It’s almost September and time to be thinking about your plan for 2017. So, I am re-posting this piece for you to jump-start your personal or team strategic planning.

Posted in May, 2015

Taylor SwiftScott Borchetta is the CEO of Big Machine Label Group, the largest independent record company.  Scott is also a “mentor” to the American Idol competitors this year. His company will be working with the winner, giving that person an opportunity to make it big.

What struck me is the mantra he has imbedded in his company.

“Start with crazy, and work backwards from there.”

One of their crazy ideas was that Taylor Swift would be a superstar.  And through that crazy declaration, she and they worked to make it come true. Of course, it’s not magic. Taylor Swift was talented and had to work very, very hard to reach her success today. Big Machine had to work very, very hard as well. Scott also states that a fear of failure drives him to reach that declared future state. He and his team embraced the goal, fear and all.

The core idea for our organizational work and career goals is that we should start from a crazy picture, rather than a “realistic” or “easily envisioned” future.

So, the question today is: What future state for you would be crazy to target? What’s big enough to create a fear of failure if you took it on?

You don’t have to tell anyone. And, definitely don’t put the crazy picture in your formal performance goals. Rather, imagine what you could get really excited about creating. Then, work backwards a little to maybe even backwards a lot. Once you have the remaining slightly, minus-crazy vision, breathe life into it, commit to it, and have it in your back pocket or on your team’s table everyday.

–So, now let’s start thinking about “crazy” for the next 12-18 months!