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Dan Pink and Improv Skills

Dan Pink is coming out with a new book on December 31, 2012.  It’s called, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.  To "sell”, for him, includes much of what we do all day which is convince, persuade and motivate people to do what we want or need them to do.

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Explore "Beyond Books" this Fall with Infopeople

Are you ready to take your library's readers' advisory services to the cutting edge? Do you want to include adults who are seeking suggestions not only for what to read next but also for listening or viewing experiences? Would you like to assist library users in evaluating formats such as e-books, graphic novels, films and music genres as well as methods that will best suit their search for a format that is comfortable and piques their interests?

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Mental Models of Community Engagement Hold Us Back

My colleague Gail Griffith and I did a preconference at ALA called Mental Model Busting.  One of the mental models we explored was community engagement.  As you might guess, people’s mental models of community engagement were all over the map.  Not that there was disagreement, just wildly different assumptions about what is meant by “community engagement”.  The flipcharted responses revealed that to some it was partnering, for others it was identifying community.  For some it was having the whole community read the same book, for others it was letting the community see our value and for oth

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Are You Listening?

Everyone seems to be saying….

  • We need to be responsive to our communities!
  • We need to innovate!
  • We need to do things differently!

They may be right, and the question is HOW do we do these things?  I believe there is a set of skills we need in order to get where we want to go.  And, one of them is learning how to really listen.

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Why Nations Fail

My mother, who knows about the work I do in libraries around culture change to produce vibrant organizations, sent me an article from the New York Times Magazine online called “Why Some Countries Go Bust” (http://tinyurl.com/79vylps). The article reviews a new book by Turkish M.I.T. professor Daron Acemoglu and his collaborator James Robinson called “Why Nations Fail,” What seems obvious to me is that the principles they present apply not only to nations but to organizations, as well. As the author of the NY Times article says,

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Customer Service is a Team Sport

When somebody says “customer service” what comes to mind?

Is it a smiling person using open gestures and asking how they can help?  That’s where most people’s minds go.  What’s missing is all the things that happen behind the scenes.  Customer service starts long before and far away from the public service desk and involves almost everyone on staff.

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Expose Your Skills

I was reading the SF State University Magazine today.  There’s an article about an historian who wrote a graphic novel about a court trial of a slave woman named Albina in late 19th century West Africa: the kind of history that’s hard to find because of the dearth of records kept.  He wanted to make sure the story of a “tough as nails, powerful, argumentative and resilient woman” was told.  In the article, the historian, Trevor R.

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