Liz McGettigan - Women of Inspiration 2017

I am proud to say that our business now has global recognition as one of the most innovative and transformative companies in the digital library and information business. 

What is your current role within the company?

I am Director of Digital Library and Cultural Experiences at SOLUS UK and I also hold the honorary position of President of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland.

I am a dynamic change manager, responsible for delivering rapid strategic business development. I have successfully improved profile, performance and motivation in the business and in organisations within the library, information and cultural sectors. I am currently heavily involved in local, state and national digital platform development.  I am also very much seen as an international evangelist for digital in the sector and for the company’s digital transformational solutions.

I focus on key business drivers such as our internationalisation, leadership and innovation. I also mentor and support sector leadership, knowledge exchange, best practice sharing and engagement within the information industry and academia.

What is your background prior to working for this company/setting up your company?

I began my career as a Librarian in the Mitchell Library and after university I worked my way up the career ladder to Head of Libraries and Information in East Renfrewshire. After that I took up an exciting role with a library software company where my love of digital and its potential thrived. With this knowledge and experience under my belt I took up my dream job as Head of Libraries and Information Service at City of Edinburgh and went on to deliver Edinburgh’s first fully-online council service, social media suite and 24/7 interactive portals and apps and to initiate Edinburgh’s innovative digital participation project. That success led me to set up the EDGE conference to showcase best practice and the conference is now an annual event.

Under my leadership there I built a fabulous team that took a failing business to an award-winning one and we won Best in the UK within 4 years.

Success in Edinburgh led me to my current role which is amazing. As brand ambassador and digital evangelist I have presented across the world from Buenos Aires to Amsterdam, Singapore to Melbourne and from St Petersburg to Paris to name but a few.

I was incredibly proud to be named in the Scotsman last year as one of Scotland’s top 10 digital disruptors.  I became a Senior Member of SOCITM, a Member of the Institute of Informatics and Digital Innovation Advisory Board at Edinburgh Napier University and was nominated for 5 Connect awards and a Public Sector Digital Award
This year I was honoured with the Presidency of The Chartered Institute of Library and information Professionals in Scotland, 

What makes your company and/or your role stand out?

I am proud to say that our business now has global recognition as one of the most innovative and transformative companies in the digital library and information business. We have just opened an office in Australia.

I am passionate about leadership, impact, change, success and making a difference.  I speak at events on leadership for women and you will always hear me say that any success I have had has come from nurturing and enthusing others, building that passion, belief, vision and confidence in my people. Leadership is essential but people make successful business transformation together. 

What is your area of expertise / inspiration?

I believe my expertise is in people, vision, innovation and digital transformation. I believe I have an infectious enthusiasm and a passion for inspiring people with my vision. It is so critical that we take people with us and are able to influence people in any change to see a different way of delivering services.

My key areas of expertise are business transformation, change management, channel shift, digital and electronic information. Delivering growth in declining areas by reengineering business, re-motivating teams and gaining full commitment to new approaches.

I am recognised for integrating technology, people, social and business strategies into effective management systems and business models designed to solve organizational challenges, improve operating performance and expand business capabilities. 

Success for me is also about agile decision making, being pretty tough at times and really “going for it”. As a woman sometimes our confidence can be viewed as aggression, and determination as an unwillingness to bend but I’ve always been true to myself and my Glaswegian roots, which has made me more confident and assertive in the work environment. This has helped me to establish credibility and earn the respect I now cherish.

What are your plans for the future?

I love what I do because I learn something new everyday and that is so important to me.

The company has now expanded in to Australia and next year we will look at expansion in the US the US.

I am especially excited by the potential of augmented and virtual reality in the cultural and educational sectors and I will continue to be part of the SOLUS team designing and bringing new digital transformational products to market.

I will continue to speak passionately on women in leadership and work hard as our brand ambassador and digital evangelist 

What inspires or motivates you?

People, change and learning inspire me! I have always been up for change and that has been key to my success. I am motivated and passionate about the future and potential of digital, our digital platform, the potential of a reinvigorated library network and about delivering on Scotland’s potential as a truly digital nation.

Retaining the respect of my network and colleagues is close to my heart.

I am so excited by digital and all it can do, especially where it has quality of life changing benefits