Big Goals & Gradual Progress

In his column today, David Brooks makes a point re: incrementalism in the pursuit of big goals, as it pertains to politics. It’s a good read, and worth considering from a communications standpoint as well. Our holy grail often is the strategy or super cool tactic that instantly changes the landscape. I refer to this as shattering the lens by which the world looks at something, and then reforming it to create a new view. And yes, this is possible, and yes it happens, and yes we should all aspire to this, when it makes sense.

But there is the other kind of change and communication too – the kind that only comes with grinding, sustained effort. The end result may be the same (a new view of a company/product/individual), but the tactics are different, and in many way much much harder. This is change by small increments, the kind that comes not from a single bold stroke but a series of small, patient maneuvers. It’s not as sexy, it does not have the instant gratification, but achieves the same result. And in an era of 140 character communications plans, the long haul can seem quite daunting!

Incrementalism and Big Bold Goals are not mutually exclusive.

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