January is the time of year when we decide to make big changes like going to the gym, giving up alcohol or reading more books. I am a huge fan of Dr. Chatterjee (host of the video below) and having read and then gifted his latest book this festive period I was listening to his latest podcast where he talks about the importance of behavioral change to make your New Year changes sustainable. 

My biggest takeaway from the video below (paused at 8 minutes) is the need to link the desired change to the underlying pain or goal.

Sometimes we make changes or changes are prescribed to us without understanding the real cause which makes long term change very hard (i.e. perhaps too much sugar or alcohol is related to stress in your life or not reading has been due to a previous challenge). 

There is also too much of an all or nothing approach. 

This made me think about a sustainable content strategy. Increasingly content generated by the experts themselves in b2b business is becoming a must. But simply telling a professional (lawyer, consultant, etc) to do this without explaining the why that is prescribed to their business goals, will almost certainly end in failure (perhaps after the first month).

It is also important to realise that this not all or nothing. Some experts will need to communicate regularly and others less based on the needs of their business goals and ultimately clients. 

So if you are trying to change the way your team produces content this year, make sure that they understand why that content is necessary, not just for the big picture but for the individuals they are trying to influence. 

Set your expectations appropriately, you aren't trying to find the next BBC journalist of the year. Most professionals write less than 1.2 pieces of thought leadership per year. If your people are writing a few times a year and producing short, digestible pieces that add value for clients then they are well ahead of the field.