The theme this time was Leadership Beyond the Recession. I had the same thought during the session as I did before going in - "Is this really something for me?" I didn't feel as though it was directed to me or relating to my job. However, the OCLC Symposium has always done a good job of giving me things to ponder. This was no exception. The keynote speaker, Joseph Michelli a corporate speaker, talked about "branding the experience", "creating a functional as well as emotional bond with the customer" and "driving the experience from the inside out". This all seemed very over my hand and felt as though this should have been directed to higher ups rather than me. However, as I was walking back to my hotel room after the Symposium I started thinking "How can I apply these principles to my own position? With the people I work with, come in contact with, are my customers? Maybe it doesn't need to start from the top down, but can start at my level and spread out from there?" I can do what I can but it will only go so far if there isn't support within the system I work to make it permanent. I'm still muddling over those principles and will do so again when I'm back in the office communicating with my colleagues.
As usual, the notes from the session are somewhat 'raw' and probably have plenty of grammatical errors in them. Please read beyond them :)
Leadership beyond the recession
Intro by Cathy De Rosa, OCLC Global Vice President of Marketing
-Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.
-will be talking about experienced leadership, important for foging ahead
-The User Environment
-The need for services that libraries provide will grow
-Library staff will continue to create new beginnings
-Libraries will continue to transform lives
-Users and patrons are taking a breath - reevaluating their activites, their budgets, even their core beliefs
-Personal and civic budgets are being stretched. People are therefore reevaluating their activies, budgets, and beliefs
-People have moved from a trade-up mentality to a trade-off mindset. The majority ofpoeple have already made behavioral changes to cope with eceonomic factors, including visiting the libraries
-The future can't be simple "more of the same"
Keynote speaker Joseph A Michelli, author of The Starbucks Experiencde: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary
Connecting through Transformative Experiences
(talking about regression: last skill mastered, first skill out)
(ex. Starbucks: creating profits - they live on this, it's what they focus on)
Libraries sustainability comes from positive user experiences
Talking about Pike Place Experience ex,
-business failing, owner doesn't know what to do, going bankrupt, brings in consultants
-listen to users/front end
-listening to all sides
-one employee said, "let's be world famous"
-bottome line, treat everyone like they are special, world famous
-create an experience where you treat people like they are world famous
-they understand their base/their product
-treating people like they are world famous isn't what libraries should do, but we should understand our base and our place, listen to our stories and understand our people
-find out what is relevant to them, something that tells people how the experience will go
another ex. - Ritz-Carlton: "Create the home of a loving parent" - create an experience based on user needs/wants for product
-everything that guides this notion is based off of this experience
-they put in process all the things needed (for their employees) to deliver the experience of creating the home of a loving parent
Starbucks: "Create the third place - the living room of the community."
The Library Brand Experience:
"From a place of purposeful information... to a place of personal and community transformation?"
You say how it's going to be and how people are going to feel and they you deliever it through all contact points with your users.
What we know from consumer behavior
"Even in difficult times 50% of consumers will pay more for a better experience (2009, Harris Interactive)
50% of customers leave businesses because of bad experiences (Accenture)
Companies... successful in creating both functional and emotional bonding with customers has a better chance of success
-need to focus on transformational value (purpose)
-helps create who you are
-makes you feel good about yourself
-allows you to appreciate the beauty of life
-you come away felling you really learned something
-fills you with hope and optimism
-helps you seek the truth
-serves a serious purpose
-helping patrons guide the transformation outside the library
Leading it on the Inside
Are we driving the experience for our library staff so they can bring it to the patron (deliver to the patron)
-Connecting the experience to employees:
Selection > Orientation > Day 21 (check-in, regroup) > Day 365 (celebrate your birth) - this works at the Ritz-Carlton, but it wouldn't necessarily work in a library
User Experience in a Production Only Model:
-Users often feel confused or "stupid"
(Sometimes we don't even know how we set up an experience from the patrons-side to know how they should feel)
-What can we do to make it easier for the user?
-What is the transformational "yes!" libraries can create?
Loyalty and Engagement CE-11 - The Rational
-Overall, how satisfied are you with...?
-How likely are you to use again....?
What would it take to have someone in your community say, this library is SO for me that I'm willing to fund it? To get more on board, to get a whole community on board?
I can't imagine a world without a library because....
Information < Transformational
Institution < Infrastructure
Nice < Necessary
Past < Future
Altruism < ROI
Making it Unique, Personal, and Memorable
In business, not every customer is equal, they can/are rated differently
We have funders and non-funders. We can't treat the non-funder differently.
Creating Different Transformational Experiences
Is your brand pomise experiential? Does it reflect transformation, infrastructure, necessity, the future, and ROI?
Have you created staff, user, politician, academic leadership, and community exoeriences?
What can you do to effect product quality, effect execution on user centric delivery and elevate caring to a lofty level of service professionalism?
JM defines service as: A flawless product, delievered exactly as a member wants, in an environment of caring.
- break -
Discussion forum with:
Steven Bell, Associate U. Librarian at Temple University
Charles Brown, Director of Libraries, Public LIbrariy of Charlotte and Mechlenburg County
Ed Rivenburgh, Director of College Libraries at the State University of New York at Geneseo
Q for Charles:
Can you talk a little bit about what you are doing in your community to create unique experiences?
CB: I found that in most libraries there is still a culture of hierarchy and culture of change. We worked to change our library to a matriarchy. We changed the public service model to create new and unique experiences. Changed service model, Library for Youth, Imagine That, serves all youth. Opened in 2005 and has served over 1 mil. since then.
ER: Do we even know what we're doing? There are only 2 places you should be on campus, in class or in library. We have tried to make it clear to staff to make sure they're at least in the library.
