Best definition I’ve found about the concept of an Echo Chamber: an informal communication space where everyone agrees with the information and outside perspective/information is abnormal.
Where I am going is that it’s more important than ever to physically get outside of our Echo Chambers and transfuse with other thought. I don’t mean attending presentations, watching YouTube videos, or reading blog posts (right! like this one). I’m referring to conversing F2F (Face to Face) and opening up your blinders and tuning into your peers that live a different day-to-day professional experience. Then, reciprocate and share yours. If your perspective doesn’t align with theirs, then you’ll get something out of the discussion; that’s the point. If you just want to stroke each other’s egos with affirmation, go for it! That’s the echo chamber, just don’t expect to walk away any smarter than when you got there.
Secondly, if you’re a business leader, your people and enterprise will benefit from you encouraging and facilitating their participation. Naturally, that’s worrisome! Convey your expectations about company confidential trade secrets, and client confidentiality if necessary.
(Side note: Not only will your business benefit, but if the businesses in your local economy can adopt this attitude, that ecosystem will benefit as well. And YES! if that attitude expands out regionally… of course. Go ahead and let the Star Spangled Banner play in your mind though I’m playing Van Halen at the moment… yes again.)
Have I always felt this way? No way! I’ve been an isolated protectionist for most of my professional life. My realization came as a result of me getting out of my own Echo Chamber many many times. Try it. You’ll see the benefit and then the potential for doing/facilitating the same thing for your people.
I’m not referring to classic professional organizations. Those serve a different purpose, (but they are a great place to harvest some peers).
If you’re drawing blanks on this, let me know. I’ll be glad to provide whatever additional insight I can even if it’s just over the phone.
Consider This – Your industry may be changing way to fast for anybody to keep up with it and simultaneously be a practitioner. The ONLY hope to keep up, is through peer grouping: sharing “best of” and “worst of” experiences. Some may call this “curating” your industry experiences with others in the industry.