Last year at this time, I wrote about my Three strategic pillars for 2011. This was inspired by Seth Godin’s post Year in review, Lyn Thain’s post here, and an idea from Chris Brogan about themes. Chriss suggests that what works for him is to pick and focus on 3 themes in your business and life that you want to develop.
In my post (Three strategic pillars for 2011), I stated that my three themes would be:
What happened ?
Well, let’s look at what has happened over the course of the last year for me to assess how I have done:
- RARE Forum – this was an event that I conceived, curated and created (with the help of a few others) in 2011 (we held the first one in London on November 3rd). The aim was to create a place and event, focused on SMEs across sectors, to share ideas, experiences and to discuss and debate the issues of the day. The theme was ‘Business is Personal’ and if you go to RARE Forum, you can see the ‘story of the day’, filled with tweets, sketches, pictures and slideshows. Finally, the feedback has been awesome and I am busy developing the next one(s) as we build towards developing a real community of like-minded SMEs.
- I think this year has been tough for almost everyone and this year I have been really focused on working with my clients create a set of sustainable and very cost effective strategies, plans and campaigns to help them sustain and grow their businesses. There’s a bit of curation in there too as I leverage a lot of what I see, tweet and write about to help them too. If you are interested in talking to me about how I could work with you and your business, how I do that and what returns you could expect then get in touch here.
- Finally, I’ve also been busy creating a new left-field, start-up project that aims to tackle some of the issues and skills that young people face in their career and education choices. I can’t tell you much more about it right now as we finalise plans in the next month or so and then go out and start raising some funds to build it. Suffice to say that it has create, curate and community at its very heart. Watch this space for more details!
Looking back I would say that my choice of strategic themes have served me really well and have been my guiding lights over the last 12 months.
How do you think I’ve done?
Looking forward, I’ve spent the last few days thinking about what my 3 themes should be and I found myself thinking about new words. That’s where I stumbled a little as I found myself thinking that much of what I had thought about last year still holds for this year. So, I am going to keep two of the words from last year and add one new one. Here they are:
- To develop the new start-up, to nurture RARE Forum, to develop the community thereof and to develop great relations with new clients and even better relations with my existing clients
- To source new, more and better people to interview for the blog, to curate great content for RARE Forum and to bring all of this to bear for the benefit of my clients.
- To continually create great and interesting content here on the blog (this will be informed by the themes that emerged in my last post: 2011 Rearview Mirror Lessons and Themes: Customer, Service, Business, Experience, Leadership, Marketing, Interviews, Loyalty and Social), to be ever more creative and practical in coming up with strategy and marketing solutions for my clients and to find a way of delivering my projects: RARE Forum and the new start-up such that they deliver on their promise.
So, these will be my three strategic pillars for 2012.
To add a fourth ‘C’ into the mix there is a sense of ‘Continuity’ about them. For me that’s important as it implies that things are yet to be finished.
I have found this exercise to be a really important and useful exercise for me.
What I do know for certain is that over the coming year you and I will be presented with all sorts of new opportunities and ideas many of which will appear very seductive at the time. But, I know that to keep me on track and play to my strengths it has been incredibly useful to have a handful of ‘storylines’ or ‘themes’ that I can use as strategic filters to keep me on track and guide me as I move forward.
It works for me. How about you?
What are going to be your strategic pillars for you and your business for 2012?