Refresh yourself in 2012

Today seems a good time to talk about personal renewal, given this is the first post of 2012.

Being self employed, there is no boss or HR department to help me think about what comes next in my professional life. So, I like to look outside of marketing for inspiration on how to keep things "fresh". Two such sources of inspiration are the wolds of popular music business and sport. Here are some ideas coming out of this reflection, which may be useful even if you work in a big company.

1. New collaborators

Working with new people really can be a breath of fresh air, especially if these new collaborators from different worlds. For example, the jazz singer Tony Bennet is still going strong at 80 years+, with a boost of energy coming from collaboration with a series of singers on his "Duets" albums. This included duets with Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga!

Who could you collaborate with in 2012 to refresh what you do, and have fun at the same time?

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2. New techniques

I got the autobiography of England rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson for Xmas. And the book reveals the many ways that Jonny sought to improve his performance on the pitch by learning new techniques. For example, he worked with a kicking expert called Dave Aldred to get extra length on his kicks.

What new tehcnique or skill could you learn in 2012 to raise your game?

3. New technology

Manchester United is an example of a sports club investing in new technology to improve performance, with a reported £11 million investment in sports science at its training facility. This includes GPS trackers worn in training vests that produce an individual rundown of players' performance stats following training sessions.

How could you invest in new technology to boost your performance in 2012?

4. Evolve your role

In the music world many pop stars are famous for a few years, then disappear when they are no longer "flavour of the month". A few manage to evolve their role and so prolong their career, such as Take That singer Gary Barlow. When the first incarnation of Take That split up back in the 1990's he evolved his role into song writing and producing, including working on the new album of fellow Take That start Robbie Williams. and more recently started his own record label.

Is 2012 the year when you evolve your role? Not change completely, but rather build on skills and experience and take them into a related space.

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So, here's to 2012 being a great year for all the brandgym blog readers, and hoping you find some inspiration on keeping things fresh through new collaborators, techniques and technology.