Posts Tagged ‘risk’

Play date with Helene Blowers

May 22, 2009

This afternoon I have attended an online presentation by Helene Blowers, called Innovation begins with ‘I’.  Happily this was happening at 11:00 EST so I could join in at 16:00 GMT.

Helene’s talk was about finding opportunities for innovation in libraries: not just in terms of technology but in developing at atmosphere in which new ideas would be recognised and rewarded.

Some of my thoughts:

– I really liked the idea of getting someone to support your idea, rather than thinking in terms of obtaining permission to do something

– Consider the risks before pitching your idea, to show you’ve thought it through and are not expecting it all to work perfectly.  Anticipating pitfalls makes your plan more realistic

– The idea that innovation is in perpetual beta.  Whatever schemes or projects may arise, we always need to be thinking about waht we’re going to do next

– Risk is essential for innovation, and an organisation that refuses to engage with any risk will also exclude itself from any innovation

– One of Helene’s former colleagues had the idea that each year they would try 7 new things, and expect 5 of them to work.  I think this is a great idea – might also encourage a really bizarre idea to be included in the 7 that eventually turns out to be the best one!  We can’t know how things will work out until we try them

– Have your new ideas fit with your organisation’s strategic plan.  Hard for the bosses to say no when your plans so clearly uphold their mission…

I first heard of Helene’s work through her pioneering programme called 23 Things.  23 Things is a series of exercises for library staff to help them explore Web 2.0 technologies.  I asked Helene what types of incentives had been used to encourage staff to take part in and complete the programme.  Here are some of them:

– mp3 players

– laptop

LibraryThing membership

– own library-branded items from CafePress

– iTunes and Amazon gift vouchers

I’m going to think about where the funding might come from to provide a similar reward system within OULS.