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Harvard College Library's Sarah Tudesco on the social media generation gap

It's no secret many libraries have been cautious to adopt social media technologies. At CIL 2011, our blogging team talked to Sarah Tudesco, Collection Management Analyst and Reporting Librarian at Harvard College Library, who shed some light on the different attitudes she's seeing on social media at the library.

How e-books could be the next chapter for George Mason University's library

What's black and white and red hot all over? E-books, if you asked attendees at CIL 2011. And if you didn't, that's OK. Because we did.

We found quite a few attendees were at the show for the e-book sessions, which is no surprise as they continue to grow in popularity across consumer and business sectors. In fact, last week Amazon announced its Kindle Lending Library, which will let Kindle users borrow books from 11,000 libraries in the U.S.

At CIL, one attendee our blogging team talked to was Betsy Appleton, Electronic Resources Librarian for George Mason University. She told us why e-books are on her radar, as well as what social media and online communities mean to her.

Also, here's the transcript of the video in case you're somewhere you can't pipe up the volume.

Janelle: I'm Janelle Kozyra. We are here at the CIL 2011 Conference in Washington, D.C. I am with Betsy Appleton. Hi Betsy.

Betsy: Hi.

Human Resources Professionals Association shows how it uses Presto to improve member services

Last week we shared the slide deck that Corrina Mason, Information Specialist for the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), and Phil Green, CTO of Inmagic, presented at CIL 2011. Today we have the video of their presentation.

Phil covers the basics of Social Knowledge Networks, and then Corrina takes the mic to talk about HRPA's experience using Inmagic Presto to create its Resource Centre, a searchable online HR knowledgebase for handling members' reference and research requests.

Canadian Inmagic users, learn tips and tricks for DB/TextWorks, Web Publisher Pro, and improving Web interface design

Our customers often ask us about our training sessions for our products. Our training program is tailored to our customers' schedule, location, and their role in their organization. Our global partners are also certified trainers in our software, so we can cover more ground and be at more places where our customers are.

The next big training session planned is Inmagic Training and Ideas Days. Andornot, an Inmagic partner for 15 years running, is planning to hit six major Canadian cities over the next two months for a day of training and stimulating ideas.

From ideation to innovation: How to turn Michael Schrage's advice into action

Last week we posted our interview with Michael Schrage, research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business. I want to thank Michael for spending time with us and giving us insight into how he's seeing innovation in the enterprise evolving.

Michael sheds lights on some important trends and observations in innovation and ideation. And while I share most of his viewpoints, there are some things I see a little differently. So here's my take on what Michael said. Feel free to voice your thoughts, too, in the comments.

First off, Michael talked about banning ideas from conversations about innovation. I wouldn't take this stance per se, but I think Michael makes an important point.

I agree that ideas come in all shapes and sizes -- good, bad, and ugly. And in the absence of experiments and testing of ideas, politics can often win the day and ideas just end up as "product manager tricks."

How many times have we heard, "Oh, the product manager thought it was a really good idea. So we spent six months developing it, and when we shipped the product, we found out no one wanted it." So Michael is right. Just capturing or coming up with ideas is completely insufficient for successful innovation.

So how do innovative organizations achieve Michael's key objective of deriving value from use? I believe that you need to first listen to your customers and understand what they think is valuable.

This is what an ideation system can give you, as it captures requests directly from customers and lets other customers support these requests. In other words, ideas can provide direction and insight into what is of value.

The question then is, what do I do with this input? If the answer is take it verbatim and build it, you are doomed. However, if you take Michael's advice and test several ways to deliver the value that the customer seeks, then we are golden.

This is the process that a large software company that we are working with has taken. Step one is to gather ideas from the customer base and let the customers rank these ideas. This helps eliminate the politics from the ideation process.

We go from having good, bad, and ugly ideas, which then go through a political process to rank the development priorities, to a process where we have ideas in a priority order as they are understood by your customers. This means the development team has much more confidence that customers really want this stuff.

The next part is crucial. How do we turn these ideas into products and features? I completely agree with Michael on this aspect. If we let politics or ignorance drive the product development process, we are still doomed. What is necessary is any or all of the following four steps:

1. Create focus groups with your key customers to understand in a much more rigorous way what they really meant and how they would like to see the idea actualized in your product.

2. Use surveys to probe the in-depth reasons behind the request so that you understand in much more detail how the idea is to be used and why it is of value.

3. Use agile/Scrum techniques (which is especially easy if you are building software) to actually demonstrate the new features to your customers as you are building them, not when you're done and shipping the product. Get customers intimately involved in your development process. This is a core Scrum principal and should be done at the end of every sprint.

4. Build testable versions of you new features and products, and test them. If your product is available as a website (like Amazon) you can test several versions of the idea/feature and see how your customers react. Which version of the idea did they use the most? Which one increased revenue? Which one extended their stay on the site? In a Web-based environment, you have no excuse for not testing ideas before you make them into products.

So, I agree in principle with Michael. Ideas are not nearly enough, and without testing, ideas can lead you astray. However, a good ideation system is a crucial part to ensuring you are innovating in directions that are important to your customers and eliminating much of the politics surrounding the productization of bad ideas.

MIT's Michael Schrage on why innovation isn't about ideas

Michael Schrage
"The most important thing to understand about innovation is that it's not about ideas. It's not about good ideas. In fact, good ideas are bad ... Ideas are the wrong unit of analysis to explore innovation. I believe what organizations should be looking at, and what individuals should be looking at is, what are the hypotheses we want to test? There's a difference between an idea, a suggestion, and a testable hypothesis."

