Magazine article Marketing

Bite-Sized Business School: Personal Development Module

Magazine article Marketing

Bite-Sized Business School: Personal Development Module

Article excerpt

Dr Chris Dalton, associate professor of management learning, Henley Business School, University of Reading, on social media's use and abuse.

Are you on LinkedIn? Do you tweet? How's the blog going? We are familiar with social media's instant-sharing and networking potential, but can it play a part in your long-term personal development?

'Connect' - few words better sum up our world. If you are a manager, your personal development is tied to how you connect awareness to action. Social media, connecting 'on the go', has a grip on our collective consciousness and shows no signs of letting go. This phenomenon has produced some amazing shifts in our personal lives and commercial activities, but there may also be a hidden potential for your personal development (PD).

Personal growth requires curiosity, so can you find inspiration to feed yours online? To parody US psychologist Timothy Leary, I'll suggest three ways.

Tune in. Once upon a time, information was power. You got ahead by trying to accumulate it; who (remember hoarding business cards?) and what you knew were assets to be jealously guarded. That world is long gone for most of us; the web changed all that.

How do you find stuff that will add to your PD? Of course, you have to be online to be in the game, so that is step one, but once you've logged on you will face a huge problem; a vast ocean of data. Web analyst Netcraft estimates there are more than 861m active websites in the world, and most of us only ever visit a handful.

Turn on. To feed a curiosity, you need to know how to surf the entire ocean and most of us only dip our toes in the water. The potential of the internet lies in its web of associations, and there are two contradictory principles you need to embrace:

- Practise getting found

Aggregators and online communities are special-interest groups that give access to the wisdom of the crowd. …

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