I've had an amazing and inspirational week so far. This week started with a visit to Washington D.C. to attend the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress Partners Meeting and as I'm writing I'm in the middle of the GTD Summit. We also had meetings with potential partners who we can’t wait to work with. I won’t write about the partnership opportunities until they’re finalized, and of course, we’ve been doing all the work involved with running the company on a day to day basis. Since the two major events that I attended were game changing and inspirational for me, I thought I’d tell you about them.
Center for the Book in the Library of Congress Partners Meeting
Ivory and I and the rest of the Red Room team have such admiration for the work that the Library of Congress and all its various departments do. We are so excited about our young and hopefully growing partnership with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. We want to make sure that the world knows what is available at this amazing American institution and that we can be a catalyst for increased awareness of the collected knowledge and history that this institution is dedicated to preserving. John Y. Cole and the rest of the Center for the Book staff are doing amazing work promoting and encouraging reading and literacy and we are honored to be a partner in their efforts. We will do whatever we can to help and magnify the impact of this work. I can’t wait for us to release, once the agreement is final, our first project with them. I can pretty much guarantee that if you love books, you will love what we’re going be doing. Sorry to be mysterious.
On Monday, Ivory and I presented Red Room to more than fifty book and reading promotion organizations that are also partnering with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, and heard their presentations as well. We are so excited about the possibility that all these organizations will see the value of becoming part of the supportive, fun and growing community of content creators and consumers who have found a home on redroom.com. The people who use redroom.com are the audience that reading promotion groups need to reach to achieve their goals.
The people we met at the Library of Congress were all so inspirational and full of heartfelt commitment to helping children and parents connect with books and reading that I couldn’t help but want to work for and with all of them. The reception that redroom.com received from the reading promotion organizations was extremely positive. What so many people that I talked with realized was that redroom.com is the perfect place for organizations to attract a wider audience around books and literacy and to meet and communicate effectively with one another.
Although all the organizations were amazing, a couple of the organizations that really captured my imagination were First Book, Children’s Book Council and Read It Loud!. I can’t stand it, I can’t pick, I have to mention all the organizations but I don’t want to type all their names so I’ll just link to the Center for the Book Reading Promotion Partner page. First Book provides access to books for children and adults who wouldn’t be able to afford those books otherwise. The Children’s Book Council is a organizing group for the children’s book publishers and it works to create and support a range of programs that support reading by children. Finally, I’m so impressed by the work that Read It Loud! is doing to encourage parents to read to their children. The thing that ties these three groups together is the focus on children and the importance of creating good reading habits early in life. I am a firm believer in the saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
The Center for the Book Partners Meeting was game changing for me because it affirmed my certainty that the Red Room community will be a force for societal transformation and positive change when organizations made up of people like those I met on Monday fully realize and adopt the idea that we are more powerful when we come together in one room (the Red Room) than when individual groups try to create separate channels for their messages.
For the last couple of days I've been at the GTD Summit at the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco. For those who don't know, GTD stands for Getting Things Done. Ivory has been a huge proponent of David Allen (the author of Getting Things Done) for years and has bought his books for the whole team, as well as used to coach other companies on things like getting more productive.
I'm new to this productivity system but I can see pretty clearly that I’ll be more productive if I clear my mind by capturing (writing down) everything that has my attention in a trusted system and then take the time to process, organize, and choose consciously what my next action step is (that’s the core of the Getting Things Done system). David says you can have “mind like water” and stay focused and have peace of mind if you really trust that the thing you’re doing now is the right thing. Your mind is free to concentrate on the task at hand instead of all the other things that you think you should be doing with your time.
I'm really impressed by the perspectives of the speakers and participants. I, like many of you, don’t spend enough time thinking about the systems I use to decide what to do next. This summit has forced me to reconsider many of my operating systems. Lists are my new best friend. I’m in! Also, I can’t wait to have more time to read organization and productivity books. Yesterday, I attended a breakout session about innovation where one of the panelists in poetic and graphic detail (blood letting and sacrifice were central themes) spent ten minutes describing innovation and change.
I certainly have had a wonderfully varied and exciting week. Beyond these activities I’ve found time to row twice—which can only happen at 5AM since we’re working sixteen hours a day. More about me and rowing another time.