Tuesday, April 03, 2007

President Williams Gets Caught Reading

Dr. Philip C. Williams was recently inaugurated as UM’s 14th President. Carmichael Library staff caught up with Dr. Williams in his Calkins Hall office, and we asked him a few questions:

Carmichael Library: What are you reading?

Dr. Williams: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't, by Jim Collins.

Carmichael Library: Why?

Dr. Williams: Because it informs the strategic planning process we will be following at UM over the next 1 ½ years.

Carmichael Library: How do you use your campus library?

Dr. Williams: There’s no one answer to that question. Librarians bring a perspective that no one else brings. I use the librarians to assist me in a number of efforts. For example, Kathy Lowe volunteered to help moderate our planning sessions. I use the Archives to learn about the history of the university. The library’s such an important place: in many ways it’s the heart and soul of the liberal arts university.

The hedgehog in the picture is Dr. William's new toy. The principle behind Good to Great is the Hedgehog Concept, in which organizations focus on the intersection of the following three qualities:

1) the product or service that leads the organization to outshine its competitors,

2) that which drives the organization's economic engine, and

3) that which the organization is passionate about.

Good to Great highlights companies that did this better than their competitors, making the leap from being good companies to being great companies.

Stay tuned for the next episode of get caught reading. BTW, we're still taking nominations for faculty you'd like to see Get Caught Reading.

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