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Book Launch: Global Lean for Higher Education

This August, Information Services' Steve Yorkstone launched a book "Global Lean for Higher Education: A Themed Anthology of Case Studies, Approaches, and Tools". The staff intranet told us about it, here​, but IS Scoops gets the lowdown from Steve behind the scenes...

As regular "Scoops" readers will know, as part of my personal development I spend time working with colleagues from other universities. I've found that this is a really good way to get some relevant quality learning... in a way that is pretty budget friendly. I've taken opportunities when they've presented themselves to me. So when someone said "we should make a book" I thought, "why not give it a go, what's the worst that can happen?".

Amazon Best Sellers image 

Initially I was sceptical that we would be able to make it happen if I am honest. Firstly I wasn't sure there would be enough interest, and then that we could actually find a publisher who would take the project on. But, when it came to it, there was lots of interest. And after launch day yesterday, the book hit the number one slot on Amazon's Quality Management list. Now, the list is updated every hour and the book wasn't at the top slot for long, but it still felt pretty brilliant.

Most of the time however while doing the thing... it felt like hard work. Not super intensive puzzle solving work, like some of the process stuff I do in my day job, or the really compelling intense people work that I do when facilitating... but more about attention to detail stuff, that was about just keeping on going. As this was mostly a passion project I undertook this work in my personal time, so I needed to be careful to get the work life balance right.

Visual Control image

I imagine it wouldn't surprise you that as part of the process to make this happen I used plenty of sticky notes. When I was at my wits end trying to track how all 26 chapters and all the fiddly at the beginning were at (did they have all their tables and illustrations in the right format, were there any queries with the editing, was there a peer review process to go through etc. ​) I made myself a simple visual control or kanban board on the wall of my living room. All of a sudden I could see at a glance where everything was at, what had to be done, and what I was currently working on. What had seemed like an impossible task, and one I had been quite honestly putting off, seemed more achievable. It still took a bit of effort, but, that structure really helped me get through it.

I've said it before, but, it's really worth taking the opportunities where you can to connect with other colleagues internally and externally, and see where they lead. If we think a bit creatively about ways of doing learning, through talking to people and taking the initiative in creating something new, we can have some fun experiences, and who knows where it can lead. Oh, and try making a bit of a visual control board from post it notes!

Steve Yorkstone
Information Services