School’s back in session, moms are planning for the upcoming holidays, and media professionals are rolling out fall media and entertainment campaigns that were envisioned months ago to target us all.  As influential women in media we know it’s all about planning and having the vision and knowledge to look into the future of what audiences will want 6 to 12 months from now.  But how can we be visionaries in such a distracted age?  What should we be doing to enable us to see yet future needs, issues, and desires?

In our present culture of twitter, and the “instant” send button on our computers, being ahead and thinking forward is essential. Here’s 2 simple things I do to help keep me looking ahead:

First, attend conferences, association meetings, and industry events.   When groups of people connect live they feed each other information and inspiration. New ideas, perspectives, and visions emerge and new information is shared. Yes, we read info all day long, but there is focused attention to it when it is shared face to face.

Second, be yourself.   Bring your unique thoughts, ideas, talents and insights to the table and be bold enough to share them. Don’t copy, create. Take the opposite path. Avoid what everyone else does and be different. Jesus told the fishermen to throw their nets to the other side of the boat, He avoided crowds, and went to the well in the heat of the day because he knew he’d find a woman who was not in the “in” crowd and she had significant influence in the crowd He wanted to reach.

Now the question is… what will you do today to bring fresh ideas, cutting edge info, and your own unique talents to your work?