Management of knowledge workers: possible lessons for library liaison?

Today  The Conversation had an article about managing self-motivated intelligent workers (David Tufley). As a knowledge worker, I’d been listening to this kind of research with great interest over the last little while. The research findings and resulting recommendations about practice have really struck a cord with me and my experiences as a worker. As I’m not currently working, I didn’t read today’s article with anymore than general interest while enjoying the nice warm feeling that I get when I read a smart person feeding my confirmation bias 😉

A few days ago I listened to a presentation given by David Lankes (have to check which of these two is the one I listened to)  to public librarians & this afternoon the possible value of such management research to library liaison/client relationship work struck me – I think that it was the Lankes presentation that got my brain linking the two.

I’ve never been a librarian who complains that clients don’t listen to me & I’ve never had trouble developing productive, respectful, reciprocal, fun relationships with all kinds of clients. I realise now that the “characteristics of engagement” discussed by Tufley are things that I have always sought to use in my practice as a special librarian & as an academic librarian. I wonder if the use of this approach and the relationships I’ve built is more than coincidence? I suspect not, & that it is something that deserves further reflection  exploration – it seems another nice positive topic to consider while I have to be taking it easy out of the workforce.


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