LinkedIn: My Extensive Experience of Using A 21st Century Working Place – Part 1

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Early years with LinkedIn

Although I have joined LinkedIn in May 2009, my proper association with LinkedIn has started in early 2012. I have moved back to my home town in India after finishing my education in Denmark. With my participation in many different activities, I developed skill set to become a good manager. But, I wanted to take this further and wanted to become a global manager with ability to work anywhere, easy to adapt, have fluent in some languages, can communicate with everyone and act as a true interdisciplinary while solving complex challenges. With lack of resources, I took initiative to develop all the skill set to become a manager of 21st century on my own in my home town. With no sight of any form of assistance, virtual world became my friend and internet a teacher. And LinkedIn became one of my workplaces for understanding things in real time, getting knowledge, sharing opinions and observing the trends. Let me share my story on how I used different tools at LinkedIn in my ‘Envisioning 21st century global manager’ project.

    Groups

Initially, I was not aware of how to use these groups. At start, I have joined familiar groups like Chemical engineering and university alumni groups. Later, I have joined other groups as I came to understand more about my interests. I was very much enthusiastic and initially spend 3-4 hours per day in understanding the groups, reading every posts and responding to it. But as the time passes, I have started to prioritize. Through trial & error and checking the frequency of discussions per week/month, I have changed settings to receive e-mail updates from some groups once a week and daily from some very active group. As a long time user, I am now trained myself to grasp information from different groups much quicker.

Discussions: Previously, I have participated in conferences organized by European commission as well as represented country in other events. I had lot of knowledge in understanding public policies. LinkedIn became the testing ground in trying my hands on it. I am not a policy maker, but using my knowledge and studies, I have given my inputs to various discussions related to public policy in LinkedIn groups. I have also taken part in discussions in Project Management Group, where I have used my past years experience of project management. To expand my knowledge of other regions of the world, I have joined groups like Africa, Latin America, Deutschland Konnektion, Asia Network. Through these groups, I have improved my network, knowledge and understanding of many different countries. By joining Cross Cultural Management group, I have also enhanced my knowledge about different cultural sensitivities. As part of my ‘Self-designed International Management Study Program’, I was learning from different resources and LinkedIn became one of the most important places to test all these new knowledge.

Identification of new trends: Through my activities on LinkedIn, I got to know many new trends which were otherwise not able to easily spot on. Some of them are:

  • Data Analytics:
  • At LinkedIn group ‘Coursera’, one person talked about Data Analytics and its importance in future. I talked to him directly and he gave me some links to study further. I have realized that majority of the companies are currently not using it, but it is going to be one of the most sought skills in future. Later, I took an online course to understand the basics of it. Thanks LinkedIn for it.

  • Leadership crunch:
  • I have drafted my management program after careful analysis of future trends and my interests. In the middle of last year, I was lacking some confidence in continuation of it. In that time, one of ‘Harvard Business Review’ group member sent me a report prepared by a well reputed consultancy firm. It has highlighted the lack of leadership in many companies and requirements of interdisciplinary and dynamic managers. As my program actually meant to prepare myself for such conditions, I have started to feel more confident about my ‘Envisioning 21st century global manager’ project from that time on-wards.

  • Urban planning:
  • With my participation in some competitions as a case writer, I was very much aware that majority of population in future are going to live in the cities. Understanding the way cities are functioning can help in managing business and related functions better. Through specific LinkedIn groups, I have met some people working on this aspect. I have discussed with them the connection of it related to businesses. I have also taken an online course to understand more about the planning of cities.

  • Culture & Organization:
  • I had prior experience of working in multicultural environment. By tracking discussions on LinkedIn, I have realized their importance in entry into new markets, implementation of business strategy and making success full Mergers & Acquisitions. Using insight in the ‘Cross Cultural Management’ group and my own cultural studies, I have tried to understand difference of doing business in different countries.

  • Understanding Economics:
  • I was gaining knowledge in economics, both from online courses & reading newspapers. Along with it, I have turned to ‘Treasury Peer’ group in LinkedIn to gain more understanding of the way money floats and bank functions.

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