Innovation is All Around Us

Most people probably don't think of libraries as innovative, though they have fostered innovation since their inception. Even fewer people are likely to consider librarians to be innovative, but in fact they can be as innovative as the next employee. The trick is to foster a corporate culture that recognizes that anyone, from the clerk in the mailroom to the CEO, can develop ideas for radical change.

That's the thinking behind "Building an Innovative Environment," a session being presented at SLA 2011 on Tuesday, June 14. Sheldon Laube, chief innovation officer at PricewaterhouseCoopers, says his main message at that session will be that librarians can help organizations manage the many innovations that occur naturally within their walls:

The modern view of innovation exalts the individual inventor or innovator. Ask any five people to name a famous innovator, and chances are they will respond with names like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Madame Curie, or even the Beatles. This view of innovation is not very helpful for most large companies, since these types of people rarely thrive in corporate cultures.

Corporate innovation programs must use a different view of innovation to be successful. This vision must embrace the idea that virtually anyone can have an innovative idea and, thus, be an innovator. The challenge is how to create a corporate culture that can deal with thousands of innovations annually.

If you're looking for a way to add value to your organization (and what librarian isn't?), you MUST attend this session. Register now for SLA 2011 and put this session on your calendar.


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