Life. Long. Learning.

What does that mean to you? Personally? Professionally? For your organization?
For me, personally, and professionally, I want to grow, improve skills, increase my knowledge base, and understand others better.
For the chamber, I want these things also. I want it for staff, our board of directors, and volunteers.

Here are some action items which can positively affect your business:

Invest in industry specific education– for you, for your employees. I feel continuing education is crucial to stay relevant in your industry. Period. If you think differently, well I simply disagree. Understanding trends, regulatory issues, and managing new equipment/business equipment keeps your business on the forefront of the industry. Yes, you may need to use resources to attend a conference or class- but this has a couple of benefits. The education itself, the network of people you will meet, and leaving your business for a few days is healthy. I promise, nothing will happen while you’re gone, and the resources to attend- will pay for themselves.

Engage in industry specific groups, locally, regionally, state and national levels- For me, being part of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives organization brings education, information and ongoing networks of support. 2.5 days twice a year brings many chamber executives together to discuss opportunities, trends, and education regarding chamber specific topics.

When you engage with these industry specific groups, you also lend a voice to the priorities of the group. Some may have legislative support or action, which needs your feedback. Your voice matters. Voices raised together create change.

Follow industry professionals and groups on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogs. These options can bring timely information, and answers to questions very quickly.

Read. Yep. Read. There are great books on business. Everywhere. Ask just about anyone and they can tell you what books they are reading or have read which they would recommend. If you don’t “have time” to read, consider books on tape- which now are downloadable through a variety of apps on your smart phone or e-device.

Lastly, share the information you are learning with others. There’s also learning in the sharing….. and imagine what you and your business can do with improved skills, increased knowledge base, better understanding of others… just imagine.