With all the specialization of technology and the proliferation of journals for each discipline, I just don't have the time to stay current and be in a position to advise my clients of what trends will affect their business. Popular Science is too basic and Scientific American is too dense. Are there any good summaries?
In a prior tip (#815), we mentioned Technology Review, Popular Science, and Industry Week as publications with trend summaries that help consultants keep up with the range of technological developments that affect every business (and in which every consultant should be conversant). One we didn't mention is a service of Scientific American - their 60-Second Science series of podcasts, articles and blogs. Delivered directly to you, quickly reviewable to identify needs, full access to more detail, and free - sounds like just what the consultant ordered!
As a consultant, you need to be constantly scanning the literature for technology trends so you can stay ahead of your clients. The most helpful sources also have enough content behind them to dig deeper when you need to, something few newspapers and popular magazines have. The Scientific American series, also available as an RSS feed, lets you quickly scan topics to see what is most useful to you and click for summaries, click again for a full article, and click again for references. Whether you are in human resources, strategy, leadership, finance, or other disciplines, not being on top of these developments reduces your value to a fast-moving client.
Check out Scientific American's 60-Second Science
website. Whether you subscribe to the RSS feed or just scan the topics once a month, look for a short article you can send to a prospect or client about a technology trend or recent research that will significantly affect their business, such as the well-researched article on how to green your office
. And don't overlook content that will help you advance your own effectiveness, such as the article about the impact of exercise on mental capabilities
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