30 April 2006

Information Futures Institute

Yesterday I was invited to spend the day at the meeting of the Information Futures Institute, and lead a conversation as the last session of their annual meeting. The IFI is a small, invitation-only group of individuals who are concerned with the state and future of what would conventionally be called libraries and librarianship - but these folks are anything but conventional, both in their respective experiences and their thinking. Anyone who (still) believes that librarians are dull would do well to spend a few hours in conversation with this group.

Among the invited speakers were Alan Darnell, who described the terrific aid to academe, the Scholars Portal, and Hubert St. Onge talking about Conductive Organizations (which is primarily a mashup of Barry Johnson's polarity management and David Bohm's dialogue). For me, the highlight of the day was Ken Roberts from the Hamilton Public Library, not merely for creating an exemplary online presence for the library, but primarily for being an exemplar of many aspects of an organization of the future. Ken's description of how he has positioned the library within the city (along multiple organization-to-organization valences) and within the community demonstrates the type of balance between inner and outer orientations that I believe is a key indicator of an effect-ive organization (his other competing values seem pretty well balanced, too). I have a feeling I'll be writing more about the HPL as I get into my empirical cases.

For the IFI members who are visiting my blog, welcome! Here is Why Johnny and Janey Can't Read (and why Mr. and Ms. Smith can't teach). If you want to read more about Research in the Age of Ubiquitous Connectivity, or about Role*, my research into intrinsic motivation and finding passion in your work and your life, or about Applied McLuhan for Managers, or about my work on Organizational Effect-iveness, just click the links. I do have a few copies of McLuhan for Managers on hand that I can sell - if you'd like a copy, please email me and we'll arrange the details.

Thanks for inviting me. It was a fun and interesting day.

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