The past year has been one of tremendous growth and change for our team. We continued to collaborate with our clients to take on bigger and more complex marketing challenges. Concurrently, we worked to shape our internal company culture. (Look at our Dotted Line 2016 Year in Review to see we really do practice what we preach.) And we didn’t coast across the finish line; we sprinted!
As we completed the December sprint and rolled into January, I was looking ahead to our goals for 2017. It’s easy to come up with a long list of things we could focus on. And it’s easy to get the team working to complete the long list of goals. But in that moment, I remembered a comment by one of our project coordinators from a team session. With a mix of humbleness and courage, she said, “I know we are focused on solving challenges but are we solving the right challenge here?”
Our mission at Dotted Line Collaborations is to help our clients build stronger brands and companies. When we are engaged on a project, you will often hear us ask questions to understand the bigger picture. Anyone can offer solutions. But we pride ourselves on regularly asking “Am I solving the right challenge?” to ensure we are delivering the best for our clients.
Answering this critical question, particularly in the branding and marketing process, can be difficult. Mix in a list of other priorities (e.g. quarterly sales goals, a new IT initiative, customer feedback) and very quickly you forget to ask yourself, “What am I solving for again?”
The key to creating focus on the right answers it to invest time upfront. Take a step back and look at the big picture. Remember where you’re trying to go. Resist the temptation to “do it all” or “just start executing”. Einstein once said, “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.” You are so right, Mr. Einstein. Well said!
At the start of a New Year, let’s all take Einstein’s advice.
Lauren Sweeney is the founder and CEO of Dotted Line Collaborations, a boutique firm that uses a highly collaborative, personalized approach to connect the dots for top brands and companies. When Lauren’s not providing strategic direction for the firm or delivering amazing results for her clients, Lauren is outdoors enjoying all that Richmond has to offer or traveling to a new and exciting destination. To learn more about the Dotted Line team, visit dottedlinecollaborations.com/about.