Research Publications Newsletters Above the Fold Above the Fold - 5 February 2015


The Difference Between Good And Bad Organizations

Farnam Street • 20 January 2015

Which organization do you work for? This excerpt is from a business leadership book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers.

This isn't a Review In Lieu of Reading (RILR). It's an excerpted anecdote but a good one. Ben Horowitz is always worth attention. You won't go wrong with putting his blog in your feed. And here's a bit of related reading about why bureaucracies are so hard to change. (Michalko)



FAQs Are Still Useful • 13 January 2015

Every Page is Page One • 19 January 2015

What frequency and kind of questions make it into a FAQ? Mark Baker takes issue with web architects who regard the FAQ as a sign of poor organization. For best and most consistent access, those architects argue, information should be in its proper place in the overall site or help system. Baker believes that kind of top down organization really only works for those who do the organizing.

This made me think about what I expect on a website. Certainly I will resist having to learn its internal logic or taxonomy. I'll just go to the search box for the site. And we know how deeply unhelpful those results usually are. My impression is that most library websites do not have FAQs. Perhaps they have credible substitutes in the "how to" exposition that does appear on a lot of library websites, e.g. how to find xxxx. (Michalko)



Innovation: Creating vs. Problem Solving

Outside Innovation • 16 January 2015

How do you make problem solving yield to creativity? A short post from Peggy Seybold that usefully unpacks the difference between finding solutions and arriving at something creative. The need for a shared vision, holding the structural tension between a shared vision of a desired future and your current reality is the key according to her.

Seems simple enough but how many can be completely clear-eyed about their current reality let alone have the nuanced picture of a desired future that will let them imagine how they will feel living in it? I guess that's why we hire facilitators to draw those things out. I was interested that her mentor, Robert Fritz, was originally a jazz musician. (Hear the wonderfully articulate jazz saxophonist, Joshua Redman, explain his creative process in this conversation at Harvard Law School. His desired future is a lyrical improvisation, his current reality is the choice of a song that has the right spaces for that improvisation.) (Michalko)



The Future of Fundraising

Stanford Social Innovation Review • 2 January 2015

NPOs meet RFM (recency, frequency, money). The author offers up four trends that will reshape the nonprofit landscape. Some, like Big Data, are trending everywhere but the others—transitional organizations, pro-active opportunism, virtual face-to-face—suggest that a new species of nonprofit unlike the "permanent" foundations may emerge.

Many of you who work in an academic environment are already experiencing these changes. It's hard for me to picture the library leveraging these trends outside of the university development apparatus. With a shift from collections to user-centered service design the library may have a wider group of potential givers no longer bounded by the culture of the book. Read the comment string on this post for some good discussion and anecdotes. (Michalko)



A Documentary, an Interview and a Video

How to Speak Fluent "Museum"
Big Think • January 2015

Kevin Ashton Describes "the Internet of Things"
Innovation | Smithsonian • January 2015

Schwartz—The Sound of Taste
Vimeo • February 2014

The first because it's a Review In Lieu of Seeing (RILS) the latest Frederick Wiseman documentary National Gallery. (It dashed through theaters so quickly I now have to wait for the DVD release).

The second because I had no idea there was a person who coined the phrase or that it was so long ago.

The last because who doesn't want to see giant bags of spice exploding in awesomely beautiful fashion (via Co-Design) (Michalko)



Above the Fold Quiz

According to an item in this week's News and Views section, in the stakeholder ecosystem surrounding the scholarly record, in what ways are the traditional roles of the academy changing?

Get the answer.