If you were starting a publisher today, what competencies would you look for?

In a recent post on Scholarly Kitchen, the blog for all things academic publishing, this question was posed to a number of regular contributors. Below is the word cloud that I generated from the responses gathered:

Quite interesting... as a former Operations director I'm of course glad to see "operation" featuring prominently, but then it was in the question so I suspect this is not necessarily a recognition of the value that Operations teams add to publishers... 

Encouragingly, "people" features in the top ten, and "different" and "changing" also rank relatively highly. Disappointingly, though, "gender" and "diversity" only get one mention each, even though - as research repeatedly shows - a diverse organization is more likely to question (x4 appearances), and to deliver innovation (x3 appearances).

It seems we still aren't recognizing the importance of changing our workforce if we want to change our industry. So, kudos to Alice Meadows of ORCID for explicitly raising this need. I'll give her the last word:

What I do think we should be doing differently though is to proactively look for those skills in a much wider range of places and people than we have historically done. So much has been written about the value of a diverse workforce — it increases innovation and profitability. It enables you to better serve your community. How can you hope to reach a global market, for example, if all your strategic decisions are being taken by people of the same color, gender, education, etc? So for my money, what we should be focusing on is not new types of core competency but a much wider range of people who have — or can be taught — those skills, so that our workforce better reflects our community, both now and in the future.

Amen to that! 

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