Stop Whining, please – I can’t hear the people who are trying to move things forward over you

Margaret Heffernan is a woman who knows her way around information Internet environment organizations. She’s not a noted author, particularly for women entrepreneurs, and is Executive in Residence at Babson College.

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Enterprise 2.0 Implementation Framework


From Ross Dawson

E2.0 Implementation Framework

A centrepiece of our [Ross’] recently launched Implementing Enterprise 2.0 report is an Implementing Enterprise 2.0 Framework…… download the Implementing Enterprise 2.0 Framework pdf, which includes references to the relevant chapters for each of the action steps. Some of the chapters referred to are available for download from the Implementing Enterprise 2.0 downloads page.

Great stuff, thanks Ross. We hope you will come and talk about this at KMWorld 2010, Nov 15-18, Washington DC.



Wall at Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

“To Master Change, First Dread It” Moss Kanter


Rosabeth Moss Kanter has such a fabulous way of saying things. Her definition of insanity, “doing the same things over & over expecting different results,” is timeless and one that even our teenage daughter recites. Her Change Master blog encouraging organizations to “dread” change is, again, bang on. As she so rightly advises, “Get in touch with every negative aspect, all the things that could go wrong. Then figure out a way to get that negative force on your side. In short, “Dream your worst nightmare and invest in it.” In fact, identifying all the things that can go wrong allows you to build a practical implementation plan.

There’s a very old yet very useful tool for this that guides a group through the nightmare – or the potential barriers – to developing a plan that acknowledges & navigates potential landmines:

Vision: specify the changes you want in place – what’s going to be different in the future, whether that future is 3 months or 3 years away.

Barriers: ask everyone what hurdles & headaches they see preventing those changes from happening — “what’s giving you a pain in your stomach?” often gets very meaningful & honest responses

Influencing Factors: then have what may be a difficult but absolutely essential dialogue about which of those barriers you can actually do something about; which hurdles do you have some influence over? no influence over? or total influence over? For example, how can you engage employees to help them see “what’s

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Smithsonian Web & New Media Strategy


Further to my recent post on Transparency, Strategy & Success where I linked to Michael Edson‘s talk on the Smithsonian’s transparency strategy process, the Smithsonian Institution has relased its web and new media strategy.

“The strategy talks about an updated digital experience, a new learning model that helps people with their “lifelong learning journeys,” and the creation of a Smithsonian Commons—a new part of our digital presence dedicated to stimulating learning, creation, and innovation through open access to Smithsonian research, collections and communities.” Check out Edson’s post for more about the transparent process and to see more details of SI’s web & new media strategy.

Transparency, Strategy & Success


Change is not easy and it’s definitely not a fast process. It requires a lot of communication and transparency. Transparency first came on my radar in 2003 with Don Tapscott and his book, The Naked Corporation: How the Age of Transparency Will Revolutionize Business. We have been talking to our clients about transparency a fair bit lately, and so has Michael Edson, Director of Web & New Media Strategy, Office of the CIO, Smithsonian Institution SI). Michael was a keynote speaker in April at Computers in Libraries 2009 and just spoke to the Potomoc Forum about the transparency strategy process. The first number of slides are similar to those he used for CIL2009, but this new presentation has a lot more about the actually process that the Smithsonian is using. The SI has now developed three themes in their strategy: update the Smithsonian digital experience, update the Smithsonian learning model, balance autonomy & contrl at SI. Interesting and probably something that many libraries should be thinking about. They have eight goals: mission, brand, learning, experience, interpretation, business model, technology & governance. And, they have 54 tactical recommendations with 5 “do next” items: post doc to wiki, synchronize with other strategy efforts, appoint a leader, develop a tactical road map, & embrace the Smithsonian Commons, the centerpiece of the strategy, “facilitate learning, creativity, innovation through open access to Smithsonian collections, resources & communities.” Libraries have a lot to learn from Michael. I first heard him speak in Dec 08 and he

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Critical thinking: more than for decision-making, it’s how digital natives engage


I have the incredible privilege of giving a session with Mary Lee Kennedy and Deb Wallace of Harvard Business School on critical thinking at SLA 2009 tomorrow. Unfortunately, Mary Lee won’t be there in person, but she certainly will be there in content and in spirit. Mary Lee embodies critical thinking — viewing “what is” and asking “why” and then doing something about it. Just ask anyone that’s worked with her at Harvard, or, before that, Microsoft and, before that, Digital Equipment. I’d ask “huh?” but Mary Lee would definitely ask “how can we frame this?”

The presentation is up here, but, in a nutshell critical thinking is really about unveiling and questioning assumptions and information that may not be valid. Sounds easy, right? sounds reasonable. Especially since so many decisions and problems we face are complex. There’s often no obvious or even one right decision or solution.

BUT, it’s not easy or even reasonable in many circumstances to keep raising questions about people’s base “starting points” as they discuss potential options. It can be downright risky to suggest to those making decisions that they “re-frame” how they see the situation, or that they set the “sunk costs” of a service or project aside as they examine options. After all, very often we continue to ‘sink costs’ into a service/project even though it’s obviously past its prime or no longer working. As Warren Buffet said, “When you find yourself in a hole, the best thing you can do is stop

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Edson Animation on Change


Computers in Libraries 2009 keynote Michael Edson made this fun animation for a recent talk to the 2009 Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Webwise conference. Can’t wait to see what he’ll do in DC for CIL.

A Sense of Urgency


I can’t believe that I’ve been talking about urgency in the context of change and transformation for over 20 years, and now leadership guru John Kotter has a new HBS book, A Sense of Urgency, out on the topic. Here’s what it’s about.

“Most organizational change initiatives fail spectacularly (at worst) or deliver lukewarm results (at best). In his international bestseller Leading Change, John Kotter revealed why change is so hard, and provided an actionable, eight-step process for implementing successful transformations. The book became the change bible for managers worldwide. Now, in Urgency, Kotter shines the spotlight on the crucial first step in his framework: creating a sense of urgency by getting people to actually see and feel the need for change. Why focus on urgency? Without it, any change effort is doomed. Kotter reveals the insidious nature of complacency in all its forms and guises. In this exciting new book, Kotter explains: How to go beyond “the business case” for change to overcome the fear and anger that can suppress urgency; Ways to ensure that your actions and behaviors — not just your words — communicate the need for change; How to keep fanning the flames of urgency even after your transformation effort has scored some early successes. Written in Kotter’s signature no-nonsense style, this concise and authoritative guide helps you set the stage for leading a successful transformation in your company. “