“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” — Chinese proverb
Planting the seeds of animal rescue to blossom for many years to come
In the corporate world, annual goal planning is a long, drawn-out process. Executives define their overarching goals and then subsets of these goals are cascaded down to the rest of the people in the organization seemingly to align the company in a unified approach.
However much like the tree you planted does not grow branches in a uniform fashion, nor do these cascading goal processes result in the uniformity of focus that they proport to sow.
Complicated goals lead to complications in attainment
When you think about your personal goals for 2019, or perhaps when you’re defining the goals for your animal rescue or animal shelter team, my advice is to keep it simple. Do not let the HR-like ideas of SMART goals or stretch goals cloud your judgment. Instead, focus on the one thing that will improve your focus and help more animals. This could be a new program you are hoping to launch or a shift in the culture of your team that you are hoping to instill. But regardless of your goal, keep it short, simple and understandable.
Often, I find that focusing on one goal is much more difficult than trying to lay out a series of goals to measure myself against. Maybe it’s because with more goals, I am not as dismayed when I am not able to achieve one of them, and more fearful when there’s only one goal that could be missed. It’s possible that the influence of my “day” job in the corporate world compels me to try and set a series of goals in a framework that only a NASA scientist could decipher. But this year, I am going to heed my own advice and focus my energy on a solitary objective.
Returning to the beginning; returning to simplicity
It seems like so long ago that the concept behind Doobert was founded. Over 5 years ago I had a vision for how technology could help with animal rescue transport and I embarked on developing the platform that is used today.
After we came up with the name, my wife Daphne and I wanted to convey in a tagline the intent behind what problem Doobert would aim to solve. We batted around some ideas and finally landed on two: “Animal rescue made easy” and “Animal rescue made simple.” After some socialization with friends and colleagues we settled on the word choice “simple” because we believe that animal rescue will never be easy, but with Doobert, we can make it simple.
Because Doobert’s growth has always been inhibited by the amount of money at any given time in my savings account, the features have been iterated over the years sometimes in a seemingly haphazard way. Certainly when I look back on things now, with a better understanding for the features that are most requested and that have the most impact, I would not have designed it the way I did. But hindsight is always much clearer than foresight and I’ve gleaned significant knowledge over the years that can now be applied.
So my goal for this year can be summed up in a single word, simplicity. Doobert has grown to be a powerful software platform with significant capabilities. But with every feature and new workflow, it becomes that much more daunting and complex for new organizations to undertake. One of the most common complaints I hear from new animal rescues and shelters is that Doobert is difficult to understand and use, despite the help bubbles, embedded videos and multiple redesigns that we have undertaken. This feedback has not fallen on deaf ears but rather has driven me to do more to enhance the experience and reduce the complexity of those doing the most for animals.
Doobert will plant a new tree based upon simplicity
Like the tree that was planted 20 years ago, if I was able to go back in time, I would choose a different path for the design and evolution that Doobert has taken. But since I do not have the benefit of a time machine, I will instead plant a new tree with the hopes that this one will blossom in a different way, reducing the frictions and challenges the older tree ran into.