Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Intrapreneurship Handbook for Librarians

Finished June 24
Intrapreneurship Handbook for Librarians: How To Be a Change Agent in Your Library by Arne J. Almquist and Sharon G. Almquist


There is a common saying that the only real constant is change, but too often we get into a rut and do the same thing because it works okay and we're used to it. But sometimes there is a better way to do something, sometimes it is something we don't need to do anymore, and sometimes there are other things that are even better to do. But it is hard to leave that place of comfort and this book helps you help your library make those changes. 
The book is organized into nine chapters plus a couple of useful appendices. 
Chapter One digs into the idea of entrepreneurs and how entrepreneurship is defined, what it looks like, what the history of it is, and what it has looked like in a library context, giving actual library-related examples, and looking into the motivations of those entrepreneurs.
Chapter Two looks at Intrapreneurs and how they are different than entrepreneurs and how they are similar to them. Here we also have a definition and I really liked the idea of the five Ps that is associated with this: Passion, Perseverance, Promotion, Planning, and Professionalism. This chapter looks at the qualities associated with intrapreneurs, and how they measure success in their actions. It also gives some questions that can help you get going.
Chapter Three discusses the idea of Agents of Change and the idea of intrapreneurial innovation. There are many things associated with these people and actions including creativity, communication and collaboration. The role of strategy is discussed, as well as that of conflict, which will definitely happen at some point. Various barriers to change are introduced from groupthink to collective disfunction, and you will likely recognize a few of them. They also differentiate between true innovation and improvements (both good things!), and give some advice on how to become a change agent. 
Chapter Four gets into corporate culture and how to develop an intrapreneurial culture at your library. These include things like accepting for mistakes, taking risks, considering diversity, and working with professional respect. They also talk about how to support that type of culture and to recognize that you will likely need to pick your battles. The idea of competitive advantage is also given some discussion in terms of opportunities versus choices.
Chapter Five looks at process, the nitty gritty of making changes. Ways to get going includes brainstorming, needs assessments, and thinking through ideas. You will have to be prepared to answer the difficult questions that will come up. It can be helpful to think of it as creating your future. Not everything will work as you originally propose it, and they discuss the process as a form of distillation. There are lots of good tools mentioned here: SCAMPER, SCORE analysis, and feasibility studies are some. 
Chapter Six gets into how to pitch your ideas and get others on board. From writing and delivering your elevator speech to a slide checklist for a pitch presentation, this will help you put your best foot forward. It will also help you deal with the reaction, whether it is acceptance, rejection, or something in between. Also included in this chapter are things such as pilots, project plans, and funding plans. Funding can be internal or external, and donors can be one way to get your project going. 
Chapter Seven looks at the team, how you put it together, what the roles and responsibilities of team members are, and how the team and the project are managed. 
Chapter Eight gets into implementation, including tools for project management, how to analyze the failures that may arise, and how to celebrate achievements. 
Chapter Nine takes you from the completion of one innovation to moving on to the next. You want to make this type of change a part of the expected culture of your library.
The appendices give some tests and commentary that may be useful to you as you decide on how you want to do intrapreneurship. 
All in all, this book offers great guidance for the move for you to get your library looking at change in a more positive way.

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