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Foresight: Here’s one for the books

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

William Brett is father of the open-shelf library system, in which patrons don’t have to go through a librarian to find books.

Brett, who joined Western Reserve University’s library school in 1904, en­­countered some resistance. Critics said his idea would lead to theft and pandemonium in the stacks.

Instead, it doubled circulation, reduced staffing needs and resulted in fewer lost books.

Lesson: When you spot a chance to make efficiencies, don’t assume people will be on their worst possible behavior.

— Adapted from “Forward Thinking 50,” Melissa Evans Persensky, Think.

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