Monday, July 14, 2008

Using IDEAS to Create an Innovative Library

I have been reading The Game Changer by A.G. Lafley and Ram Charan. The book provides a different way of thinking about management processes to make innovation a central driver of a business. It draws upon the authors experience at Proctor and Gamble. There, they made building an innovative culture a fundamental part of the organizational strategy by using the concept of IDEAS.

Inclusive - the benefits of diverse thinking and ideas

Decisive - eliminating organizational debate and overanalysis to enable faster innovation development

- being in touch with customers

Agile - able to react quickly to changing customer and market conditions and taking calculated risks

Simple - ongoing streamlining and simplification of structures and processes.
I think that libraries do the inclusive and external parts very well. However, we have a lot of work to on being decisive, agile, and simple.

In fact, we tend to have very specific processes and procedures (committees; task forces) to encourage debate and overanalysis (all areas must be represented) which prevents us from being agile (12-18 month development cycle).

The book also reinforces two other characteristics of innovation that I have learned. First, innovation is not about the end product. It is not about the widget produced. Instead, innovation is all about the new interpersonal connections and the intersection of ideas which emerge.

Second, leadership plays a very important role. Leadership does not mean the administrative organization. Instead, it is about building a pipeline of leaders which allow a culture of innovation to grow and be sustained. These leaders can exist at any level of an organization. They must be given opportunities to lead and learn. Sphere: Related Content

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