This Week in LIS - 10 August 2012

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Headline of the Week: The Three Laws of Mastery

The weekend ended with a successful 2-day MS150 ride in Wisconsin – Pewaukee to Whitewater and then into Madison. Donations are being counted and the expectation is that somewhere between $1.2M and $1.5M will be raised due to generous contributions on behalf of riders to support Multiple Sclerosis research and support those stricken with the disease. Erin Flater from Physics and her father were on the ride. Kirk Johnson from the Alumni Office took part and Jeanie Lovell and her husband Paul also rode. Many of the riders on the team I was on were Luther alums. I encourage any of you that would like to join us to seek me out; I’ll set you up for next year. It is a work hard and play hard weekend and one steeped in purpose.

I was tired at the end of the ride. Saturday heat, Sunday headwinds and hills had consumed my best energies. On Monday I was, well, moving cautiously. Later in the day my job performance was reviewed. The good news is that I get to continue. And, I have much more to master.

Daniel Pink in his book Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, contrasts two kinds of work environments, one that optimizes for compliance which he argues was most useful for an industrial age and one that optimizes for engagement. He argues that in our modern economy the problems being faced today require creative engagement. The engagement-optimizing model is based on the concepts of autonomy, mastery and purpose. It leverages intrinsic motivation.

Mastery is top of mind this week. He shares what he calls the three laws of mastery:

Mastery is a Mindset – Considering research by Carol Dweck from Stanford, Pink reports that what people believe shapes what people achieve. Dweck suggests one’s view on their intelligence is based on either an “entity theory” or an “incremental theory.” Those aligning with the “entity theory” believe intelligence exists within us in a finite supply. Under this thinking every challenge or adversity you encounter provides a measurement and a reminder of what you have. Alternatively those that believe in an “incremental theory” see intelligence as something that you can increase and that challenges present opportunities for growth and development. For incrementalists, exertion, practice, and the hard work of learning is positive because it can lead to improvement and getting smarter; mastery is possible. Entity theorists would see challenges to overcome requiring hard work as just another indication you might not be very good; mastery is impossible. This encouragement was useful this week. I am of the more of the incrementalist mindset.

Mastery is Pain – The best predictor of success is perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Mastering something takes “grit.” Intense practice over long periods of time is key. I know this from cycling, wrestling and rugby. Of course knowing it and executing it are two different things.

Mastery is an Asymptote – Professionals by definition are in a constant pursuit of mastery. The allure of the achievement is a source of energy but we should not presume we would get to a point where there is nothing more that can be improved. The joy is in the pursuit. Reconcile with the idea we approach mastery versus attaining it.

Pursuit of mastery to contribute to a mission that shapes the lives of 18-22 year olds seems worthy of whatever “pain” that is required to achieve that success.

Suggested Reading/Watching:

Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink.

TedTalk by Daniel Pink


LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

The following articles are sampled from those available on the LIS Blog:

Notes from LIS Council

LIS Council is the leadership team within LIS. Among the topics discussed the past two weeks were:

  • LIS Operational Agenda
    • Council members will be reporting on LIS operational views (metrics for processes and status of projects) regularly at LIS Council meetings. This week’s reports included the following:
    • Library
      • No report this week.
    • Software Development
      • See Marcia’s blog post for more detail on the following:
        • CBORD Odyssey – Server upgrade is complete.
        • Fixit – Facilities Services is amenable to move from SchoolDude to Kbox enabling the deprecation of SchoolDude and associated savings. Question remains whether they will migrate existing SchoolDude data; may start fresh instead.
        • Wind Turbine – There is a path to the data the wind turbine’s sensors produce. We want to use that as a pilot for curating data in the library and making it available for student/faculty research.
        • ConnectED – This is our campus notification system. There was training 8/7; more training Monday 8/13.
        • Informer – This is an end-user query tool under evaluation as an alternative to QueryBuilder which is currently being used and will be deprecated with the migration of Datatel to run on SQL Server. An extension was granted for the evaluation license for further testing and evaluation. Detailed setup, customized by department, and granular security is time-consuming. Nineteen paragraphs and a number of queries are left to be converted; Paul is interested in seeing those numbers as they drop and we move to the point where we can do the migration, thus eliminating more new query work that also needs to be migrated.
        • Active Directory – Design work continues to meet all the requirements and dependencies. The project was discussed at the recent software development meeting.
        • Reason – An upgrade is planned for August.
        • Slate – The design for keeping data in sync is in progress.
  • Returning Items
    • LIS Annual Report
      • Paul would like to create the 2011-2012 LIS Annual Report in the following way and has created a Norse Doc for LIS to contribute to the entire report, including the results sections for 11/12 objectives, collaboratively. This Norse Doc is based on the document that included meeting notes from the mid-year objective checkpoint conversation. The team is free to leverage those and/or replace those notes with full-year results descriptions.
      • Want the result to be a printable report, like the related snapshot, and to simplify its assembly and take into consideration our plan to migrate from Drupal to Reason. This approach loses searchability from outside the document. Perhaps we could put some html tags on the page with the document to enable the document to be found by search? Marcia suggested that during Reason training we look to see if Reason has tools to support reports. In the Reason training, the recommendation was to create unique pages for each section and manually link them together. We will use the current categories from last year to organize the results for last year’s objective updates.
      • After teams have updated the 11/12 objectives with results those sections can be cut into a MS Word document with the rest of the report.
      • The team reports can be developed within this same Norse Doc for collaboration as necessary and they too can be copied into the MS Word document.
      • Objectives from 11/12 that have further work will be added to the 12/13 list. They will be organized by guiding principles from the strategy day. We will establish granularity of objectives practically to make them easier to manage within the functional areas. A later decision will need to be made if a snapshot is valuable enough over the annual report to justify its production. Question was raised on how many hits there have been to the pages of the report and the snapshot. We believe it is valuable to us and goes to helping communicate LIS contribution and value beyond LIS.
  • New Items
    • All LIS Gathering
      • This is a staff and student event scheduled for Tuesday, August 28th, 3:00-3:30. We are going forward with this plan. Communication plans are underway.

Upcoming LIS Training, Instruction, and Professional Development Opportunities

Click on the event below for specific information and for a link to register. More information on training and development events is available.

Course Format Date Location Enrollment
Senior Projects: Creating Meaningful Culminating Experiences in the Major Faculty Development Aug 16 2012 – 9:00am 1:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Nansen Open
Luther College as a Community of Faith and Learning (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development Aug 20 2012 – 9:00am 3:30pm Loyalty Board Room Open
Paideia 111/112 New Instructor Workshop (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development Aug 20 2012 – 9:00am 12:00pm Main 114 Open
Updates for Academic Advisors Faculty Development Aug 20 2012 – 9:00am 12:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Nobel Open
Luther College as a Community of Faith and Learning (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development Aug 21 2012 – 9:00am 3:30pm Loyalty Board Room Open
Paideia 111/112 New Instructor Workshop (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development Aug 21 2012 – 9:00am 12:00pm Main 114 Open
Writing in the Disciplines Faculty Development Aug 22 2012 – 1:00pm 4:00pm Main 112 Open

This Week in LIS is published most Fridays by Paul Mattson, Executive Director of LIS at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

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