Business publications come in every flavor, from glossies aimed at C-level executives to no-frills journals written for those on the front lines of everyday operations. With the seeming overabundance of available trade magazines, it’s easy to narrow your focus to 2 or 3 that most closely speak to your needs, and leave it at that.
Busy project managers have little extra time as it is, but by expanding your industry reading – even if only occasionally – you have greater opportunity to cultivate resources, establish contacts, discover tools and identify emerging trends.
Reading about industries other than your own can introduce you to tools and ways of tackling obstacles that might be more effective than the techniques you’re using now. Each niche brings its own set of challenges, and by learning how others overcome obstacles you may become more innovative in how you approach problems, too. You’re also likely to come across resources and contacts that will help strengthen your position when it’s time to seek outside assistance on a project, or look for new career opportunities.
If you generally read industry- or occupation-specific journals, try perusing through a more general business publication (local business journals are good, as are national magazines such as Inc.). You’ll gain a broader understanding of successful business tools, emerging trends and today’s challenges, and your expanded insight will help you communicate more effectively with clients, corporate executives and key stakeholders.
Similarly, if the bulk of your reading is higher-level or managerial in nature, it’s good to throw in some material that’s focused on a particular industry, occupation or niche. The change in perspective can offer you entirely new insights into front-line project management practices, the day-to-day impact of financial and organizational decisions, and the extraordinary amount of innovation that is at the heart of every healthy enterprise.