Wednesday, October 22, 2008

geek2.0 in a management1.0 organization

since this is my personal blog, I have the luxury to express many ideas that MPOW doesn't necessarily endorse. since this is my personal blog I also run the risk of getting myself in some trouble if i expose MPOW too much, or if I shine an unflattering light on it. I have done it before, I will do it again, and I don't really need high tech tools like a blog to get there, if you know me you know that.

the upcoming series is probably going to set new records in risk, exposure and all around trouble making but also, a new twist, of outreach, compromise and all around goodwill on my part.

for the last few years I have attentively listened to pioneers, champions and leaders in all things library 2.0 and done my best to both emulate them, and spread the innovation gospel all around, all the time, to all who would listen and many who didn't want to.

It has improved my work, my workplace and hopefully the services we deliver to the community. But it has been INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING as well.
It is frustrating mostly because many many people mean to help but don't, want to support it but won't, say they will get out of your way but don't. It is frustrating because management still tend to think of technology as a separate department instead of an intricate part of every departments, therefore, often sees technology innovation efforts as expandable. The first thing we stop, to save time/money/stress etc. It was very disruptive anyways, right?

I see other organizations thrive, innovate, expand their horizon and deliver extraordinary value to their customers. I think: "Man, they are so lucky that everyone is on board!"

...then I realized, there is an AL in every workplace.

...then I saw this great article in HBR on "the new volunteers" referring to content contributors.

...then I read that Helene Blower said at IL2008: "...know what is important to your management and administration and cater to that..."

so I decided to attempt to design 2.0 ventures from the point of view of our local management. cater to what I know is important to them...

right now, the easy one will be presenting cost saving projects.
that is the first obvious place where geek2.0 and management1.0 meet.

that will also be where I may be able to get open content creation added and given the same value as all the rest of the volunteer hours!

there is a lot of stuff to reconcile here, there is an incredibly wide gap to fill on topics like transparency and play... but I will do my best to approach all this from a new angle and discover new grounds to cover at the same time.

Please do not misunderstand me, I love my director1.0. I have a lot of respect for her. she is dedicated to this library's success, loves the staff and the community and is a very open minded person. But she is also a very "proven-traditional-management-style-and-traditional-library-services-equals-guaranteed-success" kind of woman. She is incredibly uncomfortable with the concept of PLAY. I think she mostly sees transparency as unreasonable sharing of the burden she has agreed to be responsible for. She feels responsible for all of us professionally. She is very good at what she does, and in these times of budget cuts and layoff talks, she obviously strive to deliver high quality services and keep staff focused on service delivery and customer care. I know she is just like much of the management in libraries today. Time to stop trying to make her something she is not and instead, start to bridge that gap between what she sees as success, and what I see as success.

So I'll take potential innovations one at a time, I'll lay out what the real life obstacles to it are (that be the risky part), and then I'll attempt to design new angles and approaches to implement them.

It should be fun, wish me luck.


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1 comment:

JenWaller said...

What a fantastic way to re-frame an issue. Congratulations! You're focusing on the things you can do instead of pushing and forcing the things you can't. Really great post.

One of these days, when I have a spare moment, I will edit my notes from IL2008 and post them on my (now under construction) blog. Maybe by IL2009 ;-)

Hang in there!