Several years ago, while in one of my UGA classes, I learned about “scanning”. I can remember complaining about the exercise and asked “when will I ever use this!?!?!” Well I’ve found the answer to my question… yeap. I’ve started scanning to predict/anticipate what is coming down the road for my professional future.
The real reason for scanning not so much to see what is coming down the road but what is going to totally disrupt your way of doing things. Disruption is any force, be it idea or technology, system or policy which will alter the business or professional practice from the current state in either a good or negative way. Consider your normal practices as an object. Your practice will continue in a current state until it is acted on by another force. The force can be restrictive or enhancing.
Most people will just let the forces move them from point to point. On the other hand, some people (very few) will anticipate the forces and prepare to harness their influence or will prepare for the coming disruption so as to minimize the negative effect.
Follow the following tips and your scanning will be much more successful.
- read industry journals or listen to general lectures in your profession.
Industry journals tell you what others are doing. This means it is a lighter read but you will need to search a bit harder to find things that might be innovative. I’m listing out my favorite sites below for your consideration but remember, if you rely on me or another person to find the sources for you, you will miss out on the most innovative ideas that others have not considered.
- don’t search for topics… search for innovative ideas.
If you search for a specific topic you will find things related to the topic and not new innovative ideas that will disrupt your normal way of life. Speed read the topics in the journal and search for ideas that may be innovative. Then dig deeper into the article and report what you find. If you find that the content is not innovative and offers no disruption potential at all, move to the next innovative idea.
- ask the question, “What if this were to happen in our organization?”
Ask yourself what will happen or what if. It is important for you to consider the possibility not to dismiss because you can’t see how this would possibly happen to you. Pretend for a moment that all barriers are gone and the influence occurs. What would your practice be like, good or bad… that is what matters.
- report what you found and what you think.
Report your findings. You must share the ideas. Others may be drawing the same conclusion. If the general conclusion is that this idea may influence your future, prepare for it rather than dismiss it. Be ready for what you find.
I’m not trying to scare people but if you don’t look towards the future you will certainly be reactive rather than proactive. Reactive is less effective and much more costly than proactive.
LIST OF SITES (Many MD based sites… will add others soon)
https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHCfDI?src=hash <<<<— Twitter search of articles I found