2011 Plenary 1: Innovation and Organizational Change

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University press publishers no longer talk about the coming digital revolution. The revolution is here, and it is being podcast, blogged, and tweeted. E-book sales are growing. Presses are actively using Web 2.0 tools to engage readers and promote our publications in all formats. Anthropologist Grant McCracken, a member of the Convergence Culture Consortium at MIT and author of Chief Culture Officer (Basic, 2009), Transformations (Indiana, 2008), and Flock and Flow (Indiana, 2006), believes that although university presses have unique cultural skills that will allow us to thrive in the contemporary media climate, there remains much for us to learn. Join him for a stimulating talk about culture, innovation, organizational change, and university press publishing.

Moderator: Eric Schwartz, Editor, Sociology and Cognitive Science, Princeton University Press

Speaker: Grant McCracken, author, Chief Culture Officer: How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporation (Basic Books, 2009)

Please feel free to add notes or responses to the session below.

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Session Notes from Thom Lemmons, Managing Editor, Texas A&M University Press:

The great problem of society is the “shapeless problem”: at the current and accelerating pace of change, we don’t know how to think about what we need to think about. The solution lies in the historical strengths of the liberal arts and the discipline of manuscript acquisition, especially their abilities to recognize/create patterns that identify value, relevance, applicability, and context.

Speaker calls for “disintermediation” of the process of knowledge dissemination, on the model of Inferential Focus (inferentialfocus.com). They get $500,000/year for their services in identifying emerging patterns. <end of posting>

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