Regardless of consulting focus, technological advances influence both how our industries change and how we run our consulting practices. Since I am not a technology person, how can I stay on top of these advances with a modest amount of effort?
Evolving technology is more than just electronic gadgets. It involves materials, communication, manufacturing processes, transportation, energy, medicine and healthcare, analytics, etc. Advances in any one or combinations of these areas will dramatically affect strategy, operations and culture of your clients. Think about how social networking technologies have changed how professionals communicate in just a few years and how cell phones and GPS have spawned entire new industries.
In less than an hour a month, you can keep up with these developing technologies. Several periodicals summarize how technology will change our business and personal lives. Here are three examples - but you may look around and find your own:
- Industry Week describes, for a business readership, current events and trends in areas as diverse as energy, technology policy, and innovating companies.
- Popular Science describes, for a lay readership, near-term, consumer-oriented products and processes.
- Technology Review describes, for a more technical readership, specific technologies and how they could transform industries, including a range of special reports for individual technology groups.
There are many more sources but these provide a quick overview with just enough technical details and links to more if you are interested. Set up links to these periodicals in your favorites folder and a tickler to check them regularly, at least monthly. © 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA