5 Tips for Empowering Your Research and Creating a Culture of Learning

12 Jul

In college I majored in Organizational Communication. We discussed the importance of organizational management and analyzed workplace cultures. One important factor for a company’s success is that a company should always reflect its community and its industry. Creating a culture of learning and valuing research will take your company to the next level.

Finding time to research can be tough. What isn’t looking for your attention these days? First your phone needs more of your time, now it’s your watch. You just got caught up on drones but there’s self-driving cars now, too, and what are the regulations on those things anyway? Best of luck because they just changed, again.

Prioritizing and improving research is one of the greatest forms of personal career development, as well as job competency. It’s an investment in the future, whether that’s your company or personal growth. That’s why at Bandwidth we’re focused on continually pushing our research methods forward and staying ahead of the game.

For those of us in research, thank you job security.

The problem comes back to the issue of time. Perhaps you spent the morning reading five articles, only to find none of them were particularly relevant. Here’s a few tips to create a power morning.

1) Customize your Twitter account (or make a new one)
There aren’t many tools like Twitter. I’ve recently undergone a rebranding of my account, focusing on my industry, and the return has been amazing. Following newsites and powerful influencers in your industry to see what’s happening helps you stay on top. My favorite part: the limit to 140 characters (for now) to get just a snippet. As a bonus, when you engage, you’re actively building your personal brand and network.

2) Internet is your friend
The internet can be overwhelming, but make it work for you. Spend some time and find the site that works for you, with enough humor, or lack thereof, to drive you back every day. I find myself on TechCrunch and a few smaller newsites I really enjoy. If that’s not your style, subscribe to weekly newsletters like Skimm or Morning Reader. You can also create alerts through various software/applications that let you know when there’s a new blog or company news from things that most impact your industry. Internet can be entertainment but it can also do a lot of work for you (bye bye job security I thought I just had).

3) WOM [Wawhm] with potential audible for Podcast
The ultimate power statement. Word of mouth (WOM) is still known as the best marketing tool. While it’s usually not ahead of the game, asking coworkers and peers what’s catching their attention is a great way to keep up. WOM’ing is the new excuse to chat around the office while maintaining productivity. You heard it here first. If you’re the quiet type or the commute to work is long, there’s also podcasts. Podcasts are “in” and you can quickly find some that fit your niche. (Take a look back at our 5 favorite blogs for some ideas!)

4) Create a culture of learning
Bringing these tools together ensures a culture of learning, creativity, and innovation in your workspace and personal life. It’s important to focus on enabling these tools in your company and even rewarding them (no self-interest there). It’s helped me personally standout at work asking senior leadership if they anticipate certain market trends (when I have the credibility). I also find myself chatting with deskmates about news as it happens, and learning what it might mean in the market. Lastly, it’s challenging us to stay ahead of the game with our products!

5) Lastly, Don’t Do It All!
I take a deep dive every morning, returning from the endless internet like a zombie. While I believe I’m trained well to make it back (an experienced explorator, if you will) don’t make your morning stressful! Find something useful, interesting or even fun and call it a morning. I usually look for something to make my morning better while I have my first cup of coffee. I can walk into work and bring it up while checking email with those around me.

These are a few tips I hope better your research. Implementing these few tips has helped me feel more comfortable at work and more satisfied with the work I’m doing. Who knows what it could do for you?

 

Clayton Johnson
Clayton Johnson
cjohnson@bandwidth.com

Clayton is a recent graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studied Communications. He recently returned from a trip abroad and has a passion for research, social experiences and culture. Before venturing into tech, Clayton worked in the Specialty Coffee industry and can be caught frequenting local coffee shops and breweries.

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