How a 15-minutes Technology Leadership Training Levels-up your Strategic Vision
As a leader or an aspiring leader, it is important to keep you well informed about the current technology landscape. You want to be aware of the future trends in the early days of their hype cycle. You must forge an opinion to identify the best leverage for your business. But the technologies evolve so fast! Furthermore, the range keeps getting wider. So, how to keep up efficiently and make the process enjoyable?
In this article, I invite you to shape a program of work for your mind. The purpose is to have a brain that stays technologically fit, with a “6 pack” neocortex. This is fundamental to build viable strategies, to communicate with the end state in mind, and to lead your organization.
1 — Establish the checklist of topics you need to nurture to stay ahead of the curve and a second one for the area of knowledge you want or need to acquire.
2 — Focus on the top 5 of the first list, and keep only 1 item of the most important and urgent of the second list
3 — Schedule a period of time you can dedicate to yourself. It is like executing a kata for martial artists. A daily routine that enables you to stay sharp.
Generally speaking, I do it when I commute, during lunchtime, or when I go to bed.
“The minute you get away from fundamentals — whether its proper technique, work ethic, or mental preparation — the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.”
― Michael Jordan
It takes 15 minutes to 1/2 hour per day nothing more than that in normal circumstances. But nothing prevents you to do more, especially when you are hooked on something innovative and profoundly useful.
Here is my curriculum. It is MINE, thus I invite you to adapt it per YOUR interests:
- Monday: Applications day (including the ones your company’s own)
- Tuesday: New Technologies and Startups review day
- Wednesday: Infrastructure and Security day (new mobile devices, hardware, Clouds, network technologies)
- Thursday: The Design day. I sharpen my Enterprise/IT Architecture and UX/UI skills
- Friday: Business verticals day. What’s hot, regulation changes, opportunities, market, etc.
- Saturday (cooldown period): family day/partner day. Have fun, take some time to chill, take care of your relatives, and do any activities you like.
- Sunday (cooldown period): family day/me-time day. You take the time to chill, to take care of yourself, and do any activities you like.
The Daily Kata
Each morning: Read the general news. It is good to keep in synchrony with reality. Also, it gives you the means to socialize and connect with colleagues, business partners, prospects, ... Finally, this is an excellent way to receive news about the unexpected. For example, the boom of cryptocurrencies and their impact on the financial industry, or the consequences of the latest US politic over Europe and China.
During the day: Check your company's social news and social feeds two or three times per week. Use it to receive the important news that might impact your domain, and to know better your company’s culture. And feel free to contribute, your voice counts!
Each evening: Do anything you like. Start thinking about content that is neither IT nor related to your business. It is an opportunity to expand your horizon and open your chakras!
Some Good Sources of Information
This is the set of websites I recommend:
- MIT Technology Review
- ThoughtWorks Technology Radar
- Harvard business review
- Behance and Dribbble
- Security Affairs
- Any local online newspaper. Working in Luxembourg, I like getting news from Paperjam.
Subscribe only to newsletters that are useful to your jobs. Then gather them in one specific mailbox or folder. Tidy up your boxes! There are so many sources of interruptions nowadays. You ought to limit all events that would break your concentration or Flow of actions. The goal is to keep your focus on just one topic sequentially. Don’t multitask! Invest enough time to create consistent knowledge from what you read, listen, and watch, instead of browsing endlessly.
The time has come to gain expertise
When the time has come to dig deeper, do some training at YOUR pace. Get a subscription to an online training MOOC platform such as:
Take the time to browse those online services to see which ones fit the most to your needs and learning style. I ended up subscribing to Udemy and Shaw Academy because I need to maintain a broad skillset. By the way, when you subscribe to LinkedIn Premium, you get LinkedIn Learning for free.
Expand your vision!
Check out what’s happening in trade shows and exhibition like :
- CES in Las Vegas, which is for all kind of techs
- Viva Technologies in Paris, an event dedicated to startups and innovations
- SXSW in San Francisco. It is a large gathering of Entertainment, Creation, and Technologies
- MWC, because everything relates to mobility nowadays
- Your local technology events! for example, IT Days in Luxembourg
You don’t need to spend a penny to go there, by the way. Just get on Youtube to watch a summary of the most interesting reviews.
Meetups are always great for exchanging with local experts. Plus, you wouldn’t miss an opportunity to meet interesting people, would you?
By the way, that local expert could be YOU.
Explore strange new worlds to generate new ideas
Finally, go beyond your zone of comfort to get the pieces of knowledge that cannot be classified. This is the reason why I love the content produced by TED, a platform for “ideas worth spreading”. I recommend getting the TED app or to subscribe to their Youtube Channels: TED Talks and TEDx Talks. The knowledge shared is invaluable.
I’ll end with the following:
You become an expert from the moment you craft not only knowledge but wisdom
You will *feel* the vision when you start predicting certain trends in your business or your industry.
Now make it happen!
My name is Yannick Huchard. I am a chief architect and entrepreneur, passionate about learning, developing people and businesses.
My links :
- Build your startup and enterprise with AMASE methodology: https://amase.io
- Le PLIB: https://leplib.fr, the best french Sci-fi and Fantasy book price!
- Create data maps with LightsSphere: http://www.lightssphere.com/
My previous article: Why APIs are Fundamental to your Business