Content Strategy

Goals Exercise Debrief

Kristina Halvorson

Kristina Halvorson

Brain Traffic
Content Strategy

Check out a free preview of the full Content Strategy course

The "Goals Exercise Debrief" Lesson is part of the full, Content Strategy course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

After the exercise, Kristina listens to students' answers to the Goals Exercise.


Transcript from the "Goals Exercise Debrief" Lesson

>> I got to the mission part and got wrapped up in the metaphysical question and I was like, my god, I don't know. [LAUGH] So I just stopped.
>> [LAUGH] Were you doing a mission for your organization or for?
>> [LAUGH] No, I was trying to do it for myself.

>> For yourself.
>> [LAUGH]
>> It's a secret.
>> Why do I exist? [LAUGH]
>> That's what I should do. [LAUGH] That's a tactic. All right, so sorry, you said the strategy was tough. Tell me a little bit about that.
>> I didn't know how to define it.

I guess I need more examples or I don't know what the key initiative would be. I mean, would you kind of describe that as this is the number one thing you should do if you do nothing else or-
>> It can be a series of key initiatives. There doesn't just have to be one organizational strategy.

Here's the thing is that there are different levels of strategy. There's like operational strategy, there's functional strategy. So a lot of times when people talk about strategy, an example they often use is Southwest which is to deliver the best flying experience for the least possible money, right? That was their operating strategy that they went after, it's there- it infuses their brand, it infuses everything.

But from a functionalist perspective, we're never involved in the operating strategy unless maybe we're a part of a two or three person team. But if we're contracting in with someone or if we're with an organization with more than 30 people, or 20, or 12, or whatever, we in our roles are likely not involved in operating strategy.

What we tend to deal with is more of a functional strategy where we work within a team that serves this very specific function within an organization. And so we may have different key initiatives over the course of a 9 months, or a year, or 15 months or whatever that we're focused on.

A website launch can be a key strategic initiative that we've decided from a strategic perspective that we have to just burn our website to the ground and redo it. We can decide from a key strategic initiative that we are going to enter into interactive digital experience production and-

>> So it can be short term.
>> Strategy is usually goals or longer term strategy. When you think about you're getting to your goal as a marathon, strategies are like your sprint, so they are key, meaningful- they're key initiatives to create meaningful change that will move you along your path to the goal.

Okay, great. What else besides existential crises? How many of you know what these are within your day to day work? You do? Well, there's only four of you. [LAUGH] Great, have you guys actually documented these and defined them?
>> Yeah, so we have a number of documents when it comes to sort of the overall mission where we have kind of the marketing plan.

And so we also have a quarterly planning session where we say, what are our objectives this quarter? And then a monthly check in that says, okay, our objectives this quarter for Q1 were all of these things, where are they? Who is responsible for them? What are blocked? And then so every month we kind of check in with those quarterly objectives as a team, and make sure they're in the right hands.

That slipped by, and so, the key for us is at the beginning of the quarter, what can we realistically accomplish? And then what do we have to push into Q2, and then on the monthly check ins, we kind of check things off. Make sure they're in the right hands and then bump certain things to Q2 or take things off of Q2 and put them back into Q1 because actually, they're more- we've decided as a team, they're more important.

It's sort of like breaking things into quarterly objectives. Then monthly check ins. And then we have a weekly standup where we kind of are kind of say-
>> That's a pretty steady cadence.
>> Yeah.
>> Do other people have that sort of regular cadence? No? Where do you guys met?

How many of you are full time with organizations? Just a few of you. Do you know what your performance is measured on? No?
>> Delivery.
>> Delivery, whether or not you deliver.
>> [LAUGH]
>> A lot of this actually does fall under kind of the Agile process. So when I was with the company that that's what we did in a kind of blinders way, I mean, for specific projects.

This is a lot of things that we did do, especially the way that was described here too, that we did have daily meetings, what are your pain points where you're trying to achieve that kind of thing. So, that's one thing I find really interesting about this is it does kind of feel like the Agile process.

>> Yeah.
>> But at the last company that I was at then, no. It was all that, what you just described for me then that was a big secret that was kept in a locked box and I had no access to, so yeah.
>> That for me makes it tough to go to bed in the morning.

If I'm just like, why am I doing this? I have eight employees and we hit a total- I mean, we're a really happy, fun group of people but we did and especially because it was winter kind of hit a slump until I kind of went back and took the time to our team because it's cobblers kids.

I spent the go barefoot, I spent all my time talking about this stuff. And then when it comes to my own organization, I'm just like, I'm too tired. But it wasn't until I went back and sort of said, here's what I'm seeing for the next 12 to 18 months that people started to pick up and feel reinvested I think.

Let's move on because I wanna talk a bit- wow, well, we already did this. So this is sort of my message here is that if you don't know, it's okay to ask. It's okay to say, hey, have manager, has leadership shared anything with you around this stuff? It would be helpful for me to know, as I'm continuing to kind of push myself in performance, or to think about how I can use my work to sort of help move us in a good direction as an organization, or even our team, what are our larger arrows pointing us towards?

And maybe they have it, maybe they don't. And if they don't have it, I guarantee the response is gonna be like, I know, right? Or even to suggest, hey, I think it might be a cool exercise for us to go through this as a team. Just because we know we have all of this stuff.

It's all a bunch of moving parts, but sometimes just to see it all in one place can be extremely satisfying, and give you kind of like- shore you up in your day to day performance.

Learn Straight from the Experts Who Shape the Modern Web

  • In-depth Courses
  • Industry Leading Experts
  • Learning Paths
  • Live Interactive Workshops
Get Unlimited Access Now