by Ellen Naylor, Rocky Mountain Chapter, Competitive Intelligence Division
There has never been more ways to connect and stay in touch 24/7 than today! I predict that this trend will continue. Yet many of these connections, especially through social networks, are shallow. I think they will become deeper as people connect through more relevant social networks such as Quora (www.quora.com) or CI2020 (http://ci2020.com) for competitive intelligence. Also connections are more real-time: witness how quickly news travels through Twitter, and how immediately we can connect with SKYPE video, and for a price SKYPE video teleconferencing.
In our excitement with this technology it’s easy to forget about the individuals behind our connections. The info pro/librarian who understands the motivation of the people s/he serves will excel.
I am a cooperative intelligence practitioner. Through a cooperative attitude and practices, you will be more successful in your business endeavors, and certainly as an info pro. This works since the other person–the one you are serving–feels that you are putting their needs first. You are helping them without strings attached–without expecting “something” in return.
You listen to what they need, ask good questions about why they have this need, and what they will use the information for. You find out how they’re motivated so you can communicate your findings in a way that they can digest, in their language using their analytical tools. You also connect them with the right people to help their cause.
There are two skills that often get overlooked in this information explosion: critical thinking and intuition. With the abundance of information we jump to conclusions with more certainty; yet we don’t test them by standing back and questioning our assumptions in a broader context. Likewise, many of us have lost touch with our intuition, which I consider the barometer of veracity. No amount of information replaces that gut reaction that tells the experienced info pro that something doesn’t feel right or something is missing.
I hope in the future that we become better at cooperative intelligence; retain our ability to stand back and be critical thinkers; and stay true to ourselves by trusting our intuition as the sixth sense of research.
All the best,