Michael Schrage put it bluntly in our recent interview with him.

Michael is a top thought leader on innovation. He is a research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business, and has pioneered techniques for using rapid prototyping, simulations, and modeling to improve return on innovation investment.

You might have seen his regularly contributed articles in Fortune, CIO Magazine, and MIT’s Technology Review. Michael has also written two critically acclaimed books, "Serious Play: How the World’s Best Companies Simulate to Innovate" and "Shared Minds -- The New Technologies of Collaboration." His forthcoming book is "Getting Beyond Ideas: The Future of Rapid Innovation."

In our interview with Michael, he made it very clear that companies that are not prepared to innovate will go away. Sound scary? Then make sure you tune into our podcast to learn more of Michael's insight, and hear his advice for ensuring companies innovate to bring value to their customers.

You'll hear Michael talk about:
  • What Warren Buffett taught him about innovation
  • Where actionable innovation comes from
  • Real-world examples of how the hypothesis testing model has worked in the enterprise, including at
  • Biggest barriers to fostering innovation, including culture and organizational slowness
  • Recommendations for developing good hypotheses
  • Why "innovation is a means to an end"
  • What impact social technology is having on innovation
  • Why the next 10 years will see a surge in innovation and inventiveness
Be sure to tune in. Or, download the podcast to you computer so you can listen to it offline or on your MP3 player. To download it, right click the podcast link, and select "save link." You can also get a copy of the full transcript.

Thanks again, Michael, for taking our interview.

Demo: How the Human Resources Professionals Association is using Presto to improve member services

We're continuing to roll out resources from CIL 2011. Today, I bring you the slide deck that Corrina Mason, Information Specialist for the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), and Phil Green, CTO of Inmagic, presented at the show.

The slides cover HRPA's experience using Inmagic Presto to create its Resource Centre, a searchable online HR knowledgebase for handling members' reference and research requests. You'll see screen shots of the Resource Centre with the Presto features and functionality HRPA is using.

HRPA measured some insightful data as a result of the implementation, including member reaction and improvement in member engagement, satisfaction, and retention. It's worth looking through if your association is interested in learning how Social Knowledge Networks can be used to achieve similar results.
The slides include the notes Phil and Corrina used in their presentation, which gives you a first-hand account of the Presto implementation. To read the notes, download the presentation so you can view them in PowerPoint. We've also extracted the notes and pasted them below.


{Phil Green}

In this session, we will cover a real-world case study using Social Knowledge Networks -- through purchase, implementation, use, and ROI.

Webinar reminder! Learn four keys to successful ideation & innovation next week

Looking for a good idea? Here's one: Don't forget to register for our webinar next week to learn how to improve the way your company develops ideas and turns them into innovation.

Our webinar, Win-novate: Four Keys to Successful Innovation, will teach you the four keys to successful innovation. Our host will be Kimberly Watson-Hemphill, author of "Fast Innovation" and founder of Firefly Consulting.

You can flip back to our previous post for more details on what our webinar has in store. Then be sure to mosey over to our sign-up page to register. Catch you there!

WHAT: Win-novate: Four Keys to Successful Innovation webinar

WHEN: April 14, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET

WHERE: Your computer


Is E2.0 just Facebook for the enterprise?

We've visited the issue of how knowledge is defined in a post on the DIKW hierarchy. Several comments suggested that knowledge exists only in our heads, while I argued that knowledge can be codified and written down.

I'd like to revisit this issue because it appears to me that how you define knowledge influences your choice of E2.0 vendors, your implementation strategy, and at the most basic level, your definition of E2.0. So we're kicking off a new series on our blog to explore what E2.0 really is, and help you determine what it should mean to you and your organization.

I think the best place to start is with this bookish simplification and how it relates to the DIKW (Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom) hierarchy:

F = E2.0, where F is Facebook

The DIKW hierarchy, put forth by Jonathan Hey, is well known. But the line between information and knowledge has been hotly debated for some time.

If we turn to the theory and practice of knowledge management, we see knowledge is often divided into both explicit and tacit knowledge.

Explicit, of course, being knowledge that can be formalized and codified, whereas tacit knowledge is often referred to as "know-how," or the knowledge that only comes from experience and only resides in the mind. I have referred to this knowledge dichotomy as being "book smart" versus "street smart."

Many KM practitioners regard tacit knowledge (street smarts) as more valuable than explicit knowledge (book smarts) for the very same reason that we all desire an experienced surgeon versus a recent medical school graduate.

HRPA talks about how it uses Presto to increase its member request response rate

Like many international associations, the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) faces the challenge of managing and responding to thousands of e-mail requests from members annually. In HRPA's case, members usually ask for career and educational information.

We've covered on our blog how HRPA uses Presto to provide these materials to its membership, including through Presto's knowledge management, blogging, and other social technology features. If you're looking for more details on this, turn your eyes to this recent KMWorld article by Phil Britt.

He reported on HRPA's approach, including feedback and testimonial from Corrina Mason, HRPA's Information Specialist. Some helpful insight to look into if you're facing similar member service challenges in your association.

And speaking of which, we'll also be posting Corrina's slide deck she presented recently at CIL 2011. It features more details on HRPA's Presto implementation and the results the organization is now seeing surrounding member service and retention.


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