One very common question is, “How can I convince my admin / staff / colleagues to change the way they work to incorporate new strategies?” So I couldn’t resist attending the session entitled Building Support for Change & Customer Relationships.
The presenter who addressed this aspect most directly was Christina de Castell, manager of online information & news at Vancouver Public Library in Canada. Budget cuts forced her to implement major changes in staffing, workflow, and the physical setup of her floor of VPL. Without going into all the changes she made, I’d like to share how she convinced staffers to work with her and to support the changes, many of which would affect them greatly.
- Tell staff that it’s OK to try new things and fail.
- Assign all staffers to be on one of the project’s “action teams.”
- Set goals together; be open and transparent.
- Have brainstorming sessions.
- Invite and listen to feedback.
- Have weekly progress meetings that were informative, but not mandatory.
During this project, de Castell encouraged collaboration and made the planning part of the fabric of people’s jobs. When they brainstormed, writing ideas on giant sticky notes that hung on the walls, she left those sticky notes up so everyone could see and ruminate on the ideas. The bottom line was this: Bring everyone along for the ride. Let them give opinions and work together to shape the change.