Director of Library Services, National Library of Estonia
Plenary Talk: To Improve is to Change: Service Based Organisation and Change Management in the National Library of Estonia
Abstract: Today, when all processes, service models and technological solutions are changing rapidly, memory institutions are constantly trying to find the best solutions to adapt, survive, perform and influence. How to better understand what we can do or what we should change to improve our ability to perform and to keep us relevant? The National Library of Estonia is today working as a service based organisation, where the organisational model is based on matrix management leading ideas. The service based organisation follows its mission, vision and strategic goals, its everyday work aims to create value for its target groups, and the organisation regularly analyses the efficiency of its activities by linking these activities to expenses.
In rapidly changing environment, the most important thing is to recognise the importance of breaking down silos to help people collaborate across boundaries. Vertical relationships, horizontal collaboration and goals and targets can help answer the main question „What is most important for creating value for customers?“. One way to break down silos is to redesign the formal organisational structure. It could be confusing, and slow, but it could be also very productive. A service based organisation operates on the basis of the following principles: The aims of the services have been defined and the service-related information has been reviewed and organised; The services have been described and the cross-organisational shared responsibility has been established; The service measures as well as the procedures of measurement and analysis have been determined; The required data set, knowledge base is available for managing the services; The service-focused process for managing change has been established; The continuous process of improving services is in operation.
The main idea is to use these cornerstones as performance management system ideas and change management attitude communicated through the organisation’s vision, mission and values to all its empoyees. Performance management is mostly about measuring and enhancing the performance of staff, asking always questions Why? How? And How much all this costs?. But for asking these open questions and to find answers we first need to change our organisation’s mindset. To understand that measuring something within an organisation can increase the importance of services and also make clearer the understanding of strategic goals – what are the methods we use today and how assessment and measuring could change the organisation’s mindset. One of the more challenging steps in the organisational assessment process is to find out what what indicators (quantitative and qualitative) and what methods to use to assess our performance. The Plan-do-check-act (PDCA, Deming) cycle is the basic formula how the National Library of Estonia is keeping strategic planning, services assessment, goals setting and performance measurment working as all year timeframe. Considering the services, the organisational maturity in the National Library of Estonia is evaluated on the basis of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM). This model enables to assess which level is currently aimed to be achieved or between which levels the organisation is positioned.
How do the principles and management model of a service based organisation help organise everyday processes and activities? How do they also, when linked with the ideas of service design and design thinking, assist the organisation in producing new creative ideas and finding inspiration to develop user-centered services based on client values? These are the questions we are seeking answers to.
Brief Biography: Kristel Veimann is the Director of Library Services in the National Library of Estonia. This position requires skills and knowledge to manage various functional areas of the whole organization. She coordinates and supervises the services and service providing processes in the library, the development and management of both the traditional and e-services of the library, as well as collection development and long-term preservation of the library’s collections. Kristel is also responsible for the development of the related policies and strategies in the National Library. Her duty is to supervise the training of the personnel, set up and evaluate the objectives of the performance, initiate different projects which addresses the changing needs of the clients, as well as to support National Library’s strategic plans. She is a member of the Standing Committee of IFLA National Libraries Section and head of the Innovation Working Group at the Estonian Librarians Association.