Monthly Archives: February 2014

Money Matters

In the second half of last year I completed a  ‘Financial and Managerial Accounting’ paper – the  second of four papers in the Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership that I am undertaking through University of Waikato. Although at post-graduate level, the financial concepts were covered at a basic level suitable for managers like me, who although they may have  some financial management experience and skills, do not have accounting qualifications or in-depth financial analysis knowledge.

Topics covered included taxation, depreciation, ratio analysis, reading financial statements and cost accounting. Group assignments involved completing a Financial Analysis and a Balanced Scorecard for an organisation of our choice. We chose BoPPoly for the former, and Waikato Students’ Union for the latter.

learning accounting... by rnav1234, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  rnav1234 

This paper has developed my understanding of financial concepts which will be useful in my current role managing library and health services within in a tertiary institution.  I now read financial statements with more understanding, although my ratio analysis skills are still developing and I could do with more practice. I learnt that a financial analysis not only considers the financial health of an organisation but political, social and environmental factors too.

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My Twitter beginning

Social media bunnies with DK photobombing

Social media bunnies with DK photobombing

Last year I attended a LIANZA Social Media Workshop facilitated by DK  aka  @justadandak.   This practical training involved the use of various social media tools including Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo. The workshop was the impetus for me to develop a personal learning network on Twitter, get active with my tweeting, and start to use other platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram and WordPress.

Using Twitter has helped me identify and follow inspiring librarians, technology whizzes, leadership gurus, and other interesting people. Participating in both personal and professional twitter conversations has helped me develop and share my ideas about library services, and life in general! There are so many amazing people on Twitter, doing all sorts of clever and kind things to make the world a better place. I have encouraged a social media culture amongst my colleagues, am about to launch a work  twitter account to promote and increase engagement with Ako Ātea services, and my team regularly contribute to the wider Polytechnic social media activities. It’s all been a real blast!  You’ll find me on Twitter @leerowe.

Making a video at DK's workshop

Making a video at DK’s workshop

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Leadership in Practice

In the first half of last year I completed a paper called ‘Educational Leadership in Higher Education’ which was the first of four papers in a Post-Graduate Certificate in Leadership that I’m doing through University of Waikato.

This paper enabled me to explore theories and concepts of leadership, and use these to reflect on my own leadership practice. One of the assignments involved creating a ‘Leadership Platform’ where I identified some of my key personal values, reflected on how I demonstrate these values and sought feedback from colleagues on how well I live these values at work. This was an enlightening and satisfying process.

Doing this paper was a transformational learning experience and has helped me to increase my level of self-awareness. It has also given me an understanding of how I, along with my organisation, am influenced by wider contextuall factors, including the prevailing neo-liberal educational environment.  I find leadership theory fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed the classroom discussions, readings, and assignments.  A few of the books I read during the course:  Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Leadership: The Challenge for the Information Profession by Sue Roberts and Jennifer Rowley and Authentic Leadership by Bill George.

After completing the paper, I shared my Leadership Platform with my team, with the aim of helping them to understand my values and the expectations that flow out of these.  This was followed by several team sessions which gave the staff an opportunity to share their own values and what is important to them.

 

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Mātauranga Maori within NZ Libraries Workshop

I attended this Te Rōpū Whakahau  workshop held at Taiwhakaea Marae, Whakatane, in August 2011. (Yes, it has taken me nearly 3 years to write this reflection.)

As a pakeha, I gained a deeper understanding of concepts including a Māori worldview, Māori knowledge constructs, and values such as manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga and rangatiratanga.  I learned that librarians have an important role as a liaison between the Western and Māori worlds. We are the Kaitiaki of both resources and of people – our colleagues and library community. I felt privileged to hear some of the stories behind this beautiful Marae, and this helped me go beyond just a theoretical understanding of the Marae as a method of research in itself.

To prepare for the workshop we were asked to describe the Māori collections within our own institution, consider where the Treaty of Waitangi sits within our policies, and discuss the role of Māori staff . We were also required to demonstrate our understanding of Te Rōpū Whakahau and its partnership with LIANZA.  This preparatory work was valuable in itself, and I liked the pedagogy behind this exercise. It indicated that an expectation that we actively participate in the learning being offered to us.

The knowledge I gained at this workshop has helped me in the work I do at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic where there is a strong focus on increasing the educational achievement of Maori students.

Thanks to Te Rōpū Whakahau and presenters Tangimeriana Rua, Eddie Neha, Hinerangi Kara, and Whina Te Whiu for putting together the workshop, and to Manu and the people of Taiwhakaea Marae  for sharing their stories, knowledge, and kai with us.

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