“Broda nie czyni filozofa.”

Posted by jlubans on March 06, 2013

On March 4, I gave a talk in the new Warsaw University Library in Warsaw, Poland. The title was:
"Working Together: Ways of Organizing, Old and New.” Or, musically, "I Borrowed the Shoes, but the Holes Are Mine!" (Not exactly Chopin!)
My talk was the first of a two-part program that ran from 2PM to 4.30PM. The second half was led by Sheryl Anspaugh (my wife), speaking about her perspective on American libraries and what she has learned about leadership from working in a variety of types of libraries.
The program was sponsored by the Polish Librarians Association:
and the University of Warsaw Library.
The program was largely organized for the PLA by its Treasurer, Joanna Pasztaleniec-Jarzyńska of the National Library in Warsaw.
And, the moderator was Dr. Henryk Hollender, former director of Warsaw University Library, now Library director of Lazarski University in Warsaw.
From the start, I cautioned the audience that a Polish proverb might apply: “Broda nie czyni filozofa.” (“If the beard were all, the goat might preach.” My accent was so bad, I had to give them the English translation so they could understand what I was trying to say in Polish!
I touched on the following:
Leading from the middle/Workplace Democracy
An Organizational Continuum exercise
Examples of Workplace Democracy and its implications:
Honeybee democracy
Leaderless orchestras
The self-managing villages of Vermont
Southwest airlines’ values
Teaching how to lead from the middle.
(This last item related to the ways I teach the principles of the democratic workplace in my Riga, Latvia classes).
Our presentations were followed by several questions, including some provocative comments.
Here are several pictures of the venue:

Caption: The new UW Library. It features a much-heralded roof garden and re-uses, as sculpture, an old core stack (in purple)

Caption: Interior of the new library from the second floor. Below, on the main floor, are card catalogs of an unique design. About half the collection is in the e-catalog.

Caption: Four pillars tower above the main floor, under the ceiling, and make for a grand staircase. The four are famous Polish authors.

20130306-Interior main floor.jpeg
Caption: Looking up from the main floor of the library into a vast open space. Heavily used.

Caption: Unique catalog card drawers.

20130306-old library.jpeg
Caption: The "old" UW library. It sits on a hillside well above the new library, which is on a plain below this hill. The historic UW campus (which includes the old library is just off Nowy Świat Street, the “Royal Way”.

Caption: A library user waiting for the "old" library to open. I shook his hand.

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