Is your library organized on an individual contributor model or in teams? Do you have too few co-located people to do effective in-person teamwork? Do you find large virtual teams impersonal and unmanageable?
I’ve used this model in the article below for years and haven’t seen it stated so well but in this article it sings the praises of two-person partnerships. Simple and effective.
TEAMS OF TWO – THE POWER OF PARTNERING
By Michael C. Spence and Kenneth A. Savin of Indianapolis, Indiana
Some of the benefits of working in teams of two:
“Speed – Maneuverability
Simplicity – Single path of communication / meetings are simplified vs. larger teams.
Synergy – Ability to build in redundancies/synergies to improve efficiency (when one person is gone, the other can stand in his place), share expertise and accelerated training.
Self-reflection – Immediate feedback leading to accelerated learning within the Team.
Shared Learning – More effective team to team learning than individuals could accomplish.
Stability – Reinforcement and a consistent environment for the individuals involved.
Structure – Inherent accountability”
I’ve used this in associations for volunteer work, and in libraries and corporations. I’ve seen it used to great effect in software and systems development work.
I find the best advantages are that it reduces loneliness at work for extrverted people like me and it makes progress happen faster when you can bounce ideas and decisions off eachother and share risks and rewards. it even works in partner dyads outside of the organization between other colleagues or with vendors and partners.
Lastly but importantly I have found that partnerships deepen into friendships and truly collegial work based on shared respect and understanding. And that’s not a bad thing at all.
So, who are your partners?