This is the time of year when you’ve likely done hours of planning to get ready for the upcoming year or almost no planning at all. No matter which camp you fall in to, there is a simple framework that can help you assess your current work and guide future decisions. It revolves around four simple questions:
What are you doing?
Why are you doing it?
Can you do it better?
If so, how?
The beauty of this framework is that it can be applied to your personal or professional life in so many ways. Professionally, it can be used to assess a single aspect of your work or your entire strategic plan for 2023. On the personal front, these four questions can be used to assess your impact on the environment, improve relationships, set goals, etc.
The universal application of these four questions struck me after listing to an episode of the Ezra Klein podcast where he interviewed Michael Schur who was a creator of The Good Place on NBC, and Pamela Hieronymi, a professor at UCLA specializing in the subjects of moral responsibility, psychology and free will.
It’s a really interesting episode as the three discuss what it means to be a good person. Schur used the four questions above to help assess the “am I good person?” philosophical debate that we've all probably had with ourselves at some point. To me, this four-question framework seems as effective for that personal purpose (if you’re feeling especially deep and reflective) as it is for assessing your professional work.
Why this matters
If we know why we’re doing things and have really evaluated if something can be done better that’s a huge component of being successful. In some instances, asking those questions will help force the discussion of whether something should be stopped altogether. That’s also extremely useful.
Although the answers to these four questions around any specific issue won't always be simple, they will be worth asking.
If 2023 is going to be anything like the last two years, we’re in for a challenge. We’ll need to work smarter and be adaptable as the year unfolds. We’ll need to be nimble. Walking away from things that don’t work will be essential.
Taking time to regularly assess what we're doing is going to be critically important.
💡👇 Get a slide version of this presentation:
💡👉 Here is a great resource for when you are assessing the potential value of marketing/communication/PR activities.