Medical Branding & Marketing Blog

Letting Your Vision, Not Your SMART Goals, Be Your Guide in 2012 2

Posted in the Category 'Strategy'

Ashley Libby
Brand & Marketing Strategist | Principal & Founder, The Anca Group


Phew! The holidays are over! Time to get on with 2012!

I recognize that as a marketer, I am supposed to chart and graph every possible metric from 2011, analyze the data until I can't see straight, set all kinds of SMART goals (for those of you that haven't had the pleasure of the introduction, they are the specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely, holy grail of goals) for 2012, and then plan until I'm blue. Trouble is, I can't live that way.

Sure, I understand the purpose of studying the past and identifying clear objectives for moving forward, and I understand why organizations have to do it. But frankly, I think it's all a lot of time and energy spent for very little return, and that doesn't work for me.

Even worse to me, it's just stuffy. Where's the room for creativity, flexibility, and change?

It's 2012! Things change in an instant thanks to the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and all the networking and information sharing tools available today. So you set a goal January 1, 2012, something happens a week later or a month later to change the environment - be it the business environment or the economic environment or whatever - and you're stuck there saying, "But my SMART goals says I need to..."

Don't get me wrong, I think that having direction is crucial. But should that direction come from specific goals written a year or so before you expect them to be achieved? Instead, wouldn't it be better to revisit and clarify your vision - or establish one if you haven't already - and use that as your guiding light for the future?

For me, I know what my MISSION AND VISION are for The Anca Group, and I know what I need to do in 2012 and beyond - grow my business, help my clients grow their businesses (and meet their objectives if they choose to set them), produce great work, continue to evolve as a marketer, expand my network and reach, and contribute to the fields of branding and marketing.

That's empowering, not limiting.

I will have the focus and flexibility to do what I need to in the coming year: one, because my direction comes from the heart; two, because I haven't forced myself to write a set of confining SMART goals that seem to make sense today; and three, because I am free to move with the world around me and follow my gut instinct.

So, I would propose that instead of focusing on specific goals, numbers, and metrics in 2012, that you tap into your vision for the future, listen to your heart, engage in the world around you, follow your gut, and let that set you on your path to success and greatness.

So, do you have it in you to try something different in 2012?

You've heard my thoughts. Tell me yours and your approach to 2012!

Thought? Comments? Questions?

David Diaz

Ashley, your post is perfectly relevant to today's social, business and economic environments. Our world changes so quickly these days. Like you said, a new gadget, a new website, a new technology can cause you to throw your most-well-thought-out ideas and plans right out the window. It's necessary to remain flexible and adaptable in today's business world. And your desire for more creativity over metric analysis reminds me of a quotation of Albert Einstein: "Imagination is more important than knowledge..."

Ashley Libby Photo
Ashley Libby

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, David! I love that quote, and I agree!


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