Not to beat a dead horse, but I have more to say about creativity and innovation. I am inspired. I’ve been waiting for it. Hoping it would come, like anticipating Christmas morning. I looked under the tree to see what awesome presents await, and I unwrapped the present given to me by Dave Lankes himself. Turns out, I just needed to catch up on some Atlas reading to figure it out…
I’m talking about the Improve Society Thread (be still my bleeding liberal heart!), particularly the Innovation Agreement. I have put pressure on innovation (and myself); believing it is a monumental, earth shattering idea, like Steve Jobs and the iPod, or Starbucks and the coffee collar. Both fabulous, both not something I cannot achieve. What is important to note is that these inventions aren’t human centered, they are technology centered (yes, I consider coffee collars an amazing technology of the not burning the shit out of your hand kind). I couldn’t wrap my mind around innovation because I was trying to look at it from a tech-centric point of view. Instead, we should innovate not to create the latest and greatest product, but innovate to improve upon the services we already have. Make services better to improve the lives of our patrons. Make the goal of innovation always to improve lives, not technology. As Dave said on page 127 of the Atlas, “Innovation is not necessarily invention. To innovate is to do something that already exists (a process, service, or product) better. All too often we see innovation as having to fundamentally change the world when it only has to improve your life.” Totally brill. (Also good to note: something that improves your life totally has an impact to change the world, well at least your world.)
I recently started reading Program or be Programmed, as mentioned in the previous blog, and the intro is really great. It basically states that we have put too much emphasis on technology and improving it instead of improving the people who use it. What a simple idea! No wonder people are always so lost and overwhelmed when it comes to technology. Not to say that we shouldn’t stop improving technology. But there are people out there who are better equipped to do that besides me. I realize now that my job is to improve services so people aren’t overwhelmed. To understand how this technology works so I can teach them how to use it. To improve the lives of our patrons by introducing ideas such as digital citizenship to them, and how it can help their digital well-being; or show them a great cooking resource to improve their physical well-being. What I am saying is my goal is simply to serve. Not to stand silently by, but to be an activist, an innovator, and a participant in the conversation to guide members on their quest for knowledge. The more I read, the more excited I am and up for the challenge. I’m ready to get loud and do some innovation!
And now for some inspiration from J.Lo. (If Lankes gets No Doubt, then I get Jennifer Lopez.)