January 2010 Archives

What a tangled web we weave...

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Staff Education & Development (SED), "my" department, has a responsibility to develop Libraries employees in a way that supports the overall strategic direction of the organization.  One problem of maintaining this programming element is, once I back up to the 30,000 foot view of the organization from above, things get complicated. From that height, I can see that everything is connected. Everything.

In that context, determining departmental priorities and taking action becomes more difficult. Touch one part of the web, and the whole thing trembles in response. While that isn't necessarily a bad thing, it can create "analysis paralysis." To overcome this, at some point, we just need to do something. We might not intersect the web in the exact correct place, but we can recover when we fail, and continue moving in the right direction, finding or creating the right path.

SED has several paths to tread (or create!) right now:

  • Finishing and Implementing the New Employee Orientation Program

  • Creating a new and vastly more usable departmental wiki,which will be a living resource for staff

  • Ongoing creation and identification of e-modules for just-in-time staff learning

  • Defining the deeper connection of partnership between SED and IT

  • Packaging our training modules together in ways that help employees decide what learning activities will help them achieve their goals

  • Ongoing support of time sensitive requested training and consultation

  • Much, much more

None of this situation is unique to SED, or even Human Resource Development programs in general. In any case, how do we do all of these at once? The answer is, we can't. We leverage partnerships and get input where we are able. We learn as we go, and we make mistakes.

We do the best we can, dancing along the surface of the web.