Posted on March 16, 2011.
by Janice LaChance, Chief Executive Officer of SLA
“If you dislike change, you’re going to dislike irrelevance even more.” – Eric Shinseki, U.S. Secretary of Veteran Affairs and former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
This is one of my favorite quotes from someone I greatly admire. To me, it sums up the situation we all find ourselves in today. Even when Eric Shinseki was born in 1942, everyone was feeling the pressure to change on one level or another. Politicians, soldiers, salespeople, advertisers, accountants, and yes, even SLA members, were encountering new technologies to use, policies to follow, expectations to fulfill, and lessons to pass on to the next generation of pioneers.
It seems one of the few things that hasn’t changed over the years is the constancy of change itself. So, why is there so much emphasis on change now if it’s old news?
Because we’ve seldom encountered change of this pace or magnitude before. Everything—from your workplace to your organization’s strategy to the phone you use to the car you drive to the road you drive it on—will be different in five years. The occurrence and pace of change are out of our control. The way in which we choose to change is not. We must not simply change, but progress.
Sure, as information and knowledge professionals, SLA members are hearing about the importance of being future-ready perhaps more than others, but all professions are being called upon to learn new skills and adapt to a new world of work. If you’re an SLA member, you’re not in it alone.
We have a vast yet tight-knit community that acts as a support structure to all our members—and this blog is just one of the many things that bring us together. SLA has conducted alignment research that is unprecedented within the profession, and that research has shown us the way to introducing new professional development programs and educational resources. SLA is faced with the task of providing relevant resources to librarians in medical hospitals in India and information analysts in top law firms in the United States, and everyone in between. While the context of knowledge delivery and use is unique across the globe, the necessity to adapt is not.
I’ll leave you with some of SLA’s resources included with your membership, many resulting from the alignment research and all focused on the task of giving a diverse membership tools to better meet the demands of information users across the globe.
- SLA’s 23 Things – Deb Hunt, along with MLIS grad student Kim McGrath, worked together to update this weekly learning program. I think you’ll like what’s new here; see week 6 for updated social networking and learning. This program was created by our members, for our members.
- Atomic Learning – This resource often gets passed over, but it shouldn’t. From beginner to expert level, from Sharepoint to Delicious, these easy videos are a fun and easy way to learn at your own pace.
- Alignment Toolkit –Look for tools, based on the alignment research, to be unveiled starting April 1st and leading up to SLA 2011. Writing Your Own Marketing Plan, Dictionary of Future Ready Terms, and SLA Tools for LIS Students will be among the first resources provided.
- This blog – Our strongest asset is…ourselves! No, sometimes we don’t all have time to read the blog every day, but the good thing is we can catch up at any point in time. We’re up to about 60 posts already (way to go, Cindy and team!). So read, discuss, and try a post of your own sometime in 2011.
- Click U – Ask the Copyright Experts, Social Media Research for Business, Moving into Management. From in-person classes to online webinars, free and paid, these opportunities are scattered throughout the year.
- Information Outlook – Read our latest issue online. Don’t miss the articles on mobile applications; one could give you an idea to change your organization for the better.
So don’t look at Future Ready as a goal for just 2011, because it’s more than that. Treat it as something to embrace, a way of thinking. It’s not only about seeking out opportunities, but looking forward to those opportunities with the confidence of preparation and positivity. The world is driving forward, upward, and outward, and I’ve seen more than enough evidence from SLA’s outstanding membership to know that we can be right there in the driver’s seat.
Janice Lachance, SLA’s Chief Executive Officer since 2003, is a popular speaker and commentator and the champion, spokesperson and global ambassador for SLA and its 11,000 members working in 75 countries on five continents. Before joining SLA, she was a management consultant to nonprofit and membership organizations in the areas of strategic planning, organization transformation, and culture change.