What do you do to stay current? Someone asked me that recently and I actually had to think a little. I used to just rattle off a list of magazines – historically, I have stayed current through reading. But so much has changed when it comes to learning and staying current.
The pace of change has never been faster. It can often feel almost impossible to keep up, as we have less time and more obligations. However, we live in the era of information and we have never had more avenues to educate ourselves in ways that uniquely work for us. I’m lucky; I travel for work, so that typically gives me at least a few flights and hotel stays to focus on reading and learning. I’m an avid reader, it’s a passion and it will never change. But the reality is that is only a part of the way I stay current anymore.
The other parts of that equation? Experiences and engagement.
Some of the things I am most passionate about in my life contribute directly to my ability to stay current. Today I’m sharing four of them.
- Podcasts. I listen in the car and when I travel. I have to carve out time for reading, but podcasts are for the reader on the go! Some of my favorites right now are How I Built This, HBR Ideacast, Managing the Future of Work, After Hours and Work Life with Adam Grant. I am always looking for more, so comment below and share a podcast you think I should check out.
- Book clubs. As most of you know, we have a fantastic book club at work. Through our democratic voting process, we select a book each quarter that I may have never chosen on my own – but each one has truly enlightened me. The best part, however, is how engaging in this club has exposed me to others’ thoughts and perspectives. It not only keeps me current, it keeps me humble and engaged on a deeper level with my colleagues.
- Teaching. I teach graduate students at Villanova’s Executive MBA program. I love this because it forces me to research my curriculum and stay current so the material stays relevant and interesting to the students. Through teaching, I am compelled to see both sides of every position. My students and I together challenge ourselves to push theories and debate the concepts and practices we are discussing in each class. Since these are working professionals who come from a variety of industries, the shared perspectives are invaluable.
- Active engagement. I engage in conversations with people about their lives, personal interests and careers. I am a master engager (some may find that annoying). But whether I am at home, at work, in an Uber, at a restaurant or the gym, or with my clients, I am seeking to learn from you. Life is the greatest teacher and people are what makes life interesting and meaningful. I learn so much from these conversations and so much of it keeps me current and inspires me to think differently.
Yes, I still read hard-copy and online books and articles. My favorites are Fast Company, HBR, Rotman Management Magazine, MIT Sloan Management Review, Inc. and The Week. I just find that learning has taken on an entirely new life of its own and I’m not going to lie, that is exciting!
What about you – how do you stay current?