Make Those 2014 Goals Both Worthy and Achievable
The Year in Technology: Follow the @Money [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7S7MnY75yA]
As leaders, we only get so many chances to follow through on our intentions and plans.
Star Trek fans know a bit about the importance of delivering on what you promise. The chief engineer of the Enterprise, Commander Scott, likes to say that if you make your promises a bit underwhelming, then when you save the ship at the last minute with a few deft moves, you'll be seen as a miracle-worker.
That's why it pays to be extra mindful of project planning our innovation journeys at the beginning of the year. Now let's face it: Everyone wants to innovate and be cherished by his or her peers as an innovator. But don't enunciate your plans until you know what your enterprise wants.
Make sure that your ideas focus on core innovations. Ask yourself: Why is your enterprise in business in the first place? Sometimes organizations lose touch with their core competencies. They spend a lot of time and effort searching for innovations that don't really aid their core mission. I recall a famous CEO at the dawn of the Internet boom being asked if his old-line industrial company would embrace the Web. He responded that his company would only utilize the Web so far as it would help them achieve gains in the business lines they were in.
The beginning of the year is a time to grapple with realities. We're pressured on all fronts - team mates, clients, business partners - to announce what I like to call "unachievable breakthroughs". It's a mindset that's fixated on wowing people rather than really discerning what exactly the organization needs. Shoot for the stars, but be realistic about doing so. (Maybe choose a closer star to begin with.)
The new year will see more changes and transformations in the technology sector than even officers of the Starship Enterprise could imagine. So start out the year with a plan for your innovation journey around which you and your whole team can easily and enthusiastically rally even in the face of constant and unrelenting change.