by Kat Grider
Lately my motto has been, "cleats on". Meaning, get aggressive, get focused and stuff the freakin’ ball into the back of the proverbial net. The thing is, the more fired up I get about going after what I want (i.e. excellent work and winning), the more I realize that we as digital marketers have to redefine success as not being about meeting a finite goal. The truth is that unlike the World Cup, winning in digital isn’t about hitting a stationary goal - instead it’s about staying ahead of constantly shifting technologies and consumer likes and dislikes. (Talk about a moving target – this spring I heard a group of teens tell a Senior Strategist that Facebook is dead and Apple products could use some improvement.) Winning isn’t just about a ball in the back of the net - it’s about systems that reinforce winning results. That’s why I loved this line from a recent article in Entrepreneur.com:
"I've found that goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.
Bangerang. Actually making progress. The article goes on to state:
"Goals suggest that you can control things that you have no control over…You can't predict the future. (I know, shocking.) But every time we set a goal, we try to do it. We try to plan out where we will be and when we will make it there. We try to predict how quickly we can make progress, even though we have no idea what circumstances or situations will arise along the way."
This is why when writing a Scope of Work (SOW) Bree and I use language like: timeline and budget are set, but scope is variable. Because, the truth is, we have no idea what changes in the market and/or in consumers will occur once we’ve hit send on the SOW. Finite goals and granular, lengthy, pre-defined deliverables and requirements hinder innovation and the ability to seize market opportunities. It’s no surprise, we love the solution James Clear proposes:
"…Feedback loops are important for building good systems because they allow you to keep track of many different pieces without feeling the pressure to predict what is going to happen with everything. Forget about predicting the future and build a system that can signal when you need to make adjustments."
The Aha Method is simply our way of taking the an agile mindset and applying it to the existing Advertising/Marketing agency system in a way that works (okay, kills it) - bringing a little sanity and a whole lot of net-stuffing progress to both team and client.
Continuing in the vein of “cleats on” I’ve been reading the book Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing. The authors state:
"Religious scholar James Carse makes a distinction between ‘finite’ games and ‘infinite’ games. Finite games have a beginning and an ending with the goal of winning. Between games there is recuperation and restoration. Infinite games never end, and since no winner is ever declared, the goal instead is to get ahead."
Work is nothing if not an infinite game. One where winning (winning the pitch, winning the award or simply winning the meeting) is, again, a moving target. All the more reason to lace up and get to work building a system that reinforces winning results. If you need help getting started Bree and I are ready to go, we pretty much wear our cleats to bed…and we’re girls. And that’s game advantage according to Carse:
"It turns out that women handle infinite competitions better than men, often because they find ways to recuperate while still competing. Men, unable to shield their egos, do best in shorter competitions of a discrete length."