by Karen Huffman, SLA Fellow for 2011, Past Chair, SLA Knowledge Management
Manager, Technology Solutions, National Geographic Society
During the SLA Annual Conference in Philadelphia, I attended a Knowledge Management session on “Building an Innovative Environment.” People from leading organizations shared what innovation meant to them:
- PricewaterhouseCoopers: Innovation = something new or different. It’s about ideas. Definition does not say anything about the value of the ideas. How do you create a culture where all ideas are valued? ~ Sheldon Laube
- Cargill: There’s a kernel of genius in everyone, and the goal of all of us is to bring that out. ~ Gregory Page, Cargill’s CEO
- NIH: It’s about connecting very divergent dots and putting diverse ways of thinking in new, innovative ways. “Creativity is connecting the ideas.” ~ Steve Jobs
Many “dots” are key, but how do we evolve our model for sharing ideas and engaging in conversations to foster a continuous process of improvement? I’ve had a handful of follow-up conversations with SLA members and brainstormed a possible initiative to create a framework for proposing and voting on ideas for consideration by SLA and its members. From those discussions, I would like to propose the following format for pitching ideas:
Idea title (start by suggesting something achievable within a timely fashion).
(include two to three keywords to categorize your idea).
Value to SLA member.
Strategic fit (see SLA’s Vision, Mission, and Core Value statement www.sla.org/content/SLA/AssnProfile/slanplan/index.cfm).
So, if you are willing to participate in a pilot project, pitch your ideas to me: ideas(at)cybersailors.org. I’ll plan to aggregate and develop a mechanism for discussing and voting on ideas proposed.
Special thanks to SLA members Betsy Aldridge, Jeffrey Dreiblatt, Barbara Ferry, and Marjorie Hlava for brainstorming with me!