My opinions in relation to management have changed as a result of this module as I originally went into it thinking that management was mostly about managing people or a team of people. I used to think that management was a role for an authoritative individual but I now know there are many different styles of management, all of which have advantages and disadvantages. During this module I learnt to use skills which I must have had before but didn’t acknowledge. Starting a blog or presenting in front of people were things I thought others did, however I now realise age is no barrier to successful curiosity and have reached a point where speaking in public (a lifelong fear!) is not a problem. It was also a real surprise to me that I actually enjoy writing the blog as when I started it the idea of the world at large being able to read my words was abhorrent and not something I ever thought a degree of pleasure could ever come from!
I expected to learn how to motivate individuals or a team towards a common goal from this module but I learnt so much more than that. I was surprised to learn that management is such a diverse field where all talents can be utilised if they are properly directed.
Topics such as team work, prioritising and planning were all practised when we undertook our group project. We are a group comprised of people from very diverse academic and ethnic groups and it was really interesting seeing how we all interacted and who undertook which roles, in some cases it was revealing to see people taking on what I would not have anticipated. The group project has been an interesting and rewarding experience, we overcame communication challenges and time limitations (due to members having different timetables) and have built a very good rapport within the group and are looking forward to heading out together after our group presentations!
I have a colleague who is taking this module next year and I have told her about many aspects of the module, the spectrum of topics covered and the lecturer and guest lecturers. The use of humour and wit made the module one we all looked forward to each week. I found visiting lecturer John Howard extremely interesting and I think his career path, which has been wide and varied, is how I think of management as a concept now. It commences with self-management then critical reflection on oneself and the learning and development that follows. It then extends from one’s own life into managing whatever one encompasses in daily life.
To succeed at anything, be it life in general, academics, business or sport, management is the key. Assets, both people and resources, must be managed. This involves planning, prioritising and strategizing. It involves team work, whether it is an athlete and coach or a business team and manager the end goal and the steps to success are the same. Change of any sort (circumstantial, physical or personal) must be managed. Products need to be marketed (libraries, athletes or tyres, it doesn’t matter what the product is, they all need to be promoted). Lastly stakeholders must be considered and relationships built and nurtured.
I did not know at the outset how this course would relate to everyday life but I am very glad I took this module as it gave me insight into both management in a work environment and myself and how managing ourselves is the first step in management. That concept is a great confidence builder. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and challenging module. I look forward to learning more about the areas that the MLIS can lead to as they appear limitless at the moment. I think I would like to work in the area of health research data management and have signed up to be an altmetrics ambassador. I am looking forward to having a bit more time over the summer to learn more about research impact and metrics.