Monday, November 18, 2019

Top Takes: Moving the Goal Posts

Take another look at the post that, as of this writing, has the tenth most pageviews on this entire blog:

Moving the Goal Posts

In it, I talk about the situations in which "moving the goal posts," that is, changing the metrics by which the success of a program or strategic initiative is determined, is necessary.

These situations are marked, I've found, by the need for the association to learn more about the environment it is entering before it can successfully identify the true markers of success. In other words, you leap into an external environment with one understanding of what is needed, necessarily calibrating the program defining/metric tracking piece of your operation with that understanding, only to discover that, once you are in the thick of implementing those plans, that different tactics, and sometimes, a different strategy, are needed in order to achieve success.

It is not for the faint of heart. But, in these situations, keeping the goal posts where they are means turning what might be your organization's greatest endeavor into a make-work exercise.

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This post first appeared on Eric Lanke's blog, an association executive and author. You can follow him on Twitter @ericlanke or contact him at

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