SB; I learned about the Wow! Experience by reading books like the Fish Fly Pikie's Place Market book, and others, and figured they wouldn't work that well for our library but tried to set path for totality (even has to work at all the touch points: signage, copiers, catalog, circ desk), the meaning (creating achievement for people, hope), relationships (create meaning through relationships. Put together the totality, meaning and relationships and we will be different from other information provider because no other information provider delivers meaning.
Q: Dealing with unions, change, budgets.
ER: We can't do it alone, administration has to support it/ius. We can't do it alone. We're almost trying to overcome the negativity of the unions that they bring in. We've had some interesting situations like hiring, we want to hire the best we can. We have to be careful of who we select. Sometimes we can't always get the person we want.
Q: JM, how does this happen at the Ritz-Carlton?
JM: They say : We're going to make it compelling for you to participate with us that unions aren't going to want to mess with it. They work around it by elevating the culture.
ER: Even in terms of professional development. You can create a lot of opportunities for your staff that you can't normally do with unions. We are getting these dictums coming down from state or regents or admin or whoever, saying we can't spend money on travel or professional development. We have got to figure out ways around that, especially for younger staff.
SB: We have rules, we have to get around these rules-based mentalities to make our staff have empowerment to do things better for patrons.
JM: Starbucks certainly has rules, there are only 5 guidelines and those guides are rules-free.
ER: You do need to trust that staff are going to handle those situations.
CB: It's for our library to become the best public library in the US by 2010. Staff are behind this. We go out and seek conversations with staff to come up with ideas. They feel this is very powerful. Frank Blairs, my colleague, has done a great job of harnessing 2.0 technology to create that as well. It gets people involved, issues/ideas just bubble up these ways and it's very not that expensive.
Q: I'm head of public services for a medium sized academic library. I get to hire and train all new staff when students leave. We are doing a lot of cross-training. I would like to head how I could go about creating that brand with our student workers.
SB: Talk to student workers about what they would like to see. What business are we in and what are our core values? Understand that awareness and build from there.
CB: We know from our surveys it's frustrating for the public to have all these separate service desks. That is something we are working toward and pusing out later this year, cross-training/central service desk(s). We see some resistance but this is where we are moving. I think we can really serve our client base much better.
ER: I would actively encourage you to have a one-stop service center. Patrons don't want to be bounced around. One service point where are points can happen. All types of activity. It's because of cross-training that we can do this. It has really worked out very well. Now we are thinking about bringing the reference desk over to that area as well and not have a separate ref desk.
JM: Book, the Dream Manager, what is your dream? What can make you one step closer to that? Then I use that to look at it for the library. How can the library develop staff/patrons/community. That will bring them on board. You will not get the kind of passion from them if you go about it without having see this as part of their dream.
ER: If you're going to have a survey for staff don't ask questions that directly relate to their work, ask them questions about situations and how they would deal with them.
Q: One of the things that many of us working in libraries don't realize how intimidating it can be walking into a library. Having to walk up to a desk to ask a question can be very hard. Make them realize that you are as human as they are and make connection.
JM: Engage with people, change in focus on very liniar approach
CB: If we can have greeters like they do at Wal-mart that can make a really big difference.
ER: Every connection we have with another person, we either come off as delighting or disappointing. Everything about the physical library screams out our values. We are use to it. But what does it look like for the user?
SB: We just had a survey, people weren't saying I had a great experience at the ref desk but they are saying I had a great experience with Christina or David... They don't see the service but they see the person.
Q: We have a brand new circ desk that looks like a counter at Starbucks. It's kind of cool. We are still talking about condensing and combining the ref desk. That may not be the place to look at. We are focusing on getting rid of the circ desk and make it look like self serve check out lanes like at a grocery store. The purpose of the circ desk is to check out your material and get out of the library. Ref staff are seen as on a pedestool. We need to come down and be less formal.
ER: I disagree that the purpose of the circ. Desk is to simply move objects back and forth. You have people who see that it is my job to transact this book and nothing else and that's exactly what they do. How do we get all staff to take extra steps to see all aspects of circ desk.
JM: The circ desk can be defined as the Fond Farewell. You define it. You might do it for engagement. As long as people know that they are getting another relationship piece out of it, that's good.
CB: I like Joseph's point of making it a Fond Farewell and having a greeting too. I was staying at a New York hotel. I had an automated check-in, check-out. I was never greeted or acknowledged. The price was right but I'll never stay at that hotel again. We need to keep looking for places for relationships. As a customer, I do like to be acknowledged.
Q: Can you talk about other ways to capture customer service/loyalty?
JM: Knowing the volume and traffic is one veribal, you can have all the traffic in the world and it may not be relevant. What is your contribution? Define your value, communicate it. Get in the loop of funding that affects you. Tell them that you're not just holding books.
SB: We have all these inputs and outputs which are great but they probably won't get us any closer to the patron experience. Asking the question do you interact with the library because you have to or because you want to? The more we have to's the closer we are getting to adding value.
Q: Our language has to change. This is not the library - they need to see it as MY library. Librarians shouldn't see this as their theifdom but as part of the community. I always say to students, this is your library, what are we doing right for you and what do you want to get from it.
Q: One of the things that JM put in his talk is stories as currency. Panel discuss:
SB: Quick story is people are starting to put more value on stuff and less stuff is going in landfills. Poeople are holding on to things more. Start small.
CB: We worked with staff to avoid layoffs. They felt positive that admin elicited their support to help through budget. We are going to continue through this hard time to advance. There can be positive experiences.
ER: If you are focusing on the outcomes, they are directly related to our staff members and how we treat them.
JM: All business is personal. Libraries have a huge advantage over this. As good as Amazon.com is they can't win against libraries and people wanting to have human experiences that are memorable and transformational.