What do those in conversation with us see and hear when we interact? What do we hope they take away from our dialogue? What gets missed but we hear in our own mind?
What if we consider our life on a macro scale. There is a birth, some activity, we perish. It is a narrative that has been repeated billions of times. If we change the aperture to a bit finer detail, a person was born in a specific decade, received an education, worked a job, retired, and then died. Not remarkable, but a bit more specific. If we zoom in much further, we could fill novels with an exhaustive list of each second of a person’s life. One speculates that a meta-analysis would confirm that no two people have lived the same life.
How we talk about our work, the impact of our cause and the narrative that defines our quest depends on scale. Too much detail, and we lose our audience. Too little detail, and we are generic and miss detailing our signature superpower.
How might we find the optimal scale to share our story? Some narratives need a sentence and others a page or more. What has worked for you?
Not all tracks take us on a remarkable journey. Some might be to a siding, rail yard, dockyard, or an abandoned line. When we strike out on an adventure, we are embracing the unknown. Worrying about ‘what if’ does little to depth and dimension to our experience. How might we ask ourselves if we are encountering a point of action or a point of information when we approach the next junction? It is easy to confuse an intersection of information for an action point and feel the urge to switch tracks. How might we embrace the ambiguity and serendipity fundamental to our quest?
Outdated content that has been abandoned by the side of the trail is confusing at best and perhaps liter. Faded, inaccurate, confusing, and left over from a previous project. How many outdated messages do we leave throughout our organization? On our websites, in our facility, among our rituals, or even in current activities? Do we even see these legacy symbols anymore? Is there a process where someone outside our enterprise might help us identify what has become unseeable?
How we welcome those we aspire to serve makes a difference, and it establishes a mindset and displays our core values. There is an opportunity to design with intention, engage, inspire, and energize. Equally, one can create the mundane, limit expectations, and secure the lowest common denominator. How do you welcome your team members? Is it unique and worthy of comment, or does it feel like roll call in a high school classroom?
Traveling through the world, we leave tracks. Some of our trails are a signature reflecting our journey. Our mark might inspire some, create fear in others, and be entirely missed by those who are distracted. And yet we continue forward.
Those who went ahead made it possible for those who followed. The trail blazed and obstacles removed build a passable lane for those of us who come later. I am grateful for their work.
If we are committed to what we believe, we are willing to restate our purpose repeatedly. We are OK with the quick pick option if we consider it a game of chance.
Which core values are you not willing to sacrifice because they are fundamental to your quest? Which tactics are considered a roll of the dice? If we are not playing the same numbers in every drawing, then we should recognize the outcome does not matter. We have signed up for the adventure, but the work that matters comes with dedicated effort.
If we miss an opportunity, are the ones where it is inches or seconds from success more challenging to absorb than the opportunities that closed miles or days before we reached the finish line? Our raffle ticket being one number off the winning number. We felt potential success until the final moment. A missed flight where the aircraft is sitting at the gate or a race when a medal is lost by tenths of second. Technically, these end in the same result but our ability to be approximate to our goal can change our mindset. It can motivate us or undermine our morale.
How might we embrace the the journey and experiences we encountered along the way that serve as fuel for our next adventure, regardless of the results? How might we recognize the journey is not over, even when the itinerary is altered?
We pitch it to avoid the even ground that exists between our current location and the intended landing zone. We are hopeful that the momentum we embed into the projectile is sufficient to reach the goal. We place it when we intend to be more exact and/or the value of the object meets a threshold to be considered less replaceable.
Horseshoes are easy to pitch and it is a required part of the rules of the game. The consequences of an errant throw is usually minimal and the reward for a ringer are virtual points. Placing a Rodin sculpture requires a level of expertise. We would be held in contempt if we pitched a world class sculpture over the wall and left it randomly in a sculpture garden. We invest in the professionals who have appreciation, experience, tools, time, and financial security to successfully install a piece.
Which considerations should we address before deciding if our intended strategy is a pitch or place?