Where’s the focus?

I didn’t watch the President’s State of the Union address on TV Tuesday night. Instead, I followed it on Twitter where @markknoller’s 140-character tweets made the President’s points easy to digest.

  • “We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.”
  • Urges Congress to join him in setting a new energy goal.
  • “We want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.”
  • “We should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration
  • Calls for re-doubling efforts to rebuild nation’s infrastructure and produce more jobs for the “hard-hit construction industry.”
  • Obama urges Congress to simplify the tax code.
  • On health care reform: “instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let’s fix what needs fixing and move forward.” 
    And finally:
  • Obama concedes his plans won’t be easy to enact.

I should say not! These are BHAGs all right! It’s wise to have big goals, but with too many of them it’s hard to make progress. Where’s the focus? Where do we put our resource priorities?

These are some of the same challenges Parents as Teachers faces as it looks to expand. There are so many markets to touch and so many ways to reach them. Where do we put our biggest effort? How can we hope to expand into all markets without focusing? What will we prioritize first? What’s realistic?

Spray and Pray

Used under Creative Commons License

A colleague used to call it “spray and pray”: moving forward without a clearly defined target or goals. Sure, we can spray our efforts in all directions, but without concentrating our limited resources we can only pray for results.

Parents as Teachers has big goals. Can we focus to achieve them?