Who Are You Dreaming With?

It’s Monday and I’m doing my weekly strategic planning. This starts with me writing down 10 goals that, if accomplished in the next 12 months, would be beyond amazing. But there’s been something missing lately from my goal setting.

Since most of my goals are for the benefit of the people I love and care about, I like to share that goal with them in the form of a promise. For example, I’m not just trying to pay off all of my debt for the fun of it. I’m paying off debt so I can do a better job of saving for my child’s education.

So to make this goal more real and to help me hold myself accountable, I’m making a promise to my son that I will be debt-free within 12 months. I’m also telling him the specific steps I’ll be taking, and why this is important to me.

It can be tough to share your goals with people because of the fear of failure. But I find that when I share my goals with the people who matter, they tend to support and encourage me along the way. That support and accountability helps carry me through when the going gets tough.

So this is my challenge to you: write a note to the person most involved in your goal explaining why you want to achieve the goal and what you’re going to do to succeed. While you’re at it, why not tell them the things they can do to help keep you on track? You’ll soon see that your goals are much easier to achieve when you have the people you love cheering you on.

Beware the ESG Performance Gap

In the May 2013 edition of HBR, Robert G. Eccles and George Serafeim demonstrate the need for companies to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) into their core strategic innovation initiatives.

The ESG performance gap shows the effects of non-strategic implementations.
As environmental, social and governance (ESG) improves, a firm’s financial performance declines — unless ESG is incorporated through strategic and substantial innovation.

At MX Conference 2013, “triple bottom line” was an idea that came up repeatedly. I thought at the time that companies seeking to show performance in terms of profit, people and the planet are bound to venture into misguided efforts. Simply slapping a layer of ESG initiatives doesn’t make a corporation not-evil. And as Eccles and Serafeim show, the increased cost of these efforts will diminish financial performance over time because of the increased cost.

The only exception is for companies that treat ESG as a core part of their innovation work. Firms that make strategic decisions to sensibly innovate their businesses in ways that incorporate ESG will improve their triple bottom line, while most companies are sure to abandon their ESG efforts as they fail to realize return on the investment. I hate to be cynical, but ESG is sure to wind up like every sitcom that added a kid as their ratings faltered.

IxDA Cincy Presentation

I had a blast presenting my talk UX Leadership Lessons: The Hard Way to IxDA Cincinnati last night at Fusion Alliance. I really appreciate Cris Cravens inviting me to present, and Fusion Alliance for hosting the event and feeding us.

I know some of the points from my presentation went out on Twitter, but here are the slides for easy reference.


IxDA Cincinnati is a good group of people, and I enjoyed meeting everyone. If you have any suggestions for my talk, please leave a comment. And if you know of a group that could benefit from my presentation, please contact me for availability.

3 Ps of Resilience

My Prefrontal Monday is off to a buzzing start thanks to this stunning episode of the HBR Ideacast – Why We’re All in Sales. Daniel Pink, author of To Sell Is Human, talks about how sales has an image problem and reframes sales as a fundamentally human activity.

I particularly benefited from Pink’s discussion of Martin Seligman’s research on resilience and will be reminding myself:

  • It’s not personal
  • It’s not pervasive
  • It’s not permanent

Have a listen and let me know what jumps out at you.

Chalene Johnson’s 30 Day Push Challenge – Day 1

Chalene Johnson talks a lot about priorities in day one of of the 30 Day Push Challenge. Priorities aren’t something I normally think much about as part of my existing productivity system, of which I am rather proud. To determine priorities, I somewhat arbitrarily assign projects a score of 1-3 for importance and urgency. While this helps me identify and fight against the tyranny of the urgent, it doesn’t seem like a very strategic approach to setting priorities. I’m hoping Chalene’s approach is more goal-oriented.
Continue reading “Chalene Johnson’s 30 Day Push Challenge – Day 1”