Startups are the forerunners of today’s entrepreneurial climate. Their leaders are a fearless bunch with a dedicated vision and an enthusiastic workforce. To keep their momentum going strong, every startup employee should list their own objectives and key resources and discuss ways to make the business more effective.
A Lot of Growth, a Lot of Ideas
Startups naturally grow at a rapid rate. Just think how quickly industry leaders like Facebook, Uber and AirBnb grew into multinational organizations. Even local businesses build their user bases quickly. They may not have the international reach of the Internet, but they can capitalize on the trend of shopping within one’s community.
The advantage of quick growth is the benefit of solutions from several different minds. Each person brings something unique to the table and contributes their individual experiences and talents. At the same time, this influx of new people makes it hard to sort through ideas and prioritize what needs to be accomplished.
“Swipely more than doubled its workforce in 2013.”
Goals Hold the Group Together
Angus Davis, CEO of Swipely, knows firsthand how goals align a rapidly developing group. Davis was no stranger to startups or the tech industry – he’d worked at Netscape in 1996, helped launch Mozilla and cofounded Tellme before beginning at his latest venture. Swipely – created to help local businesses with payments, marketing and analytics – more than doubled its workforce in 2013. What started as 30 employees grew to 80 by the end of the year, Davis told First Round. While the company thrived on the outside, things were delicately balanced on the inside. The company culture kept changing in ways employees couldn’t keep up with, and productivity ebbed and flowed as employees came and went. Around the time Swipely gained its 50th member, Davis knew he had to take action.
That’s when he implemented a new system, one guided by the success seen at Intel and Google. Davis had each member of his company outline major objectives they wished to accomplish, then list key results to achieve them. These results were measurable courses of action to support a general yet ambitious goal. OKRs – objectives and key results – let his employees, managers and executives communicate with each other and kept everyone aligned in terms of their own goals and company expectations. Davis knew they’d improve his company, and he was right. The new management style helped his business chart $1 billion in sales, a record for Swipely.
A thorough and frequent goal setting structure keeps flourishing organizations working for a unified accomplishment. We at BetterWorks believe OKRs are the key to expanding your business even further.