I read Chris Brogan’s three word goal for 2009 while I was away this week. As I am looking for new work this year, I found the approach more than relevant. It became an immediate objective. You can read about Chris’s process and prior words for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 here.
My three are: basic, leverage, return.
1 - Basic
There are multiple lines of thought behind this one. The first and most important is related to my own personal circumstances. Identifying the basic skills I have is a necessary step to start the job search process. While I have spent much of the last six weeks enjoying the time off, I did do some time slicing amongst multiple activities already reported here. One of the activities was skill identification. With my functional skills identified (communications, project management, customer service) I have a variety of avenues to pursue. I think continuing in some information technology role will best utilize what I can bring to the table. I have a history of success in making big ugly problems simpler and achievable. This month, I start working in earnest with my Franklin networking group. I’ll tweak this approach based upon feedback and provide updates so you can help me make the necessary connections.
Another major line of thought concerns Franklin Matters. The economic circumstances will make the budget cycle for FY 2010 very challenging. The Financial Planning Committee is working on the long term plan. I will do what I can to help keep the message simple and basic to bring it to my fellow citizens. Collectively, Franklin needs to determine what it wants the level of town services to be. There are a number of constituencies that don’t trust Town government. Keeping the message to the basic details will be one key aspect to enable an informed discussion.
2 - Leverage
I have long been one to leverage my network. One of the lasting processes I developed shortly after I got into Fidelity Investments was to create the Desktop Support Forum. It grew quickly to include at least one representative from every business unit and every Fidelity location around the world. It operated simply within email as a membership driven distribution listing (over 500 individuals and subgroups at a recent count). A member could post a question to the group on a problem they were facing. Usually within seconds, someone, somewhere would reply with a tip and/or step on how to resolve it. From this experience, I developed the line to explain what I did: “Facilitate the network and then let the net work”. I had a few quick administrative things to do (add folks, remove folks, remind of the posting process, etc.) all of which took less than five minutes a week to accomplish. The rest of the “work” was done by the participants as they shared their problems and resolutions, building awareness of who the "real experts" were.
The first leverage point I will seek to utilize will be in the job search. Those who know me know I do not operate a one way street. I do seek and offer to help folks with whatever I can. I am fortunate to have picked up a good deal of technical knowledge (just enough to be dangerous!) but more importantly to know where to go or who to talk with to help someone with what they are doing. If I could monetize my services as a personal help desk, that would be one option I would consider.
Another leverage point will be helping to move Franklin to a better understanding of our town services and the associated costs (and cost drivers).
The third and important leverage point will be focused on the company that I get to work with.
3 - Return
All the platitudes and recommendations in the world are wonderful, but the bottom line will be how I can help to create a better return for the company. I have had success bringing projects in with reduced cost at Fidelity and with UNISYS in the years before my time at Fidelity. Those successes should help me identify where the real opportunities are for the next company. By helping the next organization improve their return should also help me with a personal income in return.
Basic, Leverage, Return.
2009 should be a good year!
What are your three goal words?