Posted on August 30, 2012.
SLA has partnered with Sunshine Summit 2012 in Canada to support transparency and increased access to government information.
The new partnership is part of SLA’s initiative to support open government and public transparency on a global scale.
Post your comments and use the tag #slachat.
Posted in Seen around
Posted on June 2, 2011.
The Information and Knowledge Professional’s Career Handbook: Define and Create Your Success - Ulla de Stricker and Jill Hurst-Wahl, Chandos Publishing 2011
Sometimes, an idea floats around for a long time, looking for a hook into reality. I can’t count the number of years it occurred to me vaguely “all this advice colleagues ask for and receive ought to be written down for easy reference” as I went about my usual practice of speaking to student groups and reviewing resumes. Then it hit me: Why do it alone? Who else do I know who regularly has conversations with new career entrants and career changers? Hello, Jill? We each had some publisher contacts, and the process of pitching the proposal unfolded. I encourage others who walk around with a “book in the head” to seek out a collaborator – having a sounding board is priceless, and mutual reviews of text makes for a very clean manuscript going to the publisher.
The book can be seen as a “recording” of so much we have said and keep wanting to say in public speeches and seminars and in private conversations. It sets out a foundation on which our interactions with colleagues can be that much more productive because we can focus on the situational specifics. Moreover, it’s a manifesto allowing us to be frank about some convictions we built over decades of experience.
For me personally, the book in addition represented an opportunity to speak about the very individual nature of our work lives: I believe it is important to factor one’s innate strengths and preferences into any planning for a career, and I hope readers will feel encouraged to take into account how powerful it can be when we do so. Sure, the first and second job out of school may be happenstance … but we still have every opportunity to put conscious planning in the mix.
I am grateful to Chandos for the opportunity to publish the Handbook – and do allow me a plug: The entire process of working with Chandos was smooth and efficient beyond my wildest expectations. I am blown away by the professionalism of that team!
Jill and I will be signing copies of the book in booth 306 on Monday June 13 between 11:30 and 12:30 in the SLA exhibit hall – meet us there!
Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/hetqpD
Kim Dority’s review at http://bit.ly/jklN69
Robyn Stockand’s review at http://bit.ly/iWLnAF
Interviews with Ulla and Jill by Dennie Heye: http://twaud.io/qKwQ and http://twaud.io/qQ79
AMAZON listing and reviews: http://amzn.to/e285mO
Availability in Europe: www.woodheadpublishing.com/en/book.aspx?bookID=2101&ChandosTitle=1
Posted in Books, Seen around
Posted on May 18, 2011.
Being a mentor and coaching others can be accomplished through time spent in person, by the phone, or even through writing. In the book “The Information and Knowledge Professional’s Career Handbook: Define and Create Your Success.“, Ulla de Stricker and Jill Hurst-Wahl offer their career knowledge and personal compendium of advice as described in a blog post on the Infonista this past Sunday, May 15th.
Knowledge sharing is one of the noble functions information professionals are known for in the business world. Ask yourself this question – Who are you sharing your knowledge with in a mentoring or coaching capacity?
Posted in Seen around
Posted on February 7, 2011.
The Jan-Feb 2011 issue of Harvard Business Review had an inset that resonates in my environment.
The optimal size of a decision-making group is 7. Deduct 10% effectiveness for each additional person. If you have more than 17 in your group, you are lucky if any decisions get made.
In LMD we are lucky since the true-decision making group is small and strong leaders guide us along. In my real life, not so good, but new additions and necessity are turning the tide on effectiveness.
- Patricia Cia
Posted in Seen around
Posted on September 24, 2010.
For any information professional interested in bringing the ideas of futures and trends to their workplace, this execuBook is worth a look. Author, Pero Micic, describes a model of seeing and understanding the future in The Five Futures Glasses: How to See and Understand More of the Future with the Eltville Model.
Free access to execuBooks through aheadSpace is a benefit of your SLA membership. execuBooks are 15-minute summaries of business books published and delivered every week via email. execuBooks can be read on your computer in html or PDF versions and on your PDA, mobile or BlackBerry. You can sign up for your free subscription at http://www.sla.org/content/learn/members/execubooks/index.cfm
This book doesn't claim that the future is knowable, but it attempts to provide a framework for managing it. The author offers five techniques for viewing and addressing different aspects of the future: assumption analysis, surprise analysis, opportunity development, vision development and strategy development.
The summary provides "a way of thinking about the future to make it more easily understood. It will be of interest to business leaders and others with responsibility for planning and strategy."
Posted in Member benefits, Recommended Resources, Seen around
Posted on August 13, 2009.
The article "Lost in Transition" in Entrepreneur (Nov. 2006) talked about how business owners should plan for s smooth transition of their business before the need arises. In other words, before you need to sell the business, you need to do some homework and planning well in advance.
What I found interesting is that most business owners don't have transition plans and that is very true for information consultants. According to the article, 52% of survey respondents had nonexistent transition plans. Only 9.8% had transition plans that were 90+% complete. And if you were going to transition a business, what might you transition it to?
- Continue to own, but not run it day-to-day
- Sell for top dollar to an outside buyer
- Sell out the the partner
- Sell out to a family member
- Sell to an employee
- Take the company public and continue to run it
- Take the company public and cash out
- Do nothing
If you own a consulting business (as many in the Consulting Section do), then you may immediately see options that don't apply to you. Many of us run one-person companies, so selling to an employee or partner is out of the question, for example. And while we might want to sell for top dollar, we are likely unsure of what is of value in our businesses.
With that all in mind, here are the tips from the article:
- Write down your wishes
- Start documenting (policies, procedures, etc.)
- Select and groom successors, if that is your intent
- Get a valuation – According to the article, 61%" were uncertain how companies in their industry were valued."
- Work out the finances
- Plan for change
A business broker (someone who helps an owner sell their business) could provide information on how to value your business and what strategies to take if you wanted to sell it. (Yes, selling a consulting business can be done.) If you are in the U.S., you might also talk to people at SCORE, Small Business Development Center, and Women Business Center in your community who may have information available on this for free.
Posted in Consulting, Feature Articles, Seen around
Posted on January 19, 2009.
I recently had the opportunity to read Geoff Colvin's, Talent is Overrated. With
an attempt to better understand what contributes to excellent performance, Colvin asks the
reader to reconsider their assumptions. According to him, excellent performance
is more than what most people assume is a product of innate ability. Several of the contributing factors Colvin cites are hard work, deliberate practice, goal setting, and the ability to develop intricate mental models of the domain in which one wishes to excel in.
Within an organizational setting, Colvin points out that it is important for both the employee and the supervisor to believe that sucess is attainable. Without this belief, the supervisor may be reluctant to provide the kind of support an employee needs to be successful because they automatically assume failure. Management can choose to improve the odds of success by providing those that they supervise with the optimum learning opportunities that they need to improve their skillset.
I would recommend this book because it challenges the reader to rethink their assumptions about exceptional performance.
Posted in Feature Articles, Seen around
Posted on September 20, 2008.
In this month’s issue of American Libraries, I came across an interesting article by Jen Waller entitled, "Consider the Jaybraian". As a 2009 MLIS candidate at the University of Washington Information School, Jen’s article highlights the importance of fresh eyes in a library. A quote that I found interesting in the article was from Jen’s boss who told her several years ago that within Jen’s new job as a manager, she had six months to make change. According to him, after that time period she would "start seeing the same things the rest of us see day in and day out."
Jen points out that new librarians should be encouraged to be innovative and that the solutions they come up with should be heard out. While more seasoned librarians may be quick to discount these suggestions by saying that it has already been tried or it won’t work within the environment, this kind of negative attitude benefits no one. As a seasoned librarian, be open to new ideas and be willing to work together with the new professional to implement the valuable solutions that will improve your day-to-day prcocesses and the organization as a whole.
Posted in Feature Articles, Seen around
Posted on December 13, 2007.
In her book, Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Journey to Business Success, Susan Reid talks about what is needed to achieve business success, especially for entrepreneurs. In it, she talks about polymaths, who are those people who have multiple streams of passion and are knowledgeable in many areas. Leonardo de Vinci was a classic polymath and what we call a Renaissance man. According to Reid, polymaths are (pp. 90 – 91):
- Terminally curious
- Read widely
- Able to focus for long periods of time on a specific topic
- Fantastic synthesizers
- Great at generating ideas
Gee…sounds like our profession, doesn’t it?!
In looking at her book and thinking about our profession, these other thoughts came to mind…
Information professionals are often well versed in several areas (generalists) and some of us a real subject specialists. We like diversity in our work, although how much diversity can be different from person to person. We are asked to be creative in finding information (right brain) and methodical in some of the other areas of our work (left brain). And while we’re often people who like a good book, we’re expected to be people-persons too. We may not be ask diverse as Leonardo, but in order to be good at our jobs, we do need to have multiple streams of passion. Yes, multiple things that keep us jazzed.
Has you considered yourself like Leonardo di Vinci before? Likely not. And it is likely that you don’t have the range of passions that he had. However, you have some similar qualities! Perhaps it’s time to take a second look at your knowledge and skills, and spend time cultivating those multiple streams of passion that make you perfect for this profession.
Posted in Professional Development, Seen around
Posted on October 4, 2007.
OK – Dave Pollard has done it again. (This is why I lurk on this man’s blog.) He has taken some insights from Bill Buxton (the same human-computer interface guru who spoke at SLA when it was in Toronto in 2005) and used Bill’s “sketching” concepts to drive some information product ideas. Dave says:
We’ve identified about 15 distinct customer ‘segments’ with clearly different needs for the five types of research ‘products’ we offer:
- Awareness products: Reports that filter and distill the firehose of information out there down to short, succinct explanations of what’s happening in the economy, the industry and society as a whole that would appear to be important and will probably affect our customers.
- Research products: More in-depth reports that explain what these current developments and trends mean to our customers — how these developments are affecting our customers and how they’re dealing with them.
- Guidance products: Reports that suggest what our customers should do in response to these developments.
- Events and spaces: Facilitated seminars, workshops and meetings, in physical or virtual space, that allow our customers to help each other learn about or act on these developments.
- Tools: Applets, online or on flash memory or CD, that help our customers self-assess their knowledge or understanding of these developments and their implications to their businesses.
I will paraphrase again something Dave said when he spoke at SLA in Denver — from the mouths of business leaders: how can librarians / information professionals help me to solve my business problems? If you can answer that question, that will prove their value.
Well, I think Dave has handed us a template for the types of information products that could have an impact on business leaders and their organizations and prove our value. Can we do it?
To read Dave’s full post, see:
Posted in Professional Development, Seen around