From Idea to Innovation to Implementation: An Open Challenge for ACRL

April 12, 2011, 12:26 pm

I’m been working with a committee to put together the ACRL President’s Program for this summer’s ALA in New Orleans. This will be my first time in the Big Easy and I’m looking forward to it.


The theme we were given by ACRL President Lisa Hinchliffe was innovation with nod toward Fast Company. My partner in this endeavor Steven Bell (a candidate for ACRL President-Elect, go vote!) and I kicked around this theme for several months. Our conversation always seemed to center around the notion that coming up with ideas was easy, but transforming them into reality was the real challenge. There can often be a variety of barriers, setbacks, or stumbling blocks that prevent things from happening. I’ve noticed this in my own work where there is a grand vision that ends up being scaled back along the way.


Fast–forward eighteen months and we have our program:


From Idea to Innovation to Implementation: How Teams Make it Happen
We all value great ideas. Unfortunately, few ideas get beyond the lightning-bolt thought or some scribbled words. The greatest innovations across time, according to new research, emerge from teams characterized by diverse skill sets not the lone creative genius. To move our libraries into the future, we must create and sustain teams that transition great ideas to implementation. Jason Young, President of LeadSmart and author of the book Culturetopia, will share his perspectives on the importance of identifying and developing the essential factors that impact performance for any team or organization: leadership principles, management practices, alignment and employee behavior.

Saturday, June 25, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Location is still TBA.


If you are in New Orleans definitely check it out.


We were not content with just putting together a speaker though—we wanted something more engaging. So we’re also hosting an Innovation Contest, although I view it more as a showcase than a competition. More info here and here.


In a nutshell, we want you to submit brief project descriptions that you have completed or are currently working on. Maybe something that has worked out that you’d love to share or maybe you had a big ambitious flop that was none-the-less insightful. Show us. Tell us. Share!

These will be collected and presented together online for everyone to see and the committee will evaluate them – there are prizes but recognition is probably the more valuable commodity. Plus you get lunch with The Ubiquitous Librarian (and others.) The submission deadline is April 29, 2011.


I hope you will consider participating. I’m really curious to read everyone’s ideas. If it works out I might even blog about a few or turn them into an ongoing series.


Big thanks to our committee

  • Kerry Creelman
  • Amelia Glawe
  • Sheila Stoeckel
  • Yen Tran
  • Rachel Vacek


And to Lisa Hinchliffe for getting me more deeply involved with ACRL.


And of course to Steven Bell for all the mentoring.


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