Staying relevant in today’s fast-changing world is top of mind to many of my friends and business associates.
A University of California, Berkeley study clearly shows the fastest growing “thing” on this planet is the amount of information we are generating. In fact, information is expanding faster than anything else we create or can measure over the scale of decades.
With the rapid increase in information and the changing popularity of online, radio and TV news how do you and your business stay relevant?
You might expect me to say, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube. While these tools have a role in relevancy, they are simply tactics of a much larger strategy.
To stay relevant today you need to have a “Flexibility and Fast Learning” strategy in place.
Mark Morford, an SF Gate columnist states, “I have found flexibility to be the most frequent reply I give to those who ask me about how the hell they’re supposed to keep up with the onslaught of tech stuff coming at them.”
Flexibility, just means you allow the possibility that some of these seemingly inane developments might be beneficial and you should not dismiss them out of hand because, well, that’s where the action is.
It is common to hear people say that the present is unlike the past. And that is true. For change is indeed constant. If we do not change, we risk being outcast by the wave of societal changes. There are specific common steps among companies and people that have used “flexibility” to reinvent themselves. They are:
1. Having a keen awareness of what is changing and has changed around you. (Be aware)
2. Reflecting on what needs to change within you and your company. (Be Flexible)
3. Checking to make sure those changes match your values and goals. If yes, move to step 4.
4. Fine-tune the plan you need to make that change.
5. Act on your plan to change.
6. Review the change after some time to ensure you are on course.
7. Go back to Step 1 on a regular basis.
According to KM World, learning before, during and after everything you do is a must in staying relevant. The results of methods such as peer assists (learning before doing), action reviews (learning while doing), and after action reviews (learning after doing) are well-known. If you are not applying those techniques in your business, projects, and teams, you are not staying relevant. Start now.
Here is a checklist of simple questions to guide you through fast learning strategy:
To “learn before doing” at the start of your day or any activity:
- What is supposed to happen today?
- How will I know if I’m successful?
- What knowledge do I need to get what I want to be done, and where can I get it?
- What help do I need?
To “learn while doing” in the middle of a task or activity:
- What was supposed to happen up until now?
- What has actually happened?
- Why are 1 and 2 different?
- What can I learn and do about it right now?
To “learn after doing” at the end of the day or a task:
- What stands out for me that is new or different?
- What should I repeat next time I do this, and why?
- What should I do differently next time, and why?
- Who else may be facing similar challenges and might find this useful?
To remain relevant, you need to have a “flexibility and fast learning” strategy in place. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are tools and have a role in relevancy, yet keep in mind they are simply tactics of a larger strategy.