My Themes for 2013 | Beth's Blog

My Themes for 2013

Personal Reflections

I’m writing this post from Tunisia.  I’m here working on an amazing training project for the Women’s Economic Sustainability program where I will train trainers to deliver a curriculum for Women entrepreneurs to use social media as well as deliver a workshop to the partners on the “Networked NGO” based on my book the Networked Nonprofit.    The photo above is the view from my hotel room.

For the last five years,  I have been using Chris Brogan’s “My Three Words” to identify three words that help you visualize your goals for the year.    Last year,  I read 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman who blogs at at the HBR.   He suggests setting year-long goals. His strategy for that is how to survive a buffet. There are so many good choices with a buffet that you end up stuffing yourself and over-eating. The way to avoid that discomfort is to limit yourself to putting five items on your plate. That forces you to be strategic about what you pick. The same discipline applies to setting an annual goals. He identify 5 things to focus on for the year.

Bregman also suggests picking an overall theme for year. I love Bregman’s idea. The theme he selected for the year really resonated with me: Slow Down.   That’s what I need. So, I’m going to make that my theme, too.

Here are some themes that I will explore this year:

Measurement Discipline and Sense-Making: This year I will be focusing on developing curriculum and delivering workshops based on the ideas in “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit”    A big project in 2013 is facilitating a peer learning group for OE Program for the Packard Foundation.    The case studies and insights will be shared on this blog over the coming months.

Creativity: How do you keep creative and generate new ideas, both individually and working within an organization.    It is so easy to just do the same old thing all the time, but there is some discomfort in creating something new.    I want to explore the methods and techniques for optimizing creativity and applying it your work.

Visualize: I am very interested in data visualization and infographics and the various techniques that we can use everyday to visualize our work – and be more creative and effective.     I want to understand how to make this skill accessible to all of us.  We many not be able to do visualization like a data scientist, but having a basic literacy in visualization skills can help work more effectively with data geeks and navigating our work.

Learning from Failure: Little Bets: This past year, I gave a keynote for the Social Good Brasil Conference where I met Peter Sims, author of Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries.  I’m very interested in seeing how this thinking can be applied more broadly to the social good and nonprofit sector.    Stay tuned.

Networked Capacity Building and Training Trainers: All of the training projects that I’m working this year are in the context of working with peer learning groups or training other trainers like this project in Tunisia.     Expect more posts from me about instructional design that is interactive, leveraging learning online, and facilitation techniques.

What are you focusing on for 2013?

3 Responses

  1. Maria says:

    Hmmn, my understanding of Bregman’s latest post was about -not- setting goals but to have an area of focus: “But there is a benefit to concentrating on an area of focus without a goal. An area of focus taps into your intrinsic motivation, offers no stimulus or incentive to cheat or take unnecessary risks, leaves every positive possibility and opportunity open, and encourages collaboration while reducing corrosive competition.”

  2. Beth says:

    Maria: Thanks so much for sharing that Bregman post – I love his book and blogging. Yes, that’s why the title of my most is “My Themes for 2013” and picked some themes to focus on. Chris Brogan uses goals and the words to conceptualize those goals.

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