KM Today

Did You Know: 2014

Strategic planning relies on strategic thinking. To think strategically we need to explore beyond our common environment, the usual places we look and the usual way in which we look at. The “Did You Know” series of videos is an excellent tool to use at the beginning of any strategic or planning discussion. And it’s been updated! Have a look – and start your next staff discussion with it:

Welcome 2015! Future Events

The new year is always a time to reflect and to plan ahead.  2014 was an exciting and interesting year of events for D&J and we’re looking forward to an equally wonderful year of learning, experiencing, and sharing in 2015!  We hope to connect with many of you at these venues!

January brings the annual Ontario Library Association SuperConference where Dysart & Jones will again sponsor Contributed Papers and participate in a number of sessions:

Wed Jan 28     403C    Business Models for Libraries: Rebecca Jones with Scott Hargrove (CEO for Fraser Valley Library System) & Moe Hosseini-Ara (Director of Culture for the City of Markham)

Thurs Jan 29    911      Conversations with New Pros: Jane Dysart with 5 new info pros

1111      Extreme Library Makeovers: Jane Dysart with Madeleine Lefebvre & Susan Downs

February has two new events.

The Future of Libraries: Do We Have 5 Yearas to Live? hosted by the University of California Center for Library Leadership & Management in Los Angeles on February 5th & 6th.  Speakers include Susan Hildreth, Director, IMLS, Greg Lucas, State Librarian for California, Steve Denning, Author, Lee Rainie, Pew, Corinne Hill, Chattanooga PL, Joe Matthews, Consultant & lots of practitioners!  Check out the program.

Future Tech Strategies for Libraries is the latest iSchool Symposium from the University of Toronto.  Scheduled for February 19th & 20th, this symposium  focuses on the technological challenges and trends coming down the pipe for libraries.  What’s coming up that may not be on your radar?

  • Are your technologies and tech strategies up-to-date?
  • Are you adapting technology quickly enough? Are you studying Geo, beacons, LinkedData, discovery services, and more?
  • Are our innovation cultures ready for the world of constantly changing technology and societal expectations?
  • Are we ready for the community and learning focused tech that are emerging as game changers? 
  • Do you want to learn about technology innovation in libraries and discuss and explore opportunities with peers?
  • What’s the next step in virtual community engagement?

If these questions interest you and your team, then this is the symposium helps you explore new ways to think about tech opportunities and trends as well as to address our future challenges. Check out the speakers including Marshall Breeding, David Lee King, Rebecca Jones, Daniel Lee, and more. The program schedule.

April is really exciting!

Computers in Libraries 2015 is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary in Washington DC on April 27th-29th and it is the 20th for D&J! The theme is Sync Up: Technology & Libraries for Community Success and is the essence of the CIL conference since it’s start as Small Computers in Libraries in 1985 when amusingly enough computers weren’t all that small!  Keep your eye on our Twitter feed #CILDC and our Facebook page.  The conference website has been updated for this event and the program is now online with the following keynotes:

Continuous Innovation & Transformation with Steve Denning, Author, The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management, The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling, & others

The new economy—the Creative Economy—is an economy of continuous innovation and transformation. It is an economy of organizations and entrepreneurs that are delivering to customers what they are coming to expect, namely, “better, faster, cheaper, smaller, lighter, more convenient, and more personalized.” The Creative Economy is still relatively small, but it is the economy of the future. It includes different ways of thinking, speaking, and acting in the world. Denning shares insights, strategies, and tips for libraries and their staff to continue innovating and transforming as they head into the future, creative economy!

Creating a New Nostalgia with David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States & John Palfrey, Head of School, Phillips Academy; President of the Board, Digital Public Library of America, author of Biblio TECH

Digital life is transforming the public’s expectations of libraries and archives. Is the internet making these institutions irrelevant? The “perfect storm” of reduced bud- gets, unprecedented increases in the amount and cost of information available, and the multiplicity of platforms at play call for new strategies for the future of libraries and archives. A lively glimpse into the crystal ball!

Technology & Libraries: Now & Into the Future with Mary Augusta Thomas, Deputy Director, Smithsonian Institution Libraries

As part of the Smithsonian libraries for more than 30 years, Thomas currently directs the operation of twenty libraries located in each of the Smithsonian’s museums and research institutes. In this talk, she reflects on the changes over those years and shares some of the future strategies for libraries.

