If you have read my blog before – (so that’s 2 of you 😉 & thanks Mum) you know that I made a new year’s resolution to put up a post once a week, and was tracking how I was going. I have however, fallen behind on this, mostly due to my new side project taking that time away. So it looks like I will miss the goals I set myself…but that’s ok.
Having goals that are clearly defined helps to give you direction and a gauge of your progress, but at the end of the day, you only have these because you have decided on a particular direction (or strategy). Making a decision to change that direction isn’t something you do lightly, but neither do you lock yourself into that direction when you have good reasons to change. Of course changing the goal, means changing how you measure your progress as well…
While I have been on this path for a little while, others have devoted their adult lives to the pursuit of a goal. Check out this video of a recent graduation speech giving by Conan O’Brien – even if you only watch it because the guy is really funny. Clearly this is a person who has had a rather public “failure” but also a rather public change in direction, and many would argue success in that new direction.
There is no greater cliché than follow your dream…whatever you think your dream is now, it will probably change. And that’s ok.”
Sometimes the absolutely focused and driven approach to the achievement of a specific goal is truly admirable (check out this article about a student walking up to accept their degree – it’s the first time they have been able to walk since their accident). Sometimes though, we relentlessly pursue a measure without remembering the direction we wanted to head in and why we wanted to go that way in the first place. There is of course the other side of this problem, where the direction and goals change so often that it seems we are dodging the responsibility and accountability, with good reason or not.
If you have a Key Performance Indicator that you are regularly coming back to (or are brought back to), then maybe you should just do a quick check every now and then of how that direction sits with you. If it’s still right then that’s great and it can re-affirm why you are working as hard as you are. But if it’s not right, then you can re-channel your energy for a better outcome.
PS. “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight” – Jim Rohn
Change is the only constant. Change is opportunity, crisis, strength and weakness all rolled into one. If you are a “Who moved my cheese” fan (I’m more of a Johnny Bunko fan) then you know that it is you who decides how you will feel about a change and how you respond to the change can make a big difference.
And it is certainly easier to say all that when you aren’t going through a change…
My blog has been a bit quiet of late because we have been going through a change at the office, and obviously these things don’t just appear instantaneously.
I find it quite unnerving that when these sorts of changes are in the air, we only talk about them in very hushed tones, only with those who we trust, and only seriously if we have been given an official heads up. But is secrecy really the way to go?
Argument 1: It may change again.
– Just imagine if we didn’t tell people about things because they might change again.
Argument 2: The secret will get out.
– Chances are it probably already is out. Plus not sharing doesn’t exactly send a vote of confidence to those around you.
Argument 3: People’s lives are involved.
– There is a grain of truth here about some people being more impacted than others, but once those people are spoken to and involved in the discussion, is there really a problem with this? Would they be even more likely to want to hear and talk about the opportunities the change is creating in other areas of the business?
At the heart of all this though is something about the way we (don’t) share our ideas before they are completed. Seth Godin refers to it as shipping. Getting the product/service/thingy/ idea out there as soon as you can, so that you can get some real feedback on it, make it better based on some of that feedback and the good ideas other people have, involving the key customers so it works best for them – they are the ones who we need to “buy” it after all.
There are lots of reasons why people don’t want to share their idea before it is complete (fear of negative feedback being a big one)…but maybe the possibilities of sharing can be so much bigger & better.
And if it relates to a really big idea, doesn’t that make the possibilities of sharing even better…
“The key to change…is to let go of fear” – Rosanne Cash