What do iconic fictional villains have in common? They always lose in the end. In our Villains of OKR series we will analyze the mistakes in their strategy execution and learn from their failures through an OKRs lens.
“Hear me, Krabs! When I discover your formula for Krabby Patties, I’ll run you out of business! I went to college!”
Co-owner and founder of the Chum Bucket restaurant.
Nemesis to Eugene H. Krabs, owner of The Krusty Krab restaurant.
Make the Chum Bucket successful.
Run Mr. Krabs out of business
Ruin the Krusty Krab
Steal the Krabby Patty secret formula
Expand Chum Bucket
Employ evil plans created by Karen (his sentient waterproof computer wife)
Done (for plans A to Z)
Plankton achieved 0% progