Steps to Management Success – Step 29: If You Can’t Start the Trends, Make Sure You Keep an Eye on Them

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 31st, 2010


If You Can’t Start the Trends, Make Sure You Keep an Eye on Them

You can manage more effectively—and market yourself effectively—by knowing what is going on in your current industry. More than ever, knowledge is power, and today’s market is as competitive as ever. Ignorance is one luxury you can’t afford.

WHAT IT MEANS: As you develop a deeper industry knowledge base, you’ll improve your own ability to more quickly grasp the implications of business trends. Don’t merely collect and file the information however—think about it. How might the information covered be strategically useful? It’s not good enough to be a knowledge collector; you’ve got to be a knowledge assimilator. Become someone who can respond to industry news and trends in a creative and thoughtful way and filter them through a strategic prism. Your experienced perspective will undoubtedly make you more of an “industry expert” too!

ACTION PLAN: How do you stay on top of news and trends in your profession or industry? Check out the business section of the newspaper, watch the business media, and stay current with economic trends that impact your industry. If you see an article that might be of interest to a colleague, or your boss, highlight the pertinent information, and add your own editorial spin. Also, read business books of interest and industry periodicals (many of which are now online) and attend tradeshows, industry seminars, and conferences.

EVEN BETTER: Also make it your business to keep up with what so-called indirect competitors are doing. This includes businesses that operate in markets outside your own but affect your customers in other ways. Their innovations and practices may not fully translate to your industry or company, but they can nevertheless be provocative food for thought.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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