Would you agree that your business needs to evolve and adapt in response to the changing external environment?

I don’t think anyone would argue against that assertion. The way business is done is changing rapidly, think Air B n B and Uber, and organisations need to stay on top of these developments in order that they can respond appropriately.

So how do you go about scanning the horizon in order to see what changes are coming? Surely you have enough to do without chewing up more of your day? There is already eye-wateringly huge amounts of data being created everyday on the web – just take a look at the stats here http://www.internetlivestats.com/

And we already spend on average 28% of our day attending to emails – if you work 8 hours a day that’s two and a quarter hours. A day.

It’s enough to make anyone to feel overloaded by information and for most that is exactly what it feels like.  The thing is that the amount of information is only going to keep growing so the ‘information overload’ mindset will become a problem – if it isn’t already.

Our new world of information abundance requires a different approach. A different mindet. It requires us to look at how we manage our filters – how we make the web work for us so the information we want to see comes to us.  Luckily, along with the growth of information has come a growth in the number of tools that can help us make sense of all that information. Many of these tools are free.

By using tools to help find, filter and share information we can more efficiently manage information and add value to it thereby helping build personal, professional and organizational credibility.

This process of finding, filtering and sharing information is the process of curating information.

We can set up tools to find what we want and need on and automatically bring that information to us. We can seek out what thought leaders are saying, peers and competitors too. Remember 10% of users get to page two of Google search results so it doesn’t take much digging to know a lot more than most people.

Curators make sense of information. They make decisions about what is valuable and useful and what isn’t. They then add context to information. Just think about those notes next to paintings in galleries that provide contextual information to help make sense of what you are looking at. That adds real value.

Curators share their work. They put it in front of audiences and build audiences around what they create.  The very act of curation is a creative one – curating create new experiences and new thinking.

Mindset tends to get in the way of curating information – it is seen as another thing to do. For it to work – and for your organisation to reap the rewards – it requires a mindset that is focused on the benefits of finding useful and relevant information. These benefits extend well beyond horizon scanning for the latest trends impacting on your business. Benefits include:

For organisations the challenges lie in developing curation skills for individuals and having a strategic approach to using curated content.