In browsing around on the topic, I came across a report entitled A Global Check-Up: Diagnosing the Health of Today's Organizations. As I read the report the idea that the "health" of a library (or any organization) is important to its ability to deal with technology made a lot of sense. However, this is not a new concept. It has been discussed in various contexts for decades.
Seven organizational types are identified in the report with three considered being "healthy":
- Resilient: Flexible enough to adapt quickly to external market shifts, yet steadfastly focused on and aligned behind a coherent business strategy.
- Just-in-Time: Inconsistently prepared for change, but can turn on a dime when necessary, without losing sight of the big picture.
- Military Precision: Often driven by a small, involved senior team, it succeeds through superior execution and the efficiency of its operating model.
The four organizational profiles were identified as "unhealthy":
- Passive-Aggressive: Congenial and seemingly conflict-free, this organization builds consensus easily but struggles to implement agreed-upon plans.
- Outgrown: Too large and complex to be effectively controlled by a small team, it has yet to "democratize" decision-making authority.
- Overmanaged: Multiple layers of management create "analysis paralysis" in a frequently bureaucratic and highly political environment.
- Fits-and-Starts: Contains scores of smart, motivated and talented people who rarely pull in the same direction at the same time.
- Culture is dominated by a few personalities that plan and act based on their own personal agendas. (Culture of No?)
- Reactive planning. Change results from managing a crisis.
- Organization lacks clear decision rights and doesn't share information effectively.
- Administration does not articulate a mission and vision.
- Staff and committees are given responsibilities but not given final decision making authority. (Culture of No?)
- Decision making appears to be participative, but final decisions do not reflect the input and feedback. (Culture of No?)
- Administration sees a far rosier picture than the rest of the organization.
- Processes and procedures impede rather than facilitate.
- Library administration seeks a passive resolution to unhealthy situations. They let the "kids" figure things out.
- Lack of communication between divisions; lack of sanctions for non-communication.