George and Joan, Thinking Out Loud about Bosses

podcastIn this edition of Thinking Out Loud, George and Joan talk about bosses. While it’s easy to gripe about bosses, George and Joan take a deeper look and explore the idea that the problem isn’t always just the boss – it can also be the employee and/or the workplace. Are you using your boss to make it easier for you to not take some responsibility for the problems in your organization? As they point out, it takes both parties, the leader and the follower (or the boss and the employee) to make something great happen – or conversely for bad things to happen. Thought-provoking as always!

Mentioned in the podcast: The Courageous Follower by Ira Chaleff.

George and Joan, Thinking Out Loud about RFPs

podcastIn this edition of Thinking Out Loud, George and Joan suggest that librarians devote less of their energy to formatting the “right” answers when writing requests for proposals (or requests for information) and more care and thought to asking the right questions.

During the podcast, they mention a Wayne County Library RFI as an excellent example of how to create something useful and beneficial. Here’s a link to that RFI (in PDF format).

George and Joan, Thinking Out Loud about the Great Grudge Match

podcastThe great grudge match of which they speak is the upcoming showdown between IBM’s supercomputer Watson and two former Jeopardy champions. In their podcast former two-time Jeopardy champion George and Jeopardy fan Joan ponder whether a computer, even a really, really fast one, can think in real time as nimbly as a human. What about natural language, slang, humor? And if it can, what does it mean for libraries when a machine can evaluate and answer a question as well as a human being (dare we say, a librarian)? Listen to the podcast, think fast and watch the show on Monday.

George and Joan aren’t the only ones who have been intrigued by this contest. Here is a New York Times article discussing it, and here is an Engadget article that includes links to the practice rounds George and Joan mention in the podcast. And a discussion on Web4Lib is also talking about it.

Who do you think will win?

George & Joan, Thinking Out Loud about Competition and Disruptive Technologies

podcastIn this latest edition of Thinking Out Loud, George and Joan riff on a topic that came to George’s mind after reading an article in the New Yorker entitled The Next Level, by James Surowiecki (October 18, 2010). The article looks at what happened to Blockbuster and how they were blindsided by NetFlix and RedBox and their own inability to see beyond their brink and mortar stores. George and Joan ponder the ramifications of Blockbuster’s woes for libraries.

Also mentioned in this podcast: The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business, by Clayton M. Christensen. Harper Collins, 2003.