I was asked today how I ‘keep up’ in terms of staying ahead on trends, thought leadership, emerging technologies, etc. Staying relevant (or fighting for relevance as I was six months ago when I returned from mat leave) is very time consuming.
For the moment, I dedicate 14 hours a week to keeping fresh – every night, every day of the week from 7 – 9pm just on new business startup, reading, engaging and learning. (yes.. my house is a mess and I have scrapbooks that have no photos in them).
Admittedly, it is a tough practice for anyone in a profession moving a the speed of light and if you are like me – unsupported by those comfy subscriptions to Forresters, e-marketer or Jupiter, etc, then it can be a real challenge (thank god for twitter).
Okay – so how I keep up:
– twitter – following people I respect both local and international.
– following choice bloggers like Charlene Li (formerly Forrester) and George Colony from Forresters because I can’t get Forrester reports right now but can still follow their blogs
– read business books – which are not immediate sources of emerging tech or trends but give me strategies or structure or approaches to business
– volunteer and on the job training
– meet-ups, conferences, networking
With the brain learning enthusiam of a mother coming off maternity leave, I fell into itunes to feed my commuter time and discovered a great deal of information available in podcast/videocast form. After listening to many duds, I found some great podcasts. Among my favorite podcasts are the University channel within iTunes. I’ve been listening to Stanford’s Social Entrepreneurship podcasts as well as the Harvard ideacast channel. (See my favorite – an interview with Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia on the Stanford section). I sprinkled in the daily news like the Wall Street Journal morning reviews – a paper I can ill afford in the worst of times. For entertainment, I watched/ listened to the Onion News Network and Shill – a podcast about PR and social media featuring a great deal of swearing and whisky drinking (no ‘e’ – apparently they drink Scottish whisky).