Some say librarians got the “embedding” idea from journalists. Maybe, maybe not. But in any case, the principle appears to be spreading. Witness this “Hachette Book Group CIO Ralph Munsen wants to move IT to the front office. Early this month, he plans to start embedding IT analysts throughout the firm …”. This comes from the Wall Street Journal’s CIO blog, “Publisher Hachette Plans to Embed IT Across the Business”, by Steven Norton, Jan. 6, http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/ .
To be sure, there are some differences between the Hachette program and what I advocate for librarians, like their plan to force a 6-month rotation cycle. However, the general idea and the goal are very similar: to supersede transactional processes with strong, collaborative working relationships, shared understanding, and commitment to organizational goals.
It’s another sign that smart organizational leaders are recognizing the value of cognitively diverse, cross-functional teams. It also reminds us that embedding is not just for librarians; it represents a fundamental shift in organizational structure. Embedded librarians should take heart that what they’re doing is consistent with the larger trend.