Posted by Dr-Pete
It’s that time of year – time for all of us to promise to be better people starting January 1st: people who always drink eight 8-oz. glasses of water, floss every night, and never watch 12-hour marathons of Real Housewives when we should be working. Even at work, we’re busily crafting our Q1 and 2015 plans for world domination, or at least for not-getting-fired, and trying to ignore how painfully short we fell in Q4 and 2014. This time, it will be different.
The Problem with “Lag” Goals
This is a post about marketing goals, and the insanity of failing the same way over and over. I think it might help to start with a more personal example, though. Let’s say that you make a typical New Year’s resolution – you resolve to lose 10 lbs. in Q1 of 2015. What will happen when April 1, 2015 arrives? You’ll step on the scale and look back at your progress (or, just as likely, lack thereof):
At this point, you’ve either succeeded or failed, but when you step on the scale, your fate is no longer in your hands. You’re looking back at the past, measuring lag metrics – put simply, the event has already happened, and you’re just waiting for your grade.
There’s nothing wrong with accountability, and some of our lag metrics are necessary. If your company plans to spend $5M in 2015 and doesn’t want to borrow money, you’d better make more than $5M – that’s just math.
The problem is simple – when it comes time to step on the scale, our fates are already sealed. We’ve set an objective, but we’ve given ourselves no clear path to influencing that objective. We’re trapped always looking backward.
What if, instead, you resolved to exercise 20 minutes a …read more