Three words for 2011: Global, Local, Meshy

With his latest Human Business newsletter, Chris Brogan has inspired me (again), and I decided to establish my own “three words” for 2011. The 3 words are not “goals”, but will act as a lighthouse, a guide to new opportunities. I wanted to choose words that can guide me as I establish my goals both personally and professionally, so my 3 words are Global, Local, and Meshy.

Global. One of the things I love about the digital world is the way it can bring people together, no matter where they live. I agree with Augie Ray that social media [and the larger pallet of all digital marketing platforms] can be a multiplier for social change, and I want that idea to guide my actions this year. Personally, “global” means that I will be intentional in learning more about other cultures, and increasing the time I devote to learning a second language and listening to friends and collegues that live elsewhere or think differently than me. Professionally, it means that every project I undertake will be influenced by the awareness that our brands’ consumer could be anywhere in the world and may not understand my native language. I will be thinking about how to be both effective and efficient in brand conversations with our consumers around the world.

Local. Any change happens as a result of individual actions taken by one person at a time, with an ‘adequate grasp and treatment of the whole environment, and in active sympathy with the essential and characteristic life of the place concerned’.   My personal development plans this year will include using my professional skills to strengthen local organizations that make a difference for others, which in my case means my church and several local arts organizations. On the professional side, my work will be heavily influenced by the rapidly expanding use of smart phones and geo-location technologies, which make it easier for all of us to find whatever we are seeking. I want to be sure that each strategy I develop recognizes that the global consumer I mentioned above, who might be anywhere in the world, is going to expect our brands to speak in a way that is relevant to the time, place, and context in which the message is received. Now more than ever, I will need to “think globally and act locally.”

Meshy. Lisa Gansky’s thought-provoking book  The Mesh convinced me of the vast opportunities for access-based business models, and sparked dozens of ideas for the organizations I support as an employee and a volunteer. The idea of “removing the friction of sharingreally appeals to my distaste for the volume of unused “stuff” in my life, and Lisa’s book helped to crystalize ways that I can do something about it. Personally, I will be working to identify how “sharing” can stretch the limited resources of the non-profits I support. Professionally, I will be weaving together information from our brands, the consumers they serve, the markets in which they operate, and using that knowledge to create valuable, customized branded experiences in a resource-efficient way.

So those are my three words for 2011: Global, Local, Meshy. What are yours?

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