You are here

Good decision-making is an essential skill for effective leadership. If you learn to make timely and well-considered decisions, you can lead your team to well-deserved success. This workshop will introduce you to practical tools and techniques that can help you solve problems and make the best decisions possible using the time and information you have available. You will learn how to

  • Identify the real problem in a given situation,
  • Map out the likely consequences of alternative decisions,
  • Weigh the importance of individual factors,
  • Choose the best course of action to take, and
  • See your decisions through to a successful implementation.

This course will prepare you to tackle any problem, large or small, and will give you the confidence you need to make and implement decisions that will benefit your career, your library, and the customers you serve.

Workshop Description: This one-day interactive workshop will provide participants with the skills they need to define library problems clearly and choose effective solutions. Students will learn the key elements of the problem-solving process and will discover their own problem-solving style and approach to decision-making. Through individual and group exercises, including case studies, participants will practice a variety of decision-making strategies, and will learn skills for leading others through the successful implementation of their decisions. All participants will receive a set of decision-making worksheets, a bibliography, and practical tips about how to tackle typical library problems and how to avoid common decision-making pitfalls.

Preliminary Course Outline

  • Introduction
    • The problem-solving/decision-making cycle
    • Your decision-making style
    • Decision politics and strategic thinking
  • Defining the Problem
    • Staying in context - aligning with your library's mission and goals
    • Desired outcome(s)
    • Data gathering - facts first
    • Identifying options
    • Charts, maps, and diagrams
      • Pareto analysis
      • Ishikawa/fishbone analysis
      • Constraint analysis - bottlenecks and flow
  • Evaluation Tools and Techniques
    • Check sheet
    • Decision tree
    • Thinking hats
    • SWOT/PMI
  • From Decision to Reality
    • Risk planning
    • Communicating the decision/solution
    • Monitoring your results
    • Learning and adjusting
    • Avoiding common mistakes

Workshop Instructor: Joan Frye Williams