Strategic Insights: Getting ahead early – be in the right place at the start

Strategic Insights: Getting ahead early – be in the right place at the start

By Peggy Tierney Galvin, cofounder, chief strategy officer 

Our office has a lot of favorite sayings. Many of us have been working together for so long that we can even predict when a coworker is going to wheel out his or her ol’ reliable.  

Sometimes it’s “let go or be dragged,” for a morning when the news cycle has swept away our planned to-do list. Or “onward and upward!” when a project is capped off or a corner has been turned. 

Today I’m reminded of “practice makes progress.” It’s a favorite of our CEO, Cara, and every time she says it, I can hear the many years of experience it took to replace “perfect” with “progress.” And this is a cousin to another chestnut: “You make a plan, then see how life shows up.” 

On the fourth anniversary of the Shutdown that Changed the World, we are reminded of how profoundly life can scatter plans in an instant. But plan we must, for success happens when preparation meets opportunity (that one comes from Oprah). And we know that some level of variability is, in fact, a constant, which can be factored into a plan. 

As we see the market bounce back in some places and grind its gears in others, our guidance to clients is to plan ahead as much as possible. If you know where you want to be at the end the year (remember those KPIs from the SKO? Or from your marketing plan?), then work back from there to ensure that you have a steady pipeline of sales air cover, content, earned coverage and thought leadership to educate your audiences and make the case for your solution. 

That way, even if (when) things shift, you know what marketing and PR elements are needed to support which go-to-market components and can lift and shift blocks of the program as needed. That’s the trick – to have a plan that can be adjusted and amended on the fly with an eye on the end goal the whole time. 

Life will show up regardless of what we do. Isn’t it better to have a plan? 

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