Resolutions are trash; themes are much better.
Resolutions are inflexible and a year is a long time for a person to stay focused on a goal. I find that quarters are a much better time frame for goals. Annual themes save us from likely failure from having hard set goals. It also gives us the opportunity to modify the meaning of the theme as the year progresses. For example, Kevin in January is different and in a different situation from Kevin in July. (Imagine, if you will, something that could completely change a year for an entire planet.) Read about last year’s theme here.
2021s annual theme for myself and Adelsberger Marketing will be PROCESS. While reading Seth Godin’s new book, The Practice, I came across this quote from Richmond sculptor Elizabeth King: “Process saves us from the poverty of our intentions.”
Having a set process for what we want to achieve can help us do our best work even on days or times when we may not feel like it. If you want to be a writer, it’s a good idea to write every day. You may not want to write every day. But making it part of your daily process can help with forcing yourself through the “writers block.” I did this one year without thinking much about it. I decided I was going to post a new photo on instagram every day for a year. There were a lot of days I didn’t want to do that. But forcing myself through the process of posting everyday helped me see more of the beauty around me. I was even able to see more opportunities for photography in the everyday world.
Process as a theme works itself out in a few different ways for us:
- Process in personal life.
- Process helps pursue the best.
- Process allows growth and decentralization.
Because we are professionals, we have to show up. We have to show up every day. We have to do the work. Even when we don’t want to or feel lazy. Or when we are too busy. I want to implement more processes to save me from myself on days when I feel tired, lazy, or overbooked. Our intentions can waver. But if we craft our processes carefully, they will provide correction for our intentions.
One of the major ways this will play out for Adelsberger Marketing in 2021 is outlining the processes we already do in a documented format. This way, we can make sure we complete the steps each time. Process will not only save us from disinterest or laziness but also help us fight against forgetfulness. Many of these processes will take the form of checklists. Checklists can be profoundly helpful for humans. In 2008, the WHO created a standard checklist for surgeries to help cut down on avoidable deaths from the operating room. Surgeons are some of our most educated citizens – who would think they needed a checklist to be better? But after these checklists were implemented, they saw a 40% drop in avoidable deaths and a 1/3 drop in complications.
Process is not necessary because someone is not a quality person or team member. Process is necessary because we are humans. Humans are prone to error. Whether it be distraction, exhaustion, or disinterest, checklists can be course correcting. We will be pivoting more toward these to help improve our processes in order to deliver the best possible outcomes for our team and clients.
When you have a standardized process, you can also work to improve that process. It is difficult to improve something that changes every single time. We have some processes but they are not detailed and completely repeatable. Also, they are not fully communicated to the team. As we continue to grow as an agency, we need better defined processes that are fully communicated. Looking back, I have not always communicated processes well. This is a failure of my leadership but it is also one that is overcomable. The best time to start is now.
Free theme cell phone background here.