. “As an organization, the Special Libraries Association needs to be future ready and position itself for tomorrow.

>>>  MORE

Two libraries and a materials service

On a recent SLA adventure, I visited the Pacific Northwest Chapter  in Seattle and had a lovely tour of the new(ish) library at Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington. The MS Library has an inviting presence with lots of seating. They focus on training materials in the physical library and, of course, have a killer website built using MS Sharepoint.  

After meeting with the PNW chapter, visiting SLA dignitary Gloria Zamora and I travelled to Portland to speak to the Oregon Chapter of SLA, which gave us a great excuse to visit  Ziba Design’s new digs in Portland, Oregon and see their library. Ziba’s library also has a very inviting presence. The information specialists are embedded in the business and only in the library ad hoc.

And for other business interests, I visited the Uliko Studio a materials research resource in Beaverton, Oregon which just opened in September. What can I say? It’s another warm, inviting open space. Quite lovely.

It’s not a library, but a materials sourcing service. They have an interesting business model as the materials and space are supported by the vendors as a service to the clientele of designers and developers. Isn’t this interesting? The owners were very knowledgeable about materials, processes, and sourcing. If you are in the area, and interested in materials, I recommend making an appointment to visit!

The one most adaptable to change

150 years ago today, on November 24, 1859, Charles Darwin published his book “On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life,” which changed our world view.

His bold insight into evolution is that…

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” ~ Charles Darwin

A very apt concept for our times!

Before you vote, please think about…

After we’ve had this big, beefy conversation about our name–about our identity really–we can’t put the genie back in the bottle, close Pandora’s box, or put the toothpaste back into the tube (choose your metaphor). 

Collectively, we’ve aired out our concerns from every perspective and because of that we’re all looking at S-L-A differently. It’s like the cup of coffee you left on the counter in the morning, when you pick it up in the afternoon—it’s different. What is that film on it? And why does it taste so tannic? It was fine a little while ago, but time passed, and something changed.

Even if you really like the name SLA, you’ve got to admit, it looks different on this side of the discussion.

 Change Adoption

I feel that we are widely spread out on the change adoption curve. In fact, if we were a Boy Scout troop hiking on a trail, the front of the pack probably would not be able to see the back of the pack. And the back of the pack is having a hard time hearing what the front of the pack is saying. But we’re all going forward. And if we don’t change now it’s a lost opportunity.

 Lost opportunity

Guy St. Clair, author of SLA at 100: From Working with Knowledge to Building the Knowledge Culture, has this to say regarding SLA’s reluctance to change:

Both in the book and in the presentations, one of the points I found myself making related to how close – as an association of professional knowledge workers – SLA came to taking a leadership position only to step back when confronted with the challenges the proposed change would require. Indeed, it was sometimes quite disheartening to research a topic and learn how people so talented and so smart – when they really needed to exercise their leadership – were not able to do so.

I’m put in mind of these several situations, what I’ve come to think of as SLA’s missed opportunities, as we engage in our discussions about the name of the association. I can’t help but wonder if once again we are going to not recognize a very special opportunity that is right in front of us. 

Noble calling vs. expanded opportunities

I can’t speak for the Board, but I know that people in leadership have your best interests at heart. They genuinely want you to succeed and are trying to balance the noble calling of librarianship with the fact that in many instances it is limiting in terms of salaries, job opportunities, and business priorities.

SLA leadership has been studying, contemplating, and reflecting on the issue of our name/positioning/branding for a very long time. We know there is controversy and doubt. From the Alignment Project research we have compelling evidence that the words “special libraries” do not get you what you told leadership that you want. We have all the proof we can muster—for some of you the next step is an intuitive leap.

As you can see from the following quote, by Roger Martin author of The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the New Competitive Advantage, we are not alone in the challenges we face.  

By pushing the principles of scientific management too far, corporations are short-circuiting their own futures, says Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management. “The enemy of innovation is the phrase ‘prove it,'” Martin says.

Vote yes for our association’s future. Let’s make the most of this momentous opportunity. We’ll be positioning ourselves for value and growth with the name the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals.