Suzanne Merritt, Creativity, and Solving Workplace Problems

Overcoming challenges in the library workplace involves a mixture of creativity and fun, Suzanne Merritt suggests in her new full-day Infopeople “Building Leadership Skills: Stimulating Creativity” workshop sessions being offered in libraries throughout California from April 10-24, 2009.

“I think the important thing that people will come away with is a boost in their own confidence, in their creative abilities, and that they can apply that in any area of leadership,” she predicted in a conversation earlier this week. “I feel it is important for anyone in a leadership role not only to have a boost in their own creative confidence, but to pass that along and encourage to those they lead to believe in their creative abilities as well. Together they can solve any problem that comes along.”

Merritt is no stranger to the topic of how creativity helps improve the workplace and produce results. Through the work she does through her own company, Ideas With Merritt, she provides participants with tools and skills which translate inspiration into workplace innovation on a daily basis. These skills are divided into three interrelated elements: collecting experiences, connecting those experiences to the workplace, and creating growth by generating, judging, and refining ideas.

“Every human being is creative,” she notes. “Our creative contributions matter. As leaders, part of our job is to bring out our own creative potential and bring that out in the people that work with us. When we do that, people have fun…When people have fun, they are creative. Everything’s so serious right now; it’s a great time to revitalize your own creative energy.”

Material presented during the Infopeople workshop is designed to help library leaders and others—including library business managers, public information officers, systems staff, facilities managers, and volunteers—find creative solutions for handling the increasing workload they face, attracting new audiences and funding sources, and restructuring existing services.

She will introduce participants to her own model, the C.U.R.I.O.S.I.T.Y. model, in which each letter in the term “stands for something specific that people can look for in the world around them to look for sources of inspiration.”

“I don’t want to be listed as one of those ‘these are dire times’ speakers. This is about possibility and positive energy, and having some fun while you do your work,” she concluded.

The workshop is the latest offering in Infopeople’s multi-stage Eureka! Leadership Program with its “Building Leadership Skills” series, and it will remain available as a contract workshop through Infopeople for those who are not able to attend the currently scheduled sessions. Registration ($75 per person) for all remaining “Building Leadership Skills” sessions is continuing on the Infopeople website. Instructors include Stacey Aldrich and Marie Radford.

Sessions of “Building Leadership Skills: Stimulating Creativity” are currently scheduled for Arden-Dimick Library in Sacramento (4/10/2009); San Diego County Library Headquarters (4/13/2009); Buena Park Library District (4/16/2009); Fresno–Woodward Park (4/20/2009); San Jose Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (4/22/2009); and San Francisco Public Library—Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room (4/24/2009).