June 7, 2014
Woke up very early. Four AM-ish and time-disoriented. Decided to surf the SLA2014 website. Figured out that I needed to buy a ticket for the day-long Taxonomy Integration Session. But wait! No option to put it in the shopping cart! Whoops! Already sold out! Doggone it, brought the laptop for nothing! OK, decided instead to get tickets for Maximizing Consultant-Client Partnerships in the morning, and Competitive Intelligence for Librarians and Information Professionals in the afternoon. More to be said about both, but right now I have to head out to the conference site for breakfast with the Military Librarians…
So, back to it!
The morning session was led by two professional consultants, Ulla de Stricker (www.destricker.com) and Cindy Shamel (www.shamelinfo.com), both obviously at the top of their game (I immediately linked to them both on LinkedIn). They shared the “stage” with two members of a client team with whom they had worked, and together they shared real-life examples of aspects of the consultant-client relationship that worked well for them. While they described very well the efforts that resulted in success, I was waiting to hear about efforts that failed, despite best efforts. So I asked. And they provided honest answers.
Good tips in the first half on knowledge mgmt. practices, the project “journey,” the importance of making a business case, knowledge audits, and the idea that you can’t fight the culture of an organization. Good tips in the second half on integrity and ethics, on the need for consultants to focus on the big picture of a project, and the importance of knowing clearly what the client is seeking.
Finally, their presentation included references to case studies, journal articles, and chapters of books they had written that are available and freely downloadable from their websites.
The afternoon session on competitive intelligence exceeded expectations. It was so interesting, in fact, that later that evening I reconfigured my schedule to include more competitive intelligence sessions over the next several days. The presentation as entitled “CI Success for Librarians and Info Pros,” and was led by Zena Applebaum. We started with the idea that librarians should be transitioning from gatherers of information to synthesizers of information as part of a new professional competency. We zoomed through the CI cycle, the intelligence function and cycle, we spent some time on the SCIP.org code of ethics, and we dove into a section entitled “Meeting Clients Needs,” where I thought I was back with Ulla and Cindy! At some point it all runs together. We spent some time on on problem solving, on primary and secondary sources, and on researching public and private companies. It just kept flowing and I became convinced to check out other CI sessions throughout the conference. (CID has a very active website with juicey stuff! Here is the link http://ci.sla.org/).
At the end I went with some of my classmates to the First Timers Reception.
Following a First timers reception, a small group, Ann, Sara, Alicia, Bronwyn and I had dinner, then returned to the Marriott for a Trivia contest. Our team, Team Sara, took the bronze! A late night…