one of the first signs of any organization’s demise is a lack of youthful prospects. it’s most readily apparent in sports when the core of the team grows past their prime and the minor league systems are sparse of potential superstars. production goes down, and the next available substitute isn’t capable of being an everyday player.
take stock in your organization. see how many potential superstars you still have, and—most importantly—count how many have already left. you’ll start to see the true value of your organization via one simple metric.
how old is your core? who do you have to replace them? and what do you do when everyone else is gone?
this really is consulting 101 stuff here, but it’s also important to point out since it’s the new year and people are undoubtedly going to make resolutions that they end up giving up on in the end. Â listen up, because this is important…
when you set goals, you want to make them SMART:
example of a really bad goal: “lose weight this year.” first of all, losing weight is a stupid goal to begin with. Â most people don’t realize that muscle weighs more than fat does, and working out might cause you to actually gain weight. Â you should be looking for a better resolution.
example of a really good goal: “run in four 5k events for charity this year.” it’s specific, not just a random notion of weight loss. Â it’s measurable because you can mark off events as the days pass through the year; Â make it one run each quarter. Â it’s certainly attainable. Â asking yourself to run 4 marathons might not be, but a 5k is much more manageable and takes less time to train to. Â it’s not an ‘always on’ kind of goal and allows yourself some wiggle room. Â it’s relevant because your overall mission is to be healthier. Â your soul will feel better too because you’re doing it all for charity. Â and that asterisk i placed above is the most important for making goals… although i don’t necessarily see it in the same way as the textbooks do. Â instead of time-bound i say to make that T in SMART stand forÂ ‘tell everybody you know’. Â telling other people puts that goal up-front and center. Â you can’t hide from it because you just might have someone say to you in june, “hey, i thought you were running those 5k things. Â what happened to that?”
so when it comes down to business, are you making SMART goals for your organization? Â for yourself? Â for your career?
it’s a new year, and there are no excuses. Â come up with smart goals, write them down, and make sure you’re taking steps towards getting them every day. Â start with something specific, measure your progress, make sure it’s feasible, ensure that it’s in keeping with your overall mission, and tell everybody about it. Â you haven’t failed in the past because you weren’t good enough; it’s because you weren’t reaching for the right goals.
for some reason, people think that because they know how to set up an account on twitter and facebook that they can use social media. Â but just because you can use a hammer, does that mean you can build a house?
social media isn’t just the tool. Â blogs, microblogs, wikis, forums, are all just the hammer. Â you can’t build a foundation, much less an entire house with just a hammer. Â there ought to be a plan, or a blueprint before you start using social media. Â understand what it is, and what it’s about before setting out on this journey of ‘modernizing’ your organization.
don’t set up a blog because you want comments (first!1!!! lolz!), and don’t set up a twitter or facebook account because you want the most followers [seth's blog]. Â you should be setting up a blog and twitter account to communicate with your readers and followers. Â remember that the whole premise behind social media is the social aspect of it.
before you start building, you should have an overall communications plan or strategy (your foundation), and know what your end state is (the blueprints). Â what are you trying to accomplish? Â an increase of 10% in your sales? Â an increase of 20% in brand loyalty? Â to increase your workforce by 5% in each region?.. to decrease your workforce by 5% in each region?
just like any good construction firm, you better have inspections along the way. Â identify the metrics you want to follow, and measure them throughout the process so you can tell if things are actually working or not. Â not getting the results you expected? is the third bathroom costing too much money? Â it could be time to change your approach (or at least lower your expectations).
you can’t show up to the job site with nothing but a hammer â€” and you can’t integrate social media into your organization just because you ‘know twitter’. Â a lot goes into building a house, just like a lot should go into your social media and enterprise 2.0 plans.
photo by Balakov, flickr artist
i heard an interesting quote from a co-worker just recently. he said, “what gets measured gets done.” what’s more he said, “i learned that from a timeÂ managementÂ course that i showed up late for.” and he’s right! as they also say – “when the cat’s away, the mice will play.”
it’s nice to think that you can trust people to do what you expect them to do, but it’s hard for people to stay motivated when they know they’re not being watched. if a professor or teacher says they’re not going to grade homework, chances are that students won’t do it (or at least do it well).
it would be great if you could count on people without leaning on them, wouldn’t it? Â now, let me ask you this question: how many people thought this post was about other people? now how many people thought this post was directed at YOU? Continue reading