Declare success.

Sometimes I despise email. Do you enjoy the barrage of email that follows an initial concern about something we’re not doing on campus? Mind you, my frustration doesn’t come from the concern expressed but instead from the idea that a meaningful discussion of how to solve a complex problem is possible via a listserv. I also find these email flurries to be unproductive because they typically focus on the negative. When possible, I think the context for a discussion about an institutional deficiency should include a bit about what we’ve already accomplished (code for the glass is half-full).

I’m going to declare success today. A meeting of university communicators will be taking place this morning and I’ve offered to facilitate a discussion about “video.” I volunteered to do this because “what are we going to do about video?” was the topic of the most recent listserv flurry.

Don’t get me wrong, without new resources, a sustainable business model for videography and video production is not easy to figure out. But my prior 14 months leading video projects tells me that we have some successes to report. One proof point is that my team of 12, with no dedicated video professional, produced 14 videos since last March. Proof point two: there were 64,500 views of these videos. In case you need proof point three, upload views on the W&M YouTube EDU channel we jointly manage with university relations increased by 534%.

So today, I’m going in there with a plan for facilitating a meaningful discussion about next steps and additional goals. I’ll go in with my ears open for a discussion that’s much easier to have face-to-face. But I’m also going in with this PDF.

Be the champion for success on your campus. Look back, reflect on past projects, and summarize your accomplishments. What’s the downside?

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