Monday, April 12, 2010

Achieving Org 2.0

Second Session in Track C

Organization 2.0 (or Can't Get There from Here)

Meredith Farkas

People complain about Web 2.0 gone awry at their organizations.
  • People feel pressure to do what everyone else is even if it's not required or useful.
  • They see successful things and what to replicate them without thinking about the local population.
  • The 'kid in the candy store' effect without thinking about filling an actual need.
  • We go where our users are without actually being useful there.
  • They treat the tech as free like beer, when they're really free like kittens.
  • The super passionate person who volunteers to do everything, but doesn't really have the time.
  • New responsibilities are added without taking away any existing duties.
  • People are really excited about new technologies, but it gets less sexy over time and can start to seem like drudge work.
So what's the problem? The graveyard of 2.0 initiatives.

Why does it fail?
  • It's not seen as integral to library's mission, not tied to strategic goals
  • Treated as pet project
  • Not planned for strategically
  • People less inclined to contribute when newness wears off
  • Staff aren't given official/formal time for the projects
Library 2.0 is a state of mind. Look outside the library world for best practices examples of social media use.

Tips for implementing organization 2.0:
  • Know your users, not just generally, but your specific user population (Surveying Students, U. of Rochester)
  • Encourage staff to learn and play. Keeping up with trends needs to be part of the profession, part of the job description for all library staff.
  • Question everything
  • Integrate 2.0 tech and planning into larger planning process
  • Treat technologies as tools, apply them only to solve real needs and problems
  • Improve communications with users
  • Highlight our collections (new books via RSS feed, links in Wikipedia to special collections, photos on Flickr)
  • Make our services more visible
  • Improve internal knowledge sharing (Baruch college reference desk blog)
  • Develop a Risk-Tolerant Culture [I think this one is really key, and a problem for my own organization. -Gretchen]
  • Beware the culture of perfect, development should be an iterative process
  • Be agile, don't get attached - if we're adding new things, we have to get rid of something else.
  • Good ideas can come from anyone and anywhere
  • Need to nurture talent at our librarians, so many people get passion stepped on by too many Nos
  • Give staff time for creative endeavors
  • Encourage network building and create partnerships
  • Be transparent with our patrons
  • Devote time to all of the above - create new jobs, reshuffle old ones
  • Assess! Constantly! We're not doing enough to find out if the initiatives are working to meet people's needs.
My thoughts: these are all good tips, but I would've liked fewer tips with more detail about the actual hows of achieving them. Lots of examples are nice, but aren't necessarily helpful if none of the examples come from situations like yours.

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