When Trump was president, commentators observed that he made promises that were always three weeks away. Covid was going away in three weeks. Proof that the election was stolen would be revealed in three weeks. If re-elected, Trump would finish the Mexican border wall in three weeks.
What happened in three weeks? We forgot the promise.
When I was setting quarterly goal targets, a pattern developed where not only would they be irrelevant in three months, but often I forgot whey I had engaged with them in the first place.
To some extent it’s a reflection of how quickly we were moving. New information and opportunities shifted the landscape.
But it was also drift. We would simply lose touch with our aims while we were in the meat grinder.
There is always something urgent on your plate. Over time, this force will pull you off course to the point where you don’t remember where you were going.
In response to this, we now work off a 6 week cycle. This raises the relative importance and urgency of objectives because their due date is a few weeks away. Additionally, I use a long form vision, around a page, that goes through the objectives and how I hope they’ll help us achieve a change in circumstances. What, why, and how.
Today is the end of a cycle. I’m combining the objectives and vision to evaluate our progress. We’ve done well. And I know we’ve done well because I was explicit in my thinking six weeks ago.
How do your navigational tools affect your progress?
“If you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take.” – Lewis Carroll
Featured image is of Alice with Tweedle Dee & Dum by John Tenniel -Illustration for chapter 4 of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, originally published 1871. Used under public domain.