14 ways Google and YouTube can have tremendous value to a manager
Wow, if you are a manager and love to surf the net, this week's column is for you. It can help you legitimize your wish to be on the internet during work time. This, of course, also assumes that you are doing it for the right reasons and taking my advice.
As a manager both Google and YouTube can be a great source of information, research, and inspiration. Let's start with Google, or the other search engine of your choice. Google can be used to:
Find summaries of great management books that can help you enhance your management craft (if you like the summary, buy the book).
Using Google Alerts to find out what people (clients, competitors, etc.) are saying about your company.
If your group is responsible for the maintenance or support of a software product, use Google Alerts to learn what successes, failures, and issues other companies using the software are having with the product.
When hiring a new employee, use Google to investigate the potential candidates. You may find positive or negative information that can help you make your decision.
When trying to create a new graphic for a presentation, Google Images can provide you with some great examples that you can use as inspiration.
When designing a new form for use within your department, you can potentially find example forms to get you started.
When looking for local contractors, consultants, and other local products and services, Google can be a great resource.
If your company decides to implement a new methodology, formalized process, or product, doing some up-front research on your own can not only give you a head start on understanding the new product, but also show you as a self-starter.
What people are saying about you can affect your professional future. Google yourself, you may be surprised with what you find.
YouTube and other similar video-based sites can also be of great value to you as a manager. There are:
Great management-related videos. One that comes to mind is Dan Pink's video on employee motivation, based on his book named 'Drive', which I highly recommend reading.
There are a number of free soft skill oriented instructional videos that can help you grow as both a manager and a person.
There are many videos that are both instructional and fun. Showing one in your weekly staff meeting has the dual benefit of teaching something new to your staff and providing a little comic relief to make the staff meeting a little more fun.
Maximize your department's training budget by first trying to find high quality free instructional videos and then paying for classes only in the areas where free materials did not meet your needs.
If you have to give a speech or give an important presentation, watch videos on a related topic. It can provide you with inspiration on how to formulate your speech and illustrate how your topic can be successfully presented.
In short, Google, YouTube, and their complementary and competitive products can be of great value to you as a manager. From a personal perspective, I wish the internet existed when I started my professional management career. We had books, we had training classes, we had libraries, and we had mentors. All of these time tested sources of information, research, and inspiration were of great value to me then and are still of great value to all now. But that said, don't underestimate the power of combining these traditional informational sources with today's technology. It's free, brings the world's greatest minds to your doorstep, and if used properly can give you, and your company, a true competitive edge.
The primary advice and takeaways from today's column is to know that:
As a manager both Google and YouTube can be a great source of information, research, and inspiration.
Combining traditional management resources, such as books, training classes, and professional mentors, with internet based resources, such as Google and YouTube, can be a very powerful combination.
This blog is an excerpt from my weekly nationally syndicated column with GateHouse News Service. My new columns can be found in GateHouse Media publications throughout the United States.
Until next time, manage well, manage smart, and continue to grow.