Leadership / Management

What are your three watchwords for 2012?

Lighthouse beaconWhat are your three watchwords for the new year?

Mine are connect, focus, and smooth.

In keeping with Chris Brogan's 3 Words tradition, I have adopted his approach, which is to abandon the sometimes fuzzy, easy-to-abandon new year's resolution for three watchwords. Here is how he describes it in his post, My 3 words for 2012 :

"I challenge you to dig deeper, to find three words that could be used as lighthouses to guide you through stormy seas, that can be used as flags on the battlefield of your challenges, words that will bolster you and give you a direction that goes beyond the goals you might attach as a result of these words."

A great example is another post (from 2009) from Principled Innovation, by Jeff DeCagna, titled Serious, Simple, Social. Where he talks about the need for "serious" conversations to deal with the challenges we face, "simple" solutions that people can understand, and "social" for using social media to bring our communities together to solve problems. We adopted Jeff's words in 2009 (with his permission) in the thick of the recession. He even visited with our team to talk about it.

So here are my three watchwords for 2012:

Connection is all about social and relationships. It's the high tech-high touch approach. It's physical and virtual. In 2012, we will strive to connect with and enable more connections among our members, customers, strategic partners, and our team. Social strategies will amplify our professional issues updates / town hall meetings (free CPE!), and our website will finally integrate our social media tools into one spot for simple and easy access by members and others.

This means making sense of what we have on our plate and fitting the pieces together in a way in which they leverage and amplify our value (this is the next step after last year's messy, integrated, there-is-no-manual approach). We will be focusing on evaluating our high-leverage opportunities against our strategy and prioritizing them. It's about being more disciplined about new opportunities and being more data-driven in how we look at our strategic portfolio. 

This came from a participant at our recent i2a certification who comes from a military leadership position. She says slow is smooth and smooth is fast. This fits one of our favorite sayings: Sometimes you have to go slow to go fast. Smooth means making time to "create the manual" and standardize many of the new innovations of the past few years. It means taking more time to plan and less "winging it." I know this one will be hardest for me.

By the way, we have even done this for our organizations:

What are your three watchwords for 2012? Reply with your comments so we can create a master list.

What will be your touch points to guide you through the year?