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Monday, September 23, 2013

Learn...And Share

I spend a lot of time reading on the internet, while that little voice in my brain is haunting, “Is this a good use of your time?”

Suw Charman, one of my first favorite bloggers told of one of her editors asking, “Why do you read so much? Just write something.”

I have written about the best ways to generate useful knowledge on a reliable basis.

We need to learn more, including better context for what we already know. When I am reading, I am first looking for solutions to my current projects. Then solutions for my coming projects.

Because I don’t work alone, I also find things that will help the people who help me. Many things I read I send to people I am working with.

That has a nonobvious advantage of over time giving us a common base of reference for what we are doing.

When I am starting a new project, I read up on it. I’ll even crack open a Gmail and write the terms I’m researching, and then follow the ads that appear.

Once, when I was selling a company, the owner told me there was one industry analyst firm for that vertical. Using the Gmail ad research approach, I discovered that there were three, and we were using the one who had a 12% market share. That was a useful six minutes.

A twenty year client is switching from selling financial products to publicizing early human origins. We’re both reading a lot of new books. I’m getting a lot of valuable information on successful organizations, some of them 200,000 years old.

He complimented me on my discipline sharing things I was learning that helped him, which was how I started thinking about this post.

Peter Drucker said that in the manufacturing age, power came from hoarding information. In the information age, power comes from giving it away.

The first time I read that I liked it. Now I’m starting to understand it.

What is your learning regimen?

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