I’m a planner - always have been, always will be. I like the opportunity to carefully think through my options, make the best choices based on the information I have gathered and processed, and deliberately move forward with a plan (including milestones and deadlines of course). I can go with the flow - as long as it is involves one of the options I’ve considered in my plan (grin).
As a planner, thinking about my new year’s resolutions is often overwhelming. There are so many things I want to improve upon, try for the first time, or mark off my life list. Sometimes, I don’t make them right away, or because of procrastination, I don’t make any at all.
I recently listened to a Podcast, Making and Keeping Your Goals with David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity and Christie Nicholson from Scientific American. I was surprised to hear him say that we should try to set 45 goals and see which two we actually end up achieving. Think about all of the things you could learn along the path to achieving those 45 goals. Although he refers to our personal lives, I think the points he makes could also apply to our professional lives.
Specifically, when you gather and reflect on the results of your customer listening programs – how do you go about setting goals? Do you think about what has happened over the past 12 months, and what you hope for the next 12 months to look like? Do you involve key decision makers in determining the right set of goals - those who will be accountable for achieving those goals? Do you set too many (or maybe too few) and end up missing out on what the voice of the customer is telling you?
While I think a list of 45 goals might be difficult for me to come up with, I think I could start with a list of 25 – and by this time next year, I’ll see with which three I have made the most progress. This year, I am also going to do things a little different - I plan to make notes of the lessons I learn along the way to reaching the 25 – who I met with, the discussions I had that made me consider other perspectives, when I stay on the path I originally intended, and when I discover a shortcut or detour.
What goals have you set for this year? What will you learn about your customers, your team, and yourself on the path to reaching them?
“If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there." Lewis Carroll
Customer Experience Analyst