Innovation Management in and for Libraries

I was invited as a keynote speaker to the conference Emerging Technologies in Academic Libraries (#emtacl12) in Trondheim. On October 2 I had a talk about innovation management in and for libraries. It’s not the first time I talked about this topic, but I tried to work it out a little bit in more general way. So innovation management as we introduced it at ETH-Bibliothek is still important, but it is now one important example to me. There are more libraries in Germany and Switzerland that implemented an innovation management. Usually the first step is to create the position of an innovation manager or to indicate a staff member to be responsible for the innovation process.

I structured the implementation of an innovation management into seven steps:

Step 1: Create an Organizational Framework
Step 2: Define the innovation process
Step 3: Introduce an Idea Management
Step 4: Involve Staff
Step 5: Involve Customers (Open Innovation)
Step 6: Search systematically for Ideas
Step 7: Cultivate your Product Portfolio

I am convinced that this organizational framework is important to institutionalize innovation management in libraries.  But in fact, most important is a culture, a spirit of innovation. This can not be replaced by organization and management methods. And it is decisive that the library’s management team lives this spirit. The main task of innovation management is therefore to create a framework in which the innovation culture and spirit can grow.

I am very much interested in examples of libraries that have already introduced a kind of an innovation management. If your library did, I would be very interested in some information about the way it was done. Don’t hesitate to contect me. You may write a commentary to this blog post or send me an email (see >contact).

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