And, co-located with Computers in Libraries 2015 is the Library Leaders Summit focused on Making an Impact & Proving Value — a topic most libraries are struggling with these days.  Check out the experienced speakers and the full program and join an intimate group of your peers for great discussions and insights.

There are other events in the planning!  The call for speakers for fall events should be live shortly:

Internet Librarian 2015, October 26-28 in Monterey CA with the theme Morph! Exploring New Roles & Directions for the Info Service Biz and again the Library Leaders Digital Strategy Summit will be co-located with this event.  Watch the Twitter feed #InternetLibrarian and our Facebook page for more.

KMWorld 2015, November 2-5 in Washington DC encompases Taxonomy Boot Camp, Enterprise Search & Discovery as well as SharePoint Symposium.  The theme of this year’s event is Agile Knowledge Sharing & Innovation.  More details will be coming soon to our Twitter feed #KMWorld and our Facebook page.

We’re working on future U of T iSchool events for May 11-12, July 16-17 & October 19-20, so save those dates!   And more events are planned for USC in LA (hopefully as soon as May!).  The Future of Libraries series may again come to Toronto in September so stay tuned for that one too!

Have a great year in 2015 of learning and developing and we hope to see you at some of these events!

Library service models: a bank example

We in the library sector can always learn from other sectors, including banking. Banks have always needed to balance transactional and consulting services – just like libraries. And banks were early out of the gate in bringing in self-serve; at one point their pendulum had swung too far as they attempted to move everything to high-tech from high-touch. During the last couple of years they have been returning to a higher number of service associates “behind the counters”, plus a service point at which someone greets you and ensures you are headed in the right direction. Now the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has introduced its WaterPark Place store in Toronto with great fanfare. Libraries need to have a look at the branch service model and layout, and see what we can learn, adopt or avoid. Have a look at this video, and at the Toronto Star story on Dec 15, 2014: “Forget the bank. Welcome to the store.”

Post by RBC.

Digital Workplace Tech for 2015

Real Story Group Subway Graphic

Real Story Group Subway Graphic

For the ninth year in a row, my buddies at the Real Story Group have released ten predictions for the New Year.

  1. Connected Devices Will Become a More Ubiquitous Channel
  2. DAM Vendors Will Roll out DAM Lite
  3. Drupal Split Will Characterize WCM Market Bifurcation
  4. Marketing Virtual Data Warehouses Will Go Mainstream
  5. Enterprise Mobile: Apps Will Get Unbundled
  6. A SharePoint 2016 Yawn
  7. Hybrid ECM Will Come of Age
  8. HR Will Rejoin the Digital Workplace Conversation
  9. Enterprise Social – Hype around Unified Enterprise Messaging
  10. Digital Workplace Will Say “Hello” to Analytics and Big Data

“Innovation from the consumer world is affecting both the digital workplace and digital marketing landscape as newer, cloud-based products offer simple solutions to simpler problems” says RSG Managing Director, Jarrod Gingras. “But many enterprises still need highly customizable, data-rich platforms for needs like omni-channel marketing.”

“This dichotomy is roiling the Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) marketplaces, and creating growing tensions between marketing and IT teams,” adds Gingras.

Want to see their full report or predictions from earlier years?  Here

And if you want to see a vendor map for this marketplace, go here!

Hierarchy has its place

Jane and Stephen are hosting the Symposium on “Building the Engaged Flat Army for the Library” tomorrow at the iSchool @ University of Toronto. I’m honoured to be talking about organization structures – and will miss Ken Haycock joining me. Next time Ken. The slides I’m using are below.

‘Flattening’ an organization isn’t so much about ‘pushing down’ as it is about ‘pulling up'; a large management team does, indeed, pulls ‘layers’ closer together. I’m not sure why some people equate a small management team with a flat organization — it is definitely more of a pyramid to me. The more people around decision-making tables, the more insights, the more communication, the more understanding. Hierarchy has its place. It identifies who’s responsible – and, most importantly, who is accountable for what. There’s nothing like clarity to allow everyone to see the full picture.

