Ch-ch-ch-changes…

From my reading of the chapter on Managing Innovation and Change in Clegg et al. and Rowley’s chapter on Innovation and entrepreneurship, I have come to understand the concept far more clearly, and can see how to apply it to the field of information organisations. Previously I believed that Change Management was concerned with successfully negotiating how unavoidable external factors influenced an organisation. Through their discussion of innovation and entrepreneurship, the chapters outline the positive impacts of changing approaches and creativity in business. How this can be encouraged by successful management is the challenge facing most organisations. Clegg et al point out that there is the belief that ‘innovation management’ is an oxymoron.

I certainly feel that creativity is not something that lends itself to being managed – as management implies control, whereas creativity suggests a certain freedom. Yet I think it is possible for management to try and foster creativity and innovation through the organisational culture. The strategy of Google and others that encourages employees to spend a certain percentage of their work time on projects of personal interest appears to be a successful model. However, I wonder if implementing this in smaller organisations with more limited resources is possible.

The following question was asked at the end of Rowley’s chapter: How can public sector organisations adapt their culture, systems and processes to facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity?

Building on my last reflection and on some other reading I have been doing, I would suggest that the hosting of good quality, enthusiastic interns could be a solution. In an article for Library Hi Tech, Heidi Blackburn writes about the innovations that Generation Y, or Millennials, naturally bring to the workplace, due to their familiarity with new technologies. However this generation are also severely impacted by unemployment, due to graduating in a time of economic cut-backs. Public Sector organisations and other information organisations outside the public sector would benefit from the innovative approaches of Millennials, even if they were only hired for a short amount of time. This generation would see technology they are already familiar with as a logical solution to challenges in the organisation, and would have greater freedom to be creative as they do not have the same pressures on them as permanent employees. Being involved in an internship is also a valuable experience for the Millennial, who must be innovative in the ways that they build their CV in challenging times.

As discussed in my last reflection, there are positive and negative elements to the current internship system in Ireland, therefore I found the Hack Library School’s Tips for making internships work for everybody really interesting. The blog and following comments would be helpful to anyone involved in the internship process.

Reference
Blackburn, H. 2011. Millennials and the adoption of new technologies in libraries through the diffusion of innovations process. Library Hi Tech.

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