Sunday, December 12, 2010

Next Book Club: Sustaining Innovation in Nonprofits and Government Organizations

There were so many fabulous recommendations for the next Museum 2.0 book club, in which we'll focus on a business book about innovation and organizational learning. After much perusing, I've selected Sustaining Innovation: Creating Nonprofit and Government Organizations that Innovate Naturally by Paul C. Light.

This book, suggested by Susan Wageman, looks like a fabulous, off-beat, and highly pertinent read for librarians, museum folk, and cultural professionals of all sorts. The author, then-director of the Public Policy Program at the Pew Charitable Trusts, studied 26 Minnesotan non-profits and government organizations in writing this book. It appears to blend high-level recommendations with specific case studies. Including one on Wile E. Coyote.

More importantly, this book appears to confront questions I've been hearing frequently this year: Now that we've tried a couple new things, how do we institutionalize innovation? How do we move from one-off experiments to something more sustainable?

It's time to figure out some answers to these questions so we can keep moving forward. Enter Sustaining Innovation.

This book club will work like the last one. Starting in January, on Tuesdays, the blog will features a mixture of my thoughts along with guest posts from you reflecting on how the book is useful in your own work. If you'd like to participate...
  1. Get your hands on a copy of the book in the next couple of weeks.
  2. Read it (or a large chunk of it).
  3. If you are so motivated, fill out this two-question form to let me know you want to write a guest post or participate in a group discussion about the book. I'll be looking for guest posters who represent different types of institutions, countries, and approaches to the material. You don't need to be a museum or library professional to be eligible--just a good writer with an interesting perspective to share. In this case I'm particularly interested in people who are in institutions that are trying to "sustain innovation" in some way.
  4. For four weeks starting in January, each Tuesday there will be a Museum 2.0 post with a response to the book. I'd like to write one or two of these at the most. The goal is to make the blog a community space for different viewpoints.
Happy reading!
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