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Why Do Some Start-Ups Achieve Greatness While Others Struggle To Survive?

Why Do Some Start-Ups Achieve Greatness While Others Struggle To Survive?

All companies aspire to be great. They aspire to achieve greatness in their business domains and to provide investors with a wealth of returns. The more ambitious ones even aspire to be money-making juggernauts who churn out profits for breakfast.

But this situation is rare. We have only come across a handful of them.

Why do 90% of the start-ups end up closing shop within the first 4 years of their existence?

Rather, let me reiterate the question: How do some start-ups achieve greatness while others struggle to survive?

Your perspective on that question is unique to your experience.
However, I found that a common trait and ideology has been cultivated in all these companies:

OKRS.

You might have heard about Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).

Many think of it as an amazing strategy execution framework. Some think of it as a performance evaluation methodology while others feel it’s nothing but a shiny new penny introduced by management gurus. 

Well, what is it exactly?

Firstly, all of the above-stated facts and ideologies are true.

I would like to begin by stating my thought on OKRs:

“OKRs act like a tendon joint of the human body where tendons connect bones to the muscles, OKRs connect your individual employees to the vision of the company.”

Let's Outline This With a Short Story:

Once a corporate leader of a multi-billion dollar company stepped out of his Wall Street Corner Office going straight to the floor where middle-level managers and the rest of the employees had their cubicles.

He asked everyone to stop their work and offered $1000 dollars to everyone who could explain the vision and mission of the company they were working for.

There was an unforeseen silence roaming the office floors.

Everyone thought that it was one of the tricks used by companies to justify mass layoffs.

No one stood up.

He raised the amount to $5000 dollars to see who could answer the question about the company's vision and mission.

Eventually, a new employee (who was an intern), stood up and answered that they were planning to enrich people’s lives with industry-leading robotics and automation.

Viola!

The intern who answered the question was instantly offered a permanent position and $5000 as promised. With that, the leader went back to his office and activities resumed for everyone else.

The next day, one of the secretaries of the corporate leader approached him about the whole charade and asked him, "Why was the question asked to all the employees?"

To which the leader replied:

“If a person who is working for an organization doesn’t even know what he/she is working towards, doesn’t know the company’s vision, and doesn’t even care to learn what changes the company is bringing to people’s lives…

… How would they be able to contribute to the growth and success of the company?”

It’s understandable that all employees may not know every strategy or plan that the company is intending to adopt, but the least they can do is to be aware of the reason for the existence of the company that they are working for.

How do you ensure that all of your employees are aligned with the company's vision and contribute to its success?

Well, with three words - OKRs.

OKRs help the leadership in setting their key priorities into measurable and actionable goals with timelines.

These goals act as a reference point for all the teams or departments working within that organization. Since teams are made up of various individuals, you would be able to link your goals from the company level to the “nth” employee within your organization.

For instance,

OKR Framework Fitbots OKRs Startups Achieve Greatness  Others Struggle To Surviv

Let’s Take an Example

Now, I'll share a real example where I personally used OKRs for my team in my business function to achieve results.

Situation:

  • The leadership wanted to increase the existing revenue for a quarter by $ 300,000

Our Approach:

  • The Objective we took was to aim to achieve $300,000.
  • We planned our actions backward from $300,000 while determining various nuances, such as:-
  1. Average deal size
  2. Number of customers to be onboarded
  3. Number of prospective customers to be contacted based on conversion ratios
  • Taking existing metrics into consideration, we broke down the Objectives into various actionable activities to be performed by each individual who is a part of the Sales/Revenue Team.
  • More importantly, we did all this together as a team rather than individually, because OKRs is a team that plays football rather than a sole brilliance like Tennis. It is a network.

Here’s how the OKR looked for our team that quarter:-

OKR Example, OKR template,  Fitbots OKRs Startups Achieve Greatness  Others Struggle To Surviv

We ended up overachieving our Objective that quarter - which in itself is another topic to pen down.

“How much progress is achieved is the perfect balance between an OKR and a KPI?”

OKR example_OKR template_Fitbots OKRs_Startups Achieve Greatness  Others Struggle To Survive

 

In Conclusion, OKRs Are Effective.

Without a doubt, I believe OKRs as a framework is very easy, effective, and simple to implement.

It can be used by any organization of any size, location, nature of business, and diversity of teams as long as people are true to their activities and managing them. 

Not just companies, but employees benefit from this, too.

Each employee, when they are more aligned towards the grand scheme of things established by companies:

  • Feel connected to the bigger picture
  •  Be proud of their contributions, getting recognized for their work
  •  Yield better motivation towards the goal achievement
  • Bound to achieve greatness based on the outcome based thought process they build up while working on OKRs

So, much like every fairy tale, OKRs generally end up doing well for start-ups, enterprises, the leaders and the employees associated with it.

So, why not to get onto OKRs?

Get OKRs right with Fitbots OKRs_OKR software free trial

About the Author

Piyush Joshi anchors the Sales Team at Fitbots OKRs. He is an OKR Maven intent on helping companies drive clear focus and growth.

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