2015 Ship List

Published on
December 28, 2015
Chris Taylor
"Ideas are only valuable when applied."
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Five years ago, I read – and subsequently adopted – Seth Godin’s concept of building a “Ship List” at the end of each calendar year. Since 2010 I’ve been doing this exercise every year (here’s last year’s list). And now 2015 in review from a “what was shipped at Actionable” perspective:

  • 750th summary published to ActionableBooks.com
  • 3rd Business Builder Bootcamp launched and completed
  • Wrapped a 30-episode podcast series around the 21st Century Workplace (and decided to continue it, sporadically)
  • Secured an investor (who’s evolved into a true partner and friend)
  • First live Actionable Consulting Partner class in Australia
  • Developed the “Make your Conference Actionable” Program (included in three HR/Leadership conferences since and highest rated component of each event)
  • Launched http://www.actionableconsultant.com/ for business consultants looking for an edge
  • Launched “ACP Discovery Sessions” as a way to connect with Consultants in new cities
  • Launched an “inverted classroom training” course for new Actionable Consultants
  • Hosted our 4th annual leadership retreat

Of all the exercises I’ve started, dabbled with or otherwise tried, the annual Ship List is one of the ones that I’ve stuck with and look forward to every year. Here’s why:

  1. Completing the ship list gives me reason to go back through my calendar; to get a sense of the year’s flow. The highlights and the lowlights. (Big insight from this year – I haven’t included nearly enough “recharge” time in the past 12 months. Red-lining is fine… doing it for too long can do long term damage.)
  1. Looking at the (short) list of “shipped” projects in context to the (very) busy calendar helps me realize the ratio of hours spent on projects (things you ship) vs ongoing – aka maintenance – work. For me, there’s been an interesting shift over the past year. As we’ve scaled up staff and focused on growing the business (one big, multi-year project unto itself), I’ve found my annual ship list to be shrinking.
  1. I believe it’s important to have projects to ship, no matter your schedule/responsibilities. Sure, more of my work now is focused on the long game, but ensuring that there are at least a couple shippable projects on the radar helps keep you out of a rut, and learning/growing in a measurable way.

What about you? What did you ship this year? And, as many of us enter into planning mode for 2016, what are you planning to ship over the 12 months ahead of us?