After several months of not posting here I am wrapping up the year with two entries on this blog. Earlier this week I shared thoughts on three things I am grateful for out of the chaotic mess of 2020. Check that post out if you’re interested. Today I want to share hopes in three areas for 2021.
First, on a professional level I want to build on the two themes from 2020 – investing in my team and prioritizing outcome over output – with a third pillar for my team and our product: seeking more user engagement. This year’s focus on outcome – on driving business value for our clients and our company – has already pushed us to look for more ways to engage with our users so that we can understand the outcome we are generating. In 2021 I want to push harder for more ways to engaging with our users and to find ways past or around the challenges of seeking user engagement in enterprise software development. We will be talking about ways to measure and increase user adoption of new functionality, ways to engage users throughout the design and development process, and ways to facilitate users engaging with each other through user groups and conferences. The team is building an incredible solution for complex problems and I want to make sure we are engaging our current and potential users as well as we can.
Second, in spite of all I’ve read this past year I head into 2021 with a goal to read more, and a corresponding goal to watch less. Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a wealth of great visual content to enjoy and I expect I’ll continue making my way through television shows, animation, and movies old and new across the multiple platforms we subscribe to. But I also have some ambitious reading goals for myself next year and in order to hit those I know I need to spend a little less time “vegging out” and a little more time actively choosing to dig into the novels, poetry, biographies, audio books, graphic novels, and nonfiction books I already have on my shelfs (physical and digital). I’m not sure I will achieve my full goal (maybe I’ll post my progress on this blog during 2021) but I hope to read 12 novels and 12 nonfiction books, 24 graphic novels, and four books of poetry, plus listen to at least 4 audio books.
Third, in ways that I expect will reap rewards both personally and professionally I plan to seek opportunities in 2021 to cultivate community. I often find myself on the edge of various groups observing more than I am actively engaging and my intention for 2021 is to seek specific ways to connect more deeply with people in at least a few of these communities. From product development to comic books I have a host of interests and want to use this internet thing I keep hearing about along with in-person connections when they happen again to actively cultivate community in 2021.
I’ve never been a big fan of ‘resolutions’ for the new year but i do like making goals and plans to achieve them. If next year is anything like 2020 has been (and I sincerely hope it isn’t) I’m confident things will happen to force me to reprioritize my goals or make new ones altogether. But for now I’m excited to see what 2021 will bring. One thing I know for sure is that no matter what happens life will remain complex because in truth it’s not that simple.