Wednesday, April 16, 2008

innovation into practice

I attended the wonderful Computers in Libraries conference last week, and returned back to work full of ideas, plans of failure and ready to be creative. Helene Blowers and Tony Tallent (probably the best name ever) said, "Doing.New.Things. period. action." Now I'm back at work, reviewing and sharing my notes, attempting to keep that buzz going. I blogged this during their session:

failure is about innovation! you need to fail, and fail often. these are the experiences you will be learning from. failure is okay. be ready, accept it. BRING IT!!

Bring it. Bring it. I left that session feeling so jazzed, ready to get on the next Amtrak home, plan a new program or service, and watch it fail. Then learn from those mistakes and keep on improving.

But now, I find that momentum hard to carry. I am something of perfectionist and want everything to go off without a hitch, to be perfect and elegant. There are small things I want to have happen, but frustrated about not being in a position to do so, pushing but cautious of my boundaries. I've found myself afraid to fail. Back into the cycle of what ifs which generally delivers a stasis culture. Sometimes feeling lonely in the "let's try something new boat!". And just getting wrapped back up into the daily grind.

I have to remind myself that every time I teach a Computer Basics of Internet Basics class, I am failing just a little bit. I am always trying new strategies, perfecting my lesson plane, and teaching examples. I am always left humble to my students, who can throw me a curve ball any minute, and often do. I make mistakes in my classes, and at the end of the day, it is okay. I know what worked and what didn't work, and I get on with it. I make note of the strategies that work, and continue to fine tune the other points.

Being open and ready to fail is a mindset, that might take some work to get to.

1 comment:

pollyalida said...

Yes, yes, yes. I feel exactly the same way after almost every class I teach. What worked, what didn't, notes scribbled on my handout, what to change next time. The real failure would be to ignore it and not change. Still, very hard to change that mindset of expecting everything to go perfectly!