As we all know, one of the many terrific perks of working at a library is having access to a wide range of interesting periodicals. Today I was looking through the December issue of the Harvard Business Review, and I found an article which I thought might have important applications to libraries.
The article was titled “Finding and Grooming Breakthrough Innovators.” In the article, the authors describe many common characteristics of innovators including their strong analytic skills and their ability to think strategically even in ambiguous situations. They are curious, assertive, persuasive and self-aware. Once identified by organizations, these individuals should be paired with mentors who help facilitate their growth and allow them to test new ideas and assumptions. They should also be encouraged to form networks with their innovative peers.
As an organization, NHLA does a good job of identifying and mentoring talented, innovative librarians amongst its membership, but how do we each do at identifying these innovators within our own libraries? Do we give them opportunities to develop their talents, and do we encourage them to join NHLA?
As President of NHLA, I encourage all members to make a New Year’s resolution to successfully recruit at least one new colleague to join NHLA in the year ahead. Even if that colleague works for another organization, why not offer them an opportunity to grow and help us innovate.