My Chicago SLA Days, Part Three
In my previous posts about the 2012 SLA/Special Libraries Association annual conference, I wrote about serendipity and networking, as well as my impromptu conversations with top executives from companies exhibiting at the INFO-EXPO. I also noted that my time in Chicago was somewhat limited, but I feel that I made the most of it. I really enjoyed Guy Kawasaki’s keynote, and finally had the opportunity to meet him briefly in person afterwards. Coincidentally, in my capacity as managing editor of Leader to Leader, I recently edited an article he wrote, Ten Steps to Enchanting Your Employees, for our Summer 2012 issue. And in 2004, I interviewed him on the phone for my USA TODAY review of his book The Art of the Start.
On July 16 I attended two sessions focused on the changing skills and roles of information professionals: Guy St. Clair’s The New Knowledge Services-Next Steps for Career Professionals; and the panel Reinventing Library Skills, moderated by Mary Talley, which included SLA’s incoming President-Elect Deb Hunt. The general vibe I got from both was that while librarians and related information pros should build on their existing skills, talents and experience to create and take advantage of new opportunities; the old days of linear career paths, and larger libraries (yet too often with marginal impact) were in most cases over and never coming back. During the Q&A in Guy St. Clair’s talk, I mentioned that such approaches could lead to a “clean slate effect,” for both individual professionals and organizations.
Both of the competitive intelligence sessions I attended, The Intelligence Café and Cross-Cultural Competitive Intelligence, were invigorating. I got the impression that CI could be a growth area for information professionals who were prepared to think and act in new ways. That’s sound advice for anyone in the profession; whether they are new professionals just out of school, in mid-career or longtime professionals looking for new challenges and opportunities. What differences can we make, individually and collectively, between now, and the 2013 annual conference, next June in San Diego?