Steve Denning gave a great opening keynote today at Computers in Libraries 2015 in DC on Continuous Innovation & Transformation. As he says, with the Internet came a shift from seller to buyer and with that shift came new ways of thinking and doing — a new dynamic. A new dynamic requiring a change in mindset enabled by computers — one where management is all about enablement not control, about continuous improvement. It is also a new dynamic for all in the organization, where everyone in the organization has a clear sight of the customer. Where it’s all about delighting the customer — an outcome not an output. Iterative customer-focused improvements — continuous innovation and transformation.
It’s not easy to make this shift though so there has to be lots of horizontal conversation and storytelling to get to the new mindset. It is very easy to revert back to traditional styles of management which are hierarchical bureaucracies. Bureaucracies are like morphing viruses that keep finding ways to come back!
So what is the future of libraries? It isn’t about computerizing existing services or applying 21st century technology to save money, and it certainly is not about building apps! It is about meeting customer needs, delighting them and enhancing value. Also about asking the right questions: How can we delight our users & customers? How can we manage our libraries and organizations for continuous innovation? What will makes things better, faster, cheaper, more convenient for our users and customers? What needs to they have that they haven’t even thought of; what would thrill them? To do this you need “new eyes” or perspectives, so keep talking to people in other fields, observing other industries, trying new things. Thanks Steve for making us think!