When your goals become irrelevant, it’s important to revise them and change your priorities accordingly.
Markets can change quickly. Those changes can alter priorities. They can render some of your goals irrelevant. When that happens, change the goal. Do so quickly so the team can change its focus to higher priority objectives. It’s foolish to continue pursuing an irrelevant goal. Be willing to change it and set new goals that are more appropriate for that new environment.
I know one startup that had an original goal of site traffic. They were concerned mostly with how many people are coming to their website. The initial funding they received was based on those initial goals. Follow on funding was based on them hitting those traffic numbers. Their business model changed. They learned more about the customer. They figured out it was much more important for them to focus on how much time a user was spending on their site instead of just overall traffic.
The company was about to have a big meeting with possible partners and a new funding source, but to have that meeting they needed money to fly the executive team out to California to meet with this new partner. When they went to the original investors and asked for money, they original investors said no. They refused to change the original goal. They said they wouldn’t provide any additional funding until the organization hit that metric, but the metric was no longer relevant. The company went under, and it was pretty sad that they did. Even though this is an example of a company versus a business unit, the lesson remains the same. When the environment changes, revisit your goals and see if they need to change.
Review your current goals. Ask, are any of them no longer relevant? Has the market changed? If they’re not relevant, revise the goal. Focus the team on something more meaningful. Change your priorities accordingly. If you’re inflexible and say, “Well, we set this goal at the beginning of the year, and, you know what, we’re going to stick with it even though the market has changed,” you’re going to get results that follow that metric. Be willing to shift. That’s a sign of maturity in your organization that you’re willing to assess the market environment and change your priorities accordingly.
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