Annual Message

I have gotten in the habit of writing an 'Annual Message' to my team. Working in a large, distributed organization puts an emphasis on communication. Specifically, the need to ensure that everyone is rowing in the same general direction.

I try to use the 'Annual Message' as a chance to step back and take a bigger picture view of where we have been and where we are going. While everyone fights a battle every day, being able to communicate a longer term perspective helps frame why we are doing what we are doing. It gives us context (I hope).

I typically start thinking about what I want to write a couple months in advance and maybe jot down a few notes. But then, for whatever reason, I normally sit down and type it out in one session (typically less than an hour). I then have to make a couple tweaks/revisions, but generally speaking it does not change. I don't know if this is the 'right' way to do it, but that's what I do.

I don't even know if this is valuable to anyone, but I do think it helps me to organize my thoughts.

Without further due, here is this years and the 2008 and 2009 versions. Apologies, but I decided to put these behind the firewall, given some of the content. That being said, if you are interested in reading it and don't have access, just send me a note and I will share it if I know you.

Annual Message 2010

Annual Message 2009

Annual Message 2008

1 comment:

  1. Rob,
    I do similar things with my team at the beginning of each year in our annual kick-off meeting. I think it's important to write down the overall direction every year and to review this one year later. This is a good chance to make clear to the team if/why the direction has to be adjusted. My experiences with this kind of annual messages and the feedback of the team are great.
    :-) stw
    Stefan Waldhauser
    CEO WeWebU Software AG