In late July, Rodrigo attended Harvard University’s Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians, an intensive 6-day leadership program offered by Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE). The program, which was held at the Gutman Library, located near Harvard Square in Cambridge Massachusetts, focused on three areas of leadership: Planning, Organizational Strategy and Change, and Transformational Learning. The program consisted of 9 distinct sessions. Below, you will find an overview of what was covered:

The first session was titled Reframing Leadership, Diagnosing Organizations, and Managing Complexities: The Four Frames. The instructor, Professor Joan Gallos, covered in detail the four leadership “frames” (Structural, Human Resources, Political, and Symbolic). These are multi-dimensional leadership approaches which enable leaders to understand -and hopefully shape- organizational dynamics and social challenges.

The second session, titled Leadership, Agility, Emotional and Cultural Intelligence, and Change: Reframing Strategies for Action, also taught by Professor Gallos, explored the practical application of the 4 leadership frames. During this session we explored important topics related to leadership including leadership agility, emotional and cultural intelligence, and technical vs adaptive problems.

The third session was titled Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging for Library Leaders. The instructor, Alexia Hudson-Ward, Associate Director of Research and Learning at MIT Libraries, probed the concept of “embodied authentic leadership”, which incorporates elements of self-awareness to support organizational transformation. During this session we explored the concepts of diversity management and diversity leadership.

The fourth session, titled Bold Leadership, focused on ways leaders can fully embrace and integrate elements of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. This session was presented by previous program attendees.

The fifth session, titled Leading Amidst Risk, Ambiguity, and Uncertainty, was presented by Harvard Professor James Honan, co-chair of Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management. This session explored common challenges librarians and library leaders face. The instructor utilized a case study (Kraft, T., Shah, J., Alagesan, S., & Handfield, R. A Perfect Storm: Examining the Supply Chain for N95 Masks During Covid-19.) to reflect on leadership strategies to address risk, ambiguity, and uncertainty in emergency scenarios.

The sixth session, Lessons in Leadership, with Loretta Parham, CEO & Library Director of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, and co-founder of the Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) Library Alliance, explored specific history and challenges faced by HBCUs.

The seventh session, Transformational Learning: Immunity to Change, with Harvard Professor Deborah Helsing, focused on common assumptions that can interfere with leaders’ ability to lead effectively.

The eighth session, titled Creating an Organizational Culture of Inclusion, Engagement, & High Performance was presented by Harvard Professor Maureen Sullivan. This session centered on efforts to transform the culture of academic library organizations, especially in the post-pandemic context. It also explored mechanisms to engage staff in organizational change.

The final session, titled Our Library Journey: Harvard Living Case Study, with Martha Whitehead, Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian, and Jerome Offord Jr., Associate University Librarian (AUL) for Antiracism, presented strategies implemented at the Harvard University Libraries to support Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging.

If you are interested in more information about this program, please contact Rodrigo at, or review the following list of required readings for the program:

  • Argyris, C. (1986). Skilled incompetence. Harvard Business Review, 64(5), 74-79.
  • Boekhorst, J. A. (2015). The role of authentic leadership in fostering workplace inclusion: A social information processing perspective. Human Resource Management, 54(2), 241-264.
  • Buckingham, Marcus. “Designing Work That People Love.” Harvard Business Review, May-June 2022.
  • Gallos, J. V., & Bolman, L. G. (2021). Reframing academic leadership. John wiley & sons. (Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Gallos, J. V. (2006). Reframing Complexity: A Four Dimensional Approach to Organizational Diagnosis. Development, and Change. Organization development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Groysberg, B., Lee, J., Price, J., & Cheng, J. (2018). The leader’s guide to corporate culture. Harvard business review, 96(1), 44-52.
  • Kraft, T., Shah, J., Alagesan, S., & Handfield, R. A Perfect Storm: Examining the Supply Chain for N95 Masks During Covid-19. Available at SSRN 3747507.
  • Ladkin, D., & Taylor, S. S. (2010). Enacting the ‘true self’: Towards a theory of embodied authentic leadership. The leadership quarterly, 21(1), 64-74.
  • Parham, L., & Hart, C. (2007). Redesigning Services at The Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc. Library Workflow Redesign: Six Case Studies, 73.
  • Scoblic, J. P. (2020). Learning from the future. Harvard Business Review, 98(4), 38-47.
  • Storberg-Walker, J., & Gardiner, R. A. (2017). Authentic leadership in HRD—identity matters! Critical explorations on leading authentically. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 19(4), 350-361.
  • Stuart, Reginald, (June 20, 2022). “The Unsung History of HBCU’s and Their Distinguished Alumni” National Geographic.