Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Collaboration not capitulation

Midway into finals week, where hope and campus flowers spring eternal, blooms a library web committee meeting. As pondered last Tuesday in the post Introspection, maybe it's me, I had a private meeting with the library director last Wednesday morning (April 30th). I spent time trouble-shooting a problem with Contribute and then broached my solution to the stagnate web page progress.

The offer to remove myself from the committee was at first met with the very fair reminder he attempted to do just that the previous week. I calmly disagreed stating that offering to remove myself from the process at this juncture differed greatly from being told my opinion and observations were superfluous.

This is where I insert a comment regarding the open door policy employed by my boss. Because of this, I was secure in the knowledge he would listen to what I had to say with an open mind and know I meant no disrespect (ie: I was not being a smart ass). While I may disagree with him at times regarding this project, it will get my best effort.

We talked for thirty to forty-five minutes and I presented my plan for the committee to move forward without me for the next several weeks. In a telling moment of humor he was taken aback I had bullet points and a full word document as notes, I don't know why, but it helped make the atmosphere conducive to continuing discussion. I left the office on Wednesday morning with his assurance he would consider my proposal and we would meet again on Monday (yesterday).

In the meantime, I updated our collection of sample pages with information from our meeting and continued to move forward with as much of the web design process as deemed possible. Other members of the web committee talked with me regarding their discontent; I suggested they talk with the director and/or be prepared to speak up. I do not mind taking the cranky lead, but if changes are to be made everyone has to contribute comments, suggestions, and opinions (one and the same).

Yesterday the decision was made that I remain with the committee. As promised, I abided by the ruling. Without betraying confidences, I mentioned the dissatisfaction other members were feeling and said my biggest concern was that this web page remained a collaboration, not a capitulation. Everyone's opinion is needed and we should not go with whoever talks the longest and loudest just to shut up and move on.

Today ... progress was made.

It was just a baby step; but it was a baby step forward.

Now? It is time for Dancing with the Stars 100th episode.

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