I am a Learning & Development consultant supporting the technology group in a major retailer. My role aligns well to my interests–business, leadership, technology, change management and how we learn. Keeping up with what is happening in my field of work and building skills that matter is a daunting task.
Last Summer, I took a workshop from Harold Jarche on Personal Knowledge Mastery. During the workshop, we learned about and practiced Harold’s Seek > Sense > Share framework. In a nutshell, you can use the framework to construct your own process for making sense of the world.
After taking the workshop, I have experimented with a number of tools to figure out what works for me. In this post, I am going to share what my process has evolved to as of August 2016.
To stay current on the topics that I am most interested in, I pull and have new information pushed to me from a number of sources:
- Blogs: Seth Godin
- Communities of Practice: PACT, SHRM, ATD. These communities of practice feature high quality speakers and resources.
- Training Classes
- Newsletters: O’Reilly Newsletters, New York Times Bits. Newsletters can be a great source of curated links to what is happening now within your industry.
- Newspapers: The New York Times
- Periodicals: Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review. Trusted sources that provide practical advice and change the way I think.
- Social Media: Twitter, LinkedIn. These social media tools require constant refinement to ensure that I see relevant content in my activity streams.
Usually when I discover an article or resource that I would like to explore further, I am not able to at that moment. I use the Pocket app to save the link for later. I can save to Pocket from my desktop or laptop computers by using the Pocket browser extension or on my mobile phone by holding on a link and sending it to Pocket.
The Pocket tool allows me to browse my activity throughout the day, collect the links I am most interested in, and easily find them later.
I have been experimenting with a number of ways to make sense of the information that I am consuming. Here are a few practices that I have found helpful:
- Note Taking: Evernote Web Clipper to focus my attention on content and highlight the passages that I find relevant or interesting. Evernote Premium for storing my highlights and notes. I like Evernote Premium because I don’t have to worry about storage limits, I can store and annotate PDFs, and I can retrieve anything from it with search in seconds.
- Sketchnoting: I have been experimenting with the technique of taking visual notes during conferences and presentations. Most recently, I did sketchnotes of all of the sessions at the 2016 Global Leadership Summit. Sketchnoting forces me to focus on the key points being shared and adding the visual elements makes me more likely to remember what has been shared.
- Writing Blog Posts: If I’d like to add new ideas or explore an idea further, I will write a blog post about it.
I have found that I get the most value out of a resource or an idea if I create something from it.
Sharing is probably the hardest step in the entire process for me. When first starting out on social media, we are tempted to share everything that we find interesting. Before I share now, I take a moment to ask myself two questions:
- Who might find value in this? This helps me determine what channel(s) makes most sense for sharing on. For example, I use Twitter and LinkedIn for professional development, so the sharing I do on those networks should be something that my colleagues would find value in.
- What can I add to explain why I think it’s worth sharing? Posts and articles today usually have pretty descriptive titles and descriptions already added to them, but usually I try to add a comment to a link to highlight key points or interesting points that I took from the resource. Adding contexts allows those that see what I share to better decide if what I’m sharing is worth exploring further.
I tend to share resources and information using these channels:
- Social Media: Twitter, LinkedIn, or internal social tools.
- E-mail: When I want to share directly with a person or my team to prompt a discussion.
- Personal Blog
Experimenting for Improvement
I am constantly looking for ways to build on or improve the process that I have established. Here are a few of the ideas that I am trying out now:
- Using Pocket’s Recommended stories tab as a new Seek source.
- Improving the recommendations that I am currently getting from the Apple News app. Right now I haven’t done much tailoring to help it show me relevant stories and using it more may make it a solid Seek source.
- Using Slideshare as a starting point for exploring topics new to me
- Finding better Seek sources for technology trends.