Curious Enough to Question “Orthodoxies”


This blog post is being posted to Future Ready 365 today. Are you a future ready information professional?

A few weeks ago Jane Dysart, Kim Silk and I were fortunate to hear Daniel Pink talk at the Rotman School of Management Life-Long Learning Conference for Leaders, ‘How to Get Your Business Back to Reality.” His latest book, Drive, bases “the surprising things that motivate us” on 40 years of human motivation research (here’s a pdf summary of Drive). It wasn’t his discussion about what does or doesn’t motivate us that caught my attention, although that is fascinating and worth a blog post(!); it was his discussion about the need for organizations to challenge and re-think base assumptions on which they are building their strategies.

I’m increasingly concerned that that the library sector and information profession must do just that: challenge, re-frame and quite possibly re-think our base assumptions and the practices and approaches built on those assumptions. Pink re labels assumptions “orthodoxies”. Labelling and viewing what we, as a sector and profession view to be truths as “orthodoxies” rather than assumptions forces us to see the deep-rooted concreteness of these “truths”. It is these deep roots that make it somewhat painful to question the validity of these orthodoxies today and, more importantly, tomorrow and into the future.


I laugh, both because laughter is healthy and because for a profession that has an orthodoxy (yes, a truth – an assumption!) of finding and delivering answers to any question, we aren’t

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Happy Holidays & All the Best in 2010!


It’s amazing how fast a year goes by and how much we cram into 365 days. Hope everyone has a great holiday season and a terrific year in 2010! At this time of year, I always look ahead to what’s to come, and 2010 looks like it’s shaping up to be exciting. Here’s a peek —

Ontario Library Association SuperConference, Feb 24-27

Rebecca and I are facilitating a pre-conference workshop on Wed Feb 24 — Leadership Renewal: Conversations, Insights & Revitalization (P004) which includes segments with Cindy Ross Pedersen, Strategic Volunteer & Entrepreneur, Ken Haycock, Director, San Jose State University School of Libary & information Science & Senior Partner, Ken Haycock & Associates Inc. and Gordon Vala-Webb, PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada PLC. This interactive workshop should provide lots of wonderful conversations and insights. Rebecca is speaking about Resolving Conflict – Reaching Consensus (317) on Thurs Feb 25 and Service Lifecycle Management: Pruning Gives Other Services Room to Grow (1228) on Friday Feb 26. We have also put together a session on Thurs Feb 25 called Digital Strategies: Practices & Services (1021) which features Aaron Schmidt, District of Columbia Public Library, Amanda Etches Johnson, McMaster University and Daniel Lee, Navigator Ltd. We hope to see lots of our friends and colleagues in Toronto at SuperConference!

Computers in Libraries, DC, April 12-14

This vibrant conference is filled sessions on topics of interest to all those in the information business. Check out the program and join us for stimulating discussions, lots of learning and networking,

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