Generally speaking, it is easier to think strategically about something you are passionate about. You involve yourself more in the planning and execution process of a new website for your food blog or your workshop on pottery. When something is driven by passion, you are more likely to think about all the elements. But are you thinking deep enough?
I started Beyond The Music with one sole purpose: To give my friends that worked behind the scenes in the music industry the credit they deserve. Although artists make up such a small percentage of the workforce in the music industry, they get most of the attention. But what about everyone else that makes the industry thrive? I took action by interviewing, writing articles, and researching for myself.
The content I found and created was informative, and I knew I was off to a good start. But after a few months I had to ask myself: What is the problem I am actually trying to solve here?
I needed to dig deeper into the organization that I had created in order to identify the problem(s) as well as the allies, enemies and decision makers in the world in which this organization lives. This would help me identify concrete goals I would seek to accomplish and the various paths i could take to get them done.
For some people, thinking critically on organizational development and more “businessy” things are understandably not fun. Many people are “doers” and put their heart and soul into a project without thinking how they got there, or where they would need to go next. Others set their pace with complete strategy and pass the tactical effort to better-suited individuals. Both of these are great places to be. It is crucial, however, to ask yourself various questions and run through exercises to really get yourself thinking about your organization with the most complete view.
Here is one example from each of the categories that I thought about. It may help in figuring out what kind of information you might need to grow a more impactful organization.
It is important to note that this activity does not just apply to those with music organizations. It can apply to any industry or for any individual attempting to make sense of their personal work. I have used these worksheets for myself to not only grow Beyond The Music, but to better navigate my overall life goals.
Some additional questions to ask yourself are:
- What is the problem?
- Who can help me to be successful? Who will try to stop me?
- Do I understand and know their level of investment and connections to the problems and conditions?
- What are key things to consider through the process (ex. Communication tactics)?
I have created a template for others to use which can be downloaded here. It also includes questions for each area that will further help you think about your organization, the people that impact it, and the environment in which you operate.
While I am only a few months into this practice with Beyond The Music, I have gained a greater clarity for the path I want to go down. I have been able to define concrete goals for 2019 as well as long-term accomplishments to strive towards. Being able to better map out the paths to success has led me to being less distracted and better targeted in my efforts.
For more information on this exercise and more questions to ask yourself, explore Beyond The Music.