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An Infopeople Online Learning Course

February 25th, 2014 12:00 PM
March 24th, 2014 4:30 PM

Course Instructor:  Brenda Hough

Innovation is the buzzword of our day. Books, articles, and presentations all emphasize the need for libraries to become more innovative in order to survive and thrive in contemporary society. Yet, what does innovation look like on a practical level? Are there skills and techniques that can be learned? This course will focus on three levels of innovation: individual, team, and organizational. You will learn:

  • How to increase your personal capacity for idea generation, creative thinking, and problem solving
  • Ways to develop ideas and solutions when working in a group
  • Techniques for crowdsourcing idea generation or problem solving
  • Things you can do to help foster a culture of innovation within your library

You will explore your own barriers and preferences regarding innovation, as well as strategies for working with teams. As you learn individual and team skills, you'll see how you can influence organizational culture, even if you are not in a leadership position.

Course Description: Through assignments, discussions, and readings, you will learn how to generate more ideas, think more creatively about problems, and address the challenges of moving from idea to implementation. You will reflect on your own strengths and barriers. You will be able to apply the concepts and techniques immediately, as an individual and as a member of work groups and teams. You will read about innovation in other organizations and will be able to ask questions and participate in discussions with others.

Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:

  • Week 1: Understanding Innovation
    • Defining innovation
    • The connection between innovation and leadership, planning, and change
    • Examples of innovation
  • Week 2: Innovating as an Individual
    • Practical techniques for idea generation
    • Strategies for moving from individual ideas to organizational implementation
    • Obstacles to innovation
  • Week 3: Innovating in Groups
    • Practical techniques for generating new ideas and solutions when working in a group
    • Utilizing networks to crowdsource idea generation or problem solving
    • Practical methods for working with groups to facilitate adoption of innovations
  • Week 4: Fostering a Culture of Innovation
    • Ways to develop an organizational culture of innovation
    • Examples of things other libraries have done to foster a culture of innovation
    • Impacting organizational culture, even if you're not in a leadership position

Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2½ hours per week, for a total of ten course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various options for assignments, discussions, or online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.

Who Should Take This Course: Anyone interested in acquiring skills for problem solving, idea generation, and implementing innovation in all types of libraries. The course will be especially valuable to staff and work teams that are exploring how to foster a culture of innovation in their libraries.

Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at:

Course Start: This online learning course starts on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.

After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.

Keywords: Innovation, Leadership