Margaret Heffernan: Dare to Disagree

Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t those who just follow like sheep and are happy to agree regardless. Also how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree. While a lot of people would agree with this it isnt always put in to practice which can and is detrimental. Part of the problem was that it takes time to transform perception, even if data shows that something is incorrect it isnt always that simple. We not only need to Dare to disagree, but also dare to believe in an alternative view or belief based on data and new information. We must ourselves be open to changing our own views or consider other possibilities.

Link: Margaret Heffernan: Dare to Disagree

The Management Blog

The Key to Managing Change
This is a topic that is always relevant no matter who you are or what you do. A qoute I read the other day was the greatest measure of distance is time. Things never stand still and it is up to you to change and adapt with them. Which is easier said then done. It is a constant push to take yourself out of your comfort zone and push on, to take risks that you believe you will move you to the next stage. Constant change is a business reality, and organizations must continually adapt to their environments to stay competitive or risk becoming obsolete.

Everything You Know About Leadership Is Wrong
I couldn’t agree more with this post. It really gets to the roots of what I believe is an issue with leadership. Firstly a leader shouldn’t hold themselves over other works and think because they are in charge that what they say and do is always correct. Secondly I have touched on this before the problem of dealing with people. People working together have personalities that either merge or collide. The collisions can cause tension. If that tension isn’t addressed, it’ll surface in workplace conflict, hurt feelings, and lost productivity. Leaders must adapt to the people they work with and learn how handle different people and groups effectively if they themselves want to achieve their goals

To Solve a Problem, Think Like a Mad Child

This week’s selected readings were highly interesting. I started off the Howard and Davis article which looked at how problems are solved. It took ideas, firstly evidence based practice (EBP) which deals with solving a problem with previously thought out solutions. Looking at what is already in place to solve upcoming problems essentially. Secondly was design thinking which brings in the concept of iterations which was an extremely important concept last semester in a class I took called system analysis and design. This idea is to go beyond what we already know and come up with new creative solutions to solve new creative problems. The article continued to try and create a hybrid between these two solution ideologies by taking the best of both.
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This brings me nicely to the second reading Bowler et al, It was quite a long reading but honestly the most interesting and one I know I am going to come back to again and again. It didn’t particularly throw up any new concepts I haven’t come across before but it did amalgamate them in to one piece. The corner stone of the article was user centred design (UCD). This idea is based on creating a solution by involving the user in the process. Quite often the user is ignored even though they are the one who will end up using whatever the product will be. In this article it looked at how the user searches for information. The idea of using social tagging was very interesting and kind of ties in to the crowd sourcing I spoke about last week. By combining the power of a lot of people you can eventually create a solution that benefits the greater majority.

Some of the best solutions are quite often the ones you are not thinking about. It is not always simple. I suppose that’s why people say geniuses tend to be a bit mad. So I am not sure if it is good thing to be sane all of the time. Even in the Bowler et al, article when they looked at participatory web interface design with children you can see the logic behind it. Children think in a completely different fashion to adults and come out with some extraordinarily creative thoughts. When trying to solve a problem or come up with solutions, it is important to think outside the box, or even think like a child or a mad man or a bit of both. While some of the solutions that are thought will be utterly useless by applying the thought process in the Howard and Davis article eventually a solution will created and it could be great.

Sources:
Howard & Davis 2011. Evidence Based Library & Information Practice

Bowler et al, 2011. Issues in User Centred Design in LIS