Continuing the Innovative Mission: CEO Perspective


This blog is by Shaheen Javadizadeh, CEO of Innovative

The ALA Annual Conference is underway and Innovative is excited to participate and showcase our latest solutions. I look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new people over these next several days, and I invite you to visit our booth or spend time in the Innovative Salon at the Renaissance. My team and I want to hear from you about your library’s goals for impacting your community and discuss how we can help you get there with technology.

Over the past three years, I have spent a lot of time with our customers. For those of you who I have not had a chance to talk with personally, I’d like to share some of the things that are fundamental to my leadership at Innovative.

  • Our customers are central to everything we do. Our plans for Innovative and our decision-making processes are centered around serving the best interests and needs of our customers and their stakeholders. This translates to a continued investment in our in-market products, while also working on future products to help you thrive. We also champion our incredibly unique and engaged user community. With opportunities like the Support forums, the Innovative Users Group, our developer community, and Idea Lab, to name a few, you can hear directly from us and your peers about our latest solutions, creative ideas to use our products, and best practices for library processes and tools. So, thank you to all who contribute to this community, and for those new to it, I invite you to get involved.
  • Vision matters. I like to ask customers and potential customers “What’s most important when choosing a technology partner: how many systems the vendor has sold in the last year, or if they have a vision that enables your library’s success?” As everyone knows, libraries change technologies for a wide variety of reasons, from budget constraints, to consortia consolidation, to leadership changes, so that kind of information does not tell the exciting story of what’s happening in our industry. Although we added over 300 new library customers last year and expanded relationships with over 600 existing libraries, I don’t measure our success on these statistics alone. When I ask customers why they stay with us or switch vendors to Innovative, the number one response I hear is: because they feel we are listening, we care, and are trustworthy. Those are important reasons that we value, but for me that is not enough. What we’re doing is so much bigger. We’re innovating new technology to truly modernize the library experience, and we come to work each day passionate about designing solutions to support this vision. We also want to know your vision for your library and what services and products you need from us to help make it happen.
  • We are raising our game. I challenge my team – every single day – to bring their A-game so that we can serve you best. I realize it’s a high bar, and that in some areas we have our work cut out for us to do better. The goal is for our products and staff to offer you unrivaled experiences, quality, and support. We recently doubled the size of our account management team, rolled out a new support team structure, and launched a new website. These are just a few examples of our commitment to elevate support, engagement, and ultimately help you deliver remarkable library experiences.

Innovative was founded 40 years ago to solve library challenges with bold, new solutions. The opportunity today is on a different scale than in the past—libraries need solutions that are congruent with the digital world. I could not be more excited or proud of our team of amazing technologists and librarians that come to work each day to solve these problems. The team is motivated because we know that what we’re doing is bigger than a piece of software or a product—we’re coming up with solutions that contribute to the long-term viability of libraries. We hope you feel our passion when you visit our website, talk to our team, or spend time with us at events.

Please come by and say hello to us while you are at ALA Annual. We look forward to working with you!