Avoid these 5 fail factors

Are you paying attention to your fail factors?

There has been a lot of attention on the idea of North Star metrics, measuring what matters, and other ways of tracking and driving performance improvements across all areas and all levels of the organization.

The corollary of identifying such performance metrics, or success criteria, is that there must be a set of failure metrics, what we’ve started to think about at Gtmhub as fail factors. 

Fail factors prevent you from realizing your potential, whether organizational, or personal. Without identifying and eliminating any fail factors, your performance will suffer and you may be putting the long term survival of your organization at risk.

What are the most common fail factors? Most fail factors happen as a result of a failure of leadership, or a failure of management, or both.

Here are some of the most common and most serious culprits – if you recognize more than one of these at your organization, it’s time to take action. Scroll down for the answer and next steps.

Fail Factor #1 – Indifference 

Apathy and disengagement is highly correlated with sense of lack of purpose. Employees who do not know, understand or agree with your stated or implied vision, mission or values can never be truly committed to, or aligned with, whatever you’re trying to achieve. Somewhere out there are competitors with Tesla-esque levels of commitment and passion, vying for your customers. Commitment and passion wins.

Fail Factor #2 – Opacity 

The foundation of trust is transparency. In opaque organizations, employees operate in silos, unaware and disconnected from each other, reducing collaboration and limiting knowledge sharing. In opaque organizations, power clusters around politically capable individuals who will ‘monetize’ their access to information in return for personal gain.

Fail Factor #3 – Bottle Necks 

‘I need to run it by Bob’. Bob may the most amicable and well intentioned manager in the world, but he is just one person, and by definition doesn’t scale. As your organization grows, requiring decisions to go through one or more management layers will slow down and hamper your ability to react in a timely manner to opportunities and challenges as they occur.

Fail Factor #4 – Disarray 

If you’re in a large, mature organization, inertia will keep you going for a while, despite the lack of direction or goals. Then suddenly, everyone wonders what happened as you careen over the cliff edge, nose diving into oblivion. In a growth environment, lack of clear goals render your creative genius and hard work pointless as everyone pulls in different directions and you waste precious resources.

Fail Factor #5 – Tail wagging the dog 

As you grow and evolve, your systems and processes grow with you. Over time, you start to operate based on what your systems and processes allow for, not what your customers need. The spaghetti junction enterprise systems you invested in for the right reasons are holding you back, making you rigid, slow and unresponsive.

The Simple Solution..

So, how can you avoid or eliminate these and other fail factors?

To avoid these 5 Fail Factors, Start here: The catalyst for comprehensive change and long term sustainable performance: Objectives and Key Results, or OKRs.