Does hierarchy always work? nope. Does any organization structure or design always work? nope. You can have the best intentioned organization design and yet have a total disaster. It can be flat as a pancake and still be non-collaborative with the worst collegiality you’ve ever seen. Why? Because organizations are about people working together towards a shared goal. That sounds rather motherhoody, but it is true. Organizations need people with different roles, and some of those roles are to make decisions that have broad implications, and to be accountable. If you want to call the people in those roles managers, that’s fine. And one thing those managers have to do is manage the relationships and the processes in between the boxes or circles on the organization design. And if people in the organization want those relationships and processes to work — if they all want to get to that common goal — then they will. A clear organization design does have columns. Those columns don’t have to be ‘silos’, and it is up to the managers to ensure that they DON’T become silos. Cross-functional are cross-communication are mandatory for all organization structures to be successful, no matter how flat, round or triangle.

Value = Where Data Meets Story!

BrandonThe 18th Internet Librarian kicked off this morning with inspiring and insightful keynote speaker  Brendan Howley who gave the audience a lot to think about as they drive their own destinies.  A well traveled, trained investigative journalist and digital content strategist, Howley had lots of great tips for libraries about storytelling to share their value in their communities.  Here are some quick quotes: “Where data meets story is where value is.” “Libraries are in the business of growing communities around them.” “Design stories with the end in mind; people will trust you and continue to share the story.” “Share the why of the how of what you do.”  “Community members want to co-create value.” “Values, what you stand for, are important and are the why of how you win the attention of your community.”  “Libraries are in the cultural context business; they are i the business of giving away context.” “Libraries are pegged to the cultural vibrancy of communities.”  “Libraries are the cultural triggers that activate networks; networks share values and bridge people, build relationships.”

Brendan recommended the book, A Pattern Language, for libraries planning physical changes but also for  UX and web interface folks.  He talked about iBeacons which he thinks libraries will take advantage of a lot in the near future to help build open media ecosystems!  Trusted open media ecosystems made up of local community news rooms.  Exciting to think about!

Continuous Innovation & Transformation

Steve Denning

Steve Denning

Steve Denning is a wonderful, prolific writer and speaker.  I was just reading his recent piece, Capitalism’s Future is Already Here, a Harvard Business Review blog post.  A good read.  Below is the part I think we really need to pay attention to:

“The other economy—the Creative Economy—is an economy of continuous innovation and transformation. This is the economy of firms and entrepreneurs that are delivering to customers what they are coming to expect, namely, “better, faster, cheaper, smaller, lighter, more convenient, and more personalized.” The Creative Economy is still relatively small but it is growing rapidly and, when implemented well, is highly profitable. It is the economy of the future. It doesn’t have to be invented: it’s already under way. Its practices represent a paradigm shift in the strict sense  laid down by Thomas Kuhn: it’s a different way of thinking, speaking, and acting in the world.

The shift from the Traditional Economy to the Creative Economy isn’t just a technical wrangle about economics or management theory. It’s a shift in what society demands of the managers of its most powerful institutions: from narrow definitions of their owners and decisions that serve their short-term interests, to broad acceptance of the responsibility that comes with power and leadership concerned with what is best for society. In the shift, we are learning that an argument about the proper activities of managers can be logical, can be strongly argued, can influence decades of practice in the world’s largest corporations – and can still be plain, flat, dead wrong.”

Perfect timing for an event the University of Toronto iSchool is planning — Building an Engaged Flat Army for Libraries — which discusses building startup or entrepreneurial thinking, looks at new organizational structures for creating “continuous innovation and transformation” as Denning calls it, building competencies for the future, fostering collaborative cultures, sparking innovative cultures and practices, and lots more!  Join the conversation on November 13-14 and get a jump on creating culture of continuous innovation & transformation.

CBC's CheckUp on Public Libraries

If you missed CBC’s Peter Mansbridge with Ken Roberts discussing Canada’s public libraries in the digital environment, here it is:


Advice for Advancing Agendas!

steeleGreat article containing very practical advice for libraries (and others) who want to push their agendas!  It’s from a retired politician who actually wrote a book about his experience!  From  former Nova Scotia finance minister Graham Steele, author of, What I Learned about Politics,  Here’s a review of the book.  But here is his specific advice.  Let me know if you try it and if it works for you.  Be tough.  Don’t be too nice.  Just do it!

“None of you should talk to a politician about anything that matters without knowing what the escape hatches are,” said Steele. “The escape hatches are the rhetorical devices that politicians learn to avoid dealing with the real issue.”

Steele used an example of an escape hatch he used as finance minister when he was on a tour called Back to Balance.

During the tour, Steele spoke with Denise Corey, who is now the chief librarian for Cumberland Public Libraries. Corey was also at Steele’s visit at the Wandlyn Inn.

“Denise was at the session and she said she spoke to me about libraries at the meeting and I have no recollection of it,” said Steele.

Steele asked Corey what he said to her at the Back to Balance meeting.

“What I said is what every politician says, ‘I love libraries.’”

He also said he would look into her concerns.

“To Denise that sounds reasonable, ‘Ok, I talked to the minister of finance and he said he’ll look at it.’”

Steele used an escape hatch to avoid Corey.

“Don’t put up with politicians telling you stories about how much they love libraries and how much they loved going to the library when they were a kid, and they take their kids to the library all the time. You’ve heard all that before. That means nothing,” said Steele.

“Which is exactly what you said to me,” said Corey as the room burst into laughter.

He says people need to pin politicians down.

“One of the most effective tools when dealing with a politician is to say, ‘Oh, I see what you’re doing,’ and then you name the escape hatch, and say, ‘How about if we not do that. Now lets get back to the real issue,’” said Steele.

Most people are too polite to their politicians.

“Don’t misunderstand me, you don’t have to be rude. You can be tough at the same time you’re polite.”

He said people need to force their MLA to give a plan of action.

“Usually what the MLA says is, ‘I’ll take it to the minister,’ which sounds reasonable. What they’re giving to you is nothing.”

And don’t let politicians off the hook.

“What you need to do are say things like, ‘Ok, will you come with us to a meeting with the minister?’ MLA’s hate that,” said Steele.

You can also ask your MLA to put their support in writing and ask for a copy of the letter.

“It’s all about not letting people wriggle off the hook.”

Digital Strategies: What stage are you at?

LibraryLeadersLogountitled   Mike Ridley & I are getting ready to facilitate the Library Leader’s Digital Strategy Summit held in conjunction with Internet Librarian in Monterey, October 27 – 28, 2014.

The beauty of co-locating the Summit with the IL Conference is that those participating in the small, intensive Summit have the keynote speakers for one-on-one sessions that are always relaxed and incredibly insightful.  Having heard the keynote presentation, those in the Summit engage on a much deeper level with Brendan Howley and Nina Simon about digital worlds and radical transformations.

Peter Morville is not only joining the Summit again this year to lead the discussion about the drivers of digital strategy he’s also equipping participants with copies of his latest brilliant work: Intertwindled – Information Changes Everything.  Mike purchased the digital version of the text, so I’m not sure how Peter will autograph it, but knowing his way around the digital environment, he’ll find a way.

Based on feedback from last year’s session the Summit has more time built in for participants to discuss issues and possibilities in small targeted groups, and to further explore the concepts of strategy and strategy mapping.  We thought those unable to participate in the Summit might be interested in the “Summit Pre-thinking” provided to those attending.  The following videos, blog posts and articles are intended to kickstart participants’ reflections and conversations regarding the digital strategies they are developing and implementing: Here’s a few  videos, posts and articles selected to prompt your thinking: One of the issues we’ll discuss up front is that of strategy and, of course, digital strategy, and then later on we’ll look at strategy mapping as a tool you may want to consider.  Here’s 3 short videos:

  1. “Why is it important to have a strategy?” encapsulates the basic purpose of strategy.
  2. 3 Mistakes you’re Making with Your Digital Strategy”     Many of the people discussing digital strategy are in marketing or web businesses.  Don’t let this put you off this video; every time he refers to a “marketing” or “business”, replace his terms with “library”. It gives us a different perspective.
  3.  “Strategy Mapping: Why is it so effective?”   gives a very quick overview of what strategy mapping is and how organizations use it to focus their thinking and their implementation.

Blog posts, a report and an article:

Singapore’s National Library has discussed and written about their digital strategy, providing some interesting insights.

The 2014 Report on Digital Transformation highlights how organizations are “leveraging digital transformation to become more customer-centric, more human, and renewing their culture for a new generation of customers and employees.”  Libraries can definitely benefit from the processes identified here.

Plus, once again, David Weinberger provides a provocative and interesting twist on digital strategy in “Let the Future Go” in September 22, 2014 Digital Shift. 


Even if you can’t participate in the Summit, let us know what ideas, issues and strategies these items prompt – or provoke – for you.