We don’t really want to change – and why should we? Surely we have it all figured out now that we have goals and KPIs in place? As ridiculous as this may sound, this is how we think about things in our subconscious.
There’s a very interesting case study about sustaining the staus quo in the book “The innovator’s dilemma”. Clayton Christensen researched the floppy disk industry from 1975 until the early 1990s and found that companies unwilling to change died. Yeah – they were acquired or went out of business.
He claims there’s two types of innovation: sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation:
Sustaining innovation is the process of sustaining what we have now – optimising the existing processes and structures to get a better output – it’s a proven formula that has delivered results, and we can make small tweaks to make it better.
Disruptive innovation, as quoted by investopedia: “Disruptive Innovation refers to a technology whose application significantly affects the way a market or industry functions“. Think about how Uber and Airbnb killed so many industries. In the same way we need to look at things that might not make a big difference right now, but within a few years will disrupt who we were, and propell us forward with exponential power.
Ending up where we actually don't want to be
When we set our goals, we know where we want to be. Take the example of a goal to have R 1 million in the bank. Though noble in cause, the issue is that things change – Take inflation for instance. After 10 years of saving you are earning R 1 million per month in passive income – the only issue is that it’s worth R 1 000 in today’s money. Surely this is not what you aimed for!
The situation happens exceptionally often – we sustain our goals that we have in front of us, but we don’t take the changes into consideration. Here’s a list of some changes that could affect this:
- Economic factors: inflation, recessions, economic and financial crisis.
- Life priority changes: your partner becomes pregnant, your spouse dies or you become disabled
- Job sector changes: your job becomes obsolete or you become unemployable
There’s some things we do not have control over – and trying to sustain them past their lifetime, is neither helpful nor propelling us forward.
Reflecting vs Relooking KPIs and goals
One of the best ways to move forward is being mindful of changes in your environment and personality. This can be achieved with setting time aside for reflecting and relooking KPIs and goals. The aim here is not to kill dreams and visions, but adapting goals and KPIs to not only sustain the goals that currently makes sense, but also that would disrupt the future us.
Reflecting: Disrupting your KPis
It’s a great idea to spend some time every week to look at your KPIs and your goals. I spend sunday mornings 05:00-06:00, but this is because I am crazy. When you reflect, keep the following in mind:
- Remind yourself why you are doing what you’re doing
- Point out any discrepancies and issues about not achieving the desired outcome
- Make small changes to align yourself with reaching the outcome that you’re after
For more information on measuring KPIs, please check my post here.
Relooking: Disrupting your goals
It’s highly recommended to not relook your goals very week.
Relooking of KPI measurements: Often times we claim something is not working because we don’t like it or just don’t do it. For this reason, I suggest that you build up evidence first. When you have substantial facts on the table of at least a few weeks, you can look at the concrete proof and change how you measure the success of measuring something.
Relooking of goals: Grant Sabatier form MillenialMoney.com likes to look into his goals once a year. In my opinion, this is like a mini readjustment and realignment of where he wants to be. I think it’s absolutely worth breaking down goals into yearly, five yearly and ten yearly goals – make these bite sized chunks. When you relook goals, it’s good to take your time. If you’re planning to pivot to a new set of goals, take time to evaluate the impact this will have. also take the time to calculate your current reality and how you will need to change to get where you want to get.
Tips and tricks for getting the most from your KPIs
Here’s some tips and tricks that I do to make sure I close the loop:
- Keep an app like Trello on your phone with a card for every week.
- Use a checklist that you update when you think of something affecting your KPIs (good or bad, habits, circumstances, etc.)
- Take time weekly to transfer your trello ticket to a word/google document
- Have a set time every week for this
- I have a Google doc with 3 sections: good, bad, reflections
- You can use Excel or a budgeting app (I use 22Seven) for monetary goals
- Think of ways to sustain the good, solutions to fix the bad and impact of changes in the reflections section.
- Make small changes to sustain your current goals
Tips and tricks when you need massive change in your life
Take time every year to relook your goals. If you feel things have changed so drastically that you need to reflect right now, do so – but NEVER make hasty decisions.
- Look at your KPIs for the last year, and look at where you can find stagnant.
- Have a personal growth plan for the year in place
- Professional life: upskill in something not directly related to your job
- Relationships: remove yourself from poisonous people
- Health and body: Have goals and a plan to not die.
- Get a good friend or life coach to sit with you and ask critical questions.
- Be mindful and calculate the impact changing goals will have
Cut yourself some slack.
Don’t be so rigid that you start hating your life – but also don’t just fall around.
Keep growing and keep moving forward – this will sustain you in the long run
Be on the lookout for game changing events and situations and tweak your goals on a yearly basis – take your time and don’t make hasty decisions.
Most of all – enjoy your journey!
Frugal Local runs his own company (Effectify). He does software development and helps small businesses and startups with digital solutions. He enjoys writing articles and simplifying complex things – such as the article you’re reading!