Sunday, July 13, 2014

NLB CEO Elaine Ng responds

The NLB and NParks are my favorite stat boards and I am impressed with NLB chief Elaine Ng's response to the issue of pulling those three books from its shelves. She did not try to reason with you. She grasped the issue is about trust and not really about transparency, which is what is demanded when trust is damaged. Unlike so many senior civil servants and ministers she gets it.

She reaches out to us at the emotional level, without referencing the many happy moments spent at the libraries. She chose the phrases which would evoke personal memories of happy  experiences of library members and partners. She is patient and confident enough to know that now is not the best time to discuss the issue which has become overly emotional. Strategic waiting is the acme of problem solving skill. Those who panic and react are usually the losers.

The rest of government could learn a thing or two from her on how to communicate and connect.

She had shrewdly left the door wide open to welcome those writers back without anybody losing face.

As for the three books, I don't think they will be pulped. As long as they are no longer on the shelves in the children section, that is good enough.

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