Welcome to the tenth edition of fullstopp FLASH. Today, we tell you a little bit about a great strategy workshop fullstopp organised last week. Moreover, you find some insights into discoverability, open access, and spring as the encouraging time to move forward.
Marcel Knöchelmann: Learn From Other Companies’ Processes: Boostrap Innovation
Last week, fullstopp organised a strategy workshop. We brought together an established industry partner and start-up founders to talk about the business and the broader mindset of our industry. Actually, there was no particular topic to discuss, no big points on the agenda, except for this: How do you manage innovation and what can established companies and start-ups learn from each other in this domain?
The event provided all participants with some very helpful insights. First, companies in different stages of their development can learn a lot from each other. In a sense, we all share the same ideals and have common goals. We are just choosing different paths to reach them. A business manager from a large company might have to put 2/3 of his time into administration, yet, for all her projects, she can rely on financial backup and a massively experienced workforce. And while a start-up founder may have the freedom to pivot at any time, she must be aware that each step in the business process includes a risk that may endanger the whole company.
Second and most of all, though, managing innovation is a task that requires attention from managers of companies of all sizes. Innovation is nothing that emerges out of the blue. It’s a process and it’s manageable. At its beginning may stand a tiny idea from a customer service employee. Then: How do you get this idea to grow? How do you evaluate it without shying away the employee? When it grows, does the employee have the freedom to pivot? And did you ever think about internal incentive and reputation systems to encourage employees to step forward with ideas? There is a lot we must learn at any time, as an experienced manager, as a start-up founder, and a as a consultant. That’s the nature of change.
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Felix Evert: How Publishers Risk Their Reputation: An Open Access Example
A couple of weeks ago, I’ve talked to a well-established and recognized scholarly publisher who proudly mentioned that the company now accepts the publication of open access books. Last Friday, I was trying to access that title, but I was unable to do so. It wasn’t possible to filter the publisher’s book portfolio by open access titles. Useful databases such as the DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books) or the independent open access content platform OAPEN didn’t show a hit.
It seemed the publisher’s definition of open access is “not sellable as ebook”. That is unsustainable for the publishing house and very unsatisfactory for their author who certainly expected better visibility for his research. But removing the paywall to the electronic version doesn’t automatically mean more visibility. Perhaps, even the opposite is true? Some publishers take the easy road to open access; they keep back all traditional sales & discoverability channels, but miss to supply those channels appropriate to open access. It’s my personal expectation that book authors won’t accept such a sloppiness for long. Renowned publishers are putting their reputation at risk if they fail to professionalize their dissemination and discoverability activities for open access books. For editorial, sales or marketing staff who’d wish to develop a sustainable advantage in open access publishing expertise, DOAB and OAPEN are great places to start today…
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Sven Fund: When a Whole Industry Starts Moving
You might say that my view below is not representative, since we are in the consulting business since not too long. However, talking to colleagues from the profession as well, I am surprised to see, how much change there is right now in publishing. And even more surprisingly, I am stunned about for how long companies try to avoid innovation – before they start it. To me, this poses two risks: It is expensive, because companies cannot embrace change from one day to another. And you run the risk of loosing your team’s buy-in and support. So, if you feel you should change something in your company and with Spring approaching, start innovating now, without disrupting your business.
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