If you’re reading this, there is a very good chance that you are a regular reader of my newsletter. So let me take a moment, as the holiday season approaches, to introduce you to all of the other newsletter readers out there. On any given day, there are about 4,500 of you. Which is a figure that completely blows my mind.
Not all 4,500 read on a regular basis, of course. But about 20% of you do, which is still pretty impressive. You’re also not an entirely stable population. About 25 people choose to say goodbye every month, and about 60 new people show up to the party every month. So we’re a growing community, and that means next year’s holiday party will need to be stocked with just a little more wine, beer and festive cheer than this year’s.
Earlier this year, I sent out a survey asking what people thought about the newsletter, what they would like to see less of and also what they would like to see more of. I thought it would be helpful, as we ramp up for some changes in the new year, to share with you what I heard.
For starters, you are a diverse lot. You come from a huge number of industries, and a variety of walks of life. Some of you are project managers, some are senior executives and others are independents. Many of you have been around for an extended period of time, also—9% of you can’t remember a time when you didn’t know about me (so thanks for sticking around! It’s been a fun journey so far).
Why you subscribe is equally diverse. Some want to keep in touch with what I am doing, a lot of you are interested in my research (and there will be more of that in the future, I promise!), the vast majority of you find professionally relevant material, and a full 39% of you said that you find things here that you don’t find anywhere else. That was a statistic that pleased me more than any other, and let’s me know I’m doing something right. I’ll try to keep doing it in the future!
Rewarding (at least, for me) is that the topics that you enjoy reading about are also the topics I find to be most interesting. Of course, there is every likelihood that this is why you found me in the first place, and why you continue to hang out. Leadership and project management top the list, which have long been areas of focus for me. There are also strong levels of interest in strategy, decision making, complexity, uncertainty and organizational behaviour, where I’ve been doing more research and work in the last few years.
I also asked what you would like to see more of and other topics that you would like to see addressed. Comments were more varied here, and more reflective of individual interests. Some key themes that came up included:
- Organizational change and change management.
- Psychology at work and in the work place.
- Organizational culture.
- New technologies and new tools, and what I’m seeing emerging that catches my eye.
- Strategies on how to get things done, and how to tackle the culture of “busyness.”
- Managing up, down and sideways – and managing micro-managers.
- Career advancement and business development strategies.
In terms of the features you like most, the majority of you are tuning in for some combination of my writing, webinar announcements and the links and resources that manage to find me every week. Thankfully, none of those turned up on the things you like least. In fact, most of you said that what you were receiving now for the most part works for you.
That didn’t stop you from having an opinion about what you would like to see more of. Part of that is my writing (and most of you would like me to keep it under 1,000 words, although some of you are willing to indulge some of my longer ramblings). In addition, there is a desire for more links to other resources, book reviews, reviews of software and other tools, and summaries of other research. While that’s a tall order without me becoming a full time curator of information (which, as I write that, actually sounds like a pretty fun job) I’ve been giving some thought to what that might look like.
Next week, I’ll have some more information on how the newsletter will evolve and take shape in the new year. A lot of what you know and love will stay the same. It will continue to be weekly, and it will continue to have a lot of the resources that you already value and look forward to. There will also be some new (and, from my perspective, exciting) plans and changes to share with you. 2016 should bring some pretty awesome surprises to your inbox.