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Gone are the days when executives and senior professionals could just “manage”. Today’s leaders are tasked with far greater organisational and professional responsibility than ever before … there are changes to technologies, global best practices, standards and corporate governance requirements — and there is a glut of information and knowledge which can appear overwhelming. Everyday there is a new employee, a new process, a new vendor, platform or project to consider. But everyday is also, only ever, 24 hours.

How, amongst all this, can you find the time to keep up? The key is not to “keep up”, but to continually refresh your skills. Here’s how:

  1. Build a “vertical network”. The vertical network is already in place for most of us. It consists of the managers, peers and employees who work within an area of competence — think of your boss and your peers. Find ways of providing VALUE and ideas to these folks, learn who to tap for information and who to ask for help.
  2. Select bite sized learning. If you are reading this blog post, you already understand the value social media has for the busy professional. Use a feed reader to get headlined content from trusted blogs, wikis and other learning sources.
  3. Find a source you can trust. Seek out those organisations who can provide you with access to respected trainers who have access to specialised knowledge.

Finally, make sure you start small and start quickly. Make contact with those in your “vertical network”, ask them what blogs they read, which courses they do and where they source them. Follow it up.

While much of this is “common sense” and part and parcel of an executive’s work practices, it also pays to remember, refresh and act. There may only be 24 hours in one day, but you can use them wisely.

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  1. Marilyn Pratt
    Hmmm.  Traditional curriculum is created by chunking information and you are correct in identifying blogging as a chunk mechanism.  I would say that nano chunking is also a great way of getting info from your vertical network.  Twitter works well for many in that way and some innovators (our own Craig for example) further help the vertical network chunk ability by innovating with things like eventtrack.
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