Innovation Strategy: Explore "Parallel Universes" for Solutions

Innovation Tools • September 8, 2011

Think outside your universe. Rather than devoting in-house resources to innovative solutions, take a look at how other industries around you are addressing similar issues—whether it's retail spatial design, fast food customer management, or logistics and inventory management.

My OCLC colleagues based in the Netherlands arranged for us to tour De Nieuwe Bibliotheek in the city of Almere last week during a management team visit. This public library opened in March 2010 is a wonderful experience for a visitor and is hugely popular with the citizens. Why? According to the director they turned the interior design over to a firm that only does retail spaces and let some experts in market segmentation determine the arrangements of their materials. There are great photos and background details here. ( Michalko)

The Dangers of Delegating Discovery

Harvard Business Review Blog Network • September 23, 2011

Keep your finger on the pulse. Too many executives approach problem-solving by delegating the research process to staff, but that strategy isolates leadership and deprives top execs of the serendipitous discovery opportunities that may emerge during investigation. "There's no substitute for first-hand experience," says Innosight's Scott Anthony. Read on for an amazing example of research on "making one's own luck" that illustrates Anthony's point.

And the book that identified this research example is worth seeking out. ( Michalko)

How Should We Make Hard Decisions?

Wired  • September 20, 2011

"When the going gets tough, go with the gut." That's the final word on how to make hard decisions. Check out Jonah Lehrer's overview of research on the topic and experts' conclusions on why people act the way they do. Knowing the pitfalls of processing complex information might help you out the next time you have a difficult choice to make.

You may recall the Edge article (" The Marvels and the Flaws of Intuitive Thinking") where Type 1 (emotional) thinking got explicated and discussed. This article brings some newer research to bear. The concluding advice is about as easy to follow as "Don't think of an elephant." ( Michalko)

The End of the Gatekeeper: How the Online Revolution is Revolutionizing Wine

Keynote Address for the 37th Nederburg Auction—Nederburg Winery • September 17, 2011

Message in a bottle. Check out this speech on the waning influence of big name authorities on wine like Robert Parker in favor of "trusted networks" of local experts and friends. There are lots of parallels with how people seek and evaluate information beyond the wine universe.

These are dynamics that we've been discussing in our community for quite awhile. It was illuminating to see how one introduces these concepts to an unfamiliar audience in an industry that might not be as Internet-aware as others. While reading it did occur to me how very long it had been since I'd looked at or relied on the comments of an authoritative wine critic. I just ask my shop guy. ( Michalko)

A Recommendation

Consider subscribing to the RSS feed of our former colleague, Dylan Tweney. He's had a career as a tech journalist, storyteller, critic, and supporter of libraries and haiku. He's now the executive editor of VentureBeat. If you're interested in technology and its impacts, and fond of intelligent writing with personality, Dylan's for you. ( Michalko)

Above the Fold Quiz

According to an item in this week's News and Views section, how are some institutions converting finding aids or other metadata from paper to electronic form?

Get the answer.