Seeing the trees from the forest
A reminder to pause and think about why we do things the way we do things.
Last week while taking advantage of another glorious Colorado spring day, I had a riddling question I couldn't quite answer while I was hiking: Why did it seem I used to see more wildlife when I was child than I do now?
My first instinct was to think of possible scientific factors (i.e. wildlife population decline, urban sprawl, lack of genetic diversity).
It wasn't until a mile later that the answer could be something much less scholarly and less profound. Maybe it's because I wasn't taking the time to look. Maybe I needed to stop more often and appreciate the landscape.
How often are we so focused on getting from Point A to Point B? How many times have you been so wrapped up in your thoughts that you don't remember your drive from work to home, and vice versa?
How often do we do things in our professions because that is what we always did and that is how it was always done?
Question like a childWhen we were children we were inquisitive and curious, exploring everything. Somewhere along the way to adulthood, we decided we had all the answers and stopped exploring and learning. We assumed the ordinary was, well, ordinary. This tree is like that tree, is like that tree.
But if you stop and look at a tree, apart from the forest, you can see each is different. Each has its unique beauty -- from the array of limbs down to the patina of its bark. Each tree could be of the same species, facing the same aspect and getting the same amount of rainfall and sunshine, but each grows at its own pace.
How often do we as professionals do things because that is that is the way it has always been done? Questioning the process, we can sometimes find a more efficient and simpler process; Occum's Razor.
|Make your marketing message unique like each tree in the forest. While they can be all the same species (branding), |
they all have individual needs and unique qualities.
Quit classifying and start connectingIt is human nature to work off assumptions. We categorize. We make our neat little classifications and piles. We are taught this is the efficient way of doing things. It becomes second nature to lump and clump.
Instead, we need to take moments every day to pause and start connecting. We need to listen to the conversation. We need to take a step back and see the bigger picture apart from our normal vantage. We need to take a moment to pause and think so things become less muddled.
When I create a video production for clients, I don't follow a set template. Sure, there is a similar formula that is applied in storytelling.
But if you look at each video produced for Boulder County and its flood recovery projects, each has its own tempo, its own tenor, and its own pacing.
There are certain aspects which remain consistent -- that is maintaining the branding and messaging. The series of videos could be seen as chapters in an ever-evolving story as Boulder County recovers and cleans up after the massive September floods. This process will last several years.
Each chapter is different. Initially it was about saving lives and rescuing people. Then it was important to re-establish rudimentary infrastructure for many places which were cut off from the rest of the world, like Salina, Lyons and Coal Creek Canyon.
Now the open chapter is about preparedness and readiness for spring runoff.
Each chapter is different, so each video production should be unique, not following the same formula. When your messaging becomes redundant, it gets tuned out. And you lose a chance to connect.
Make your messaging as unique as each individual tree that makes up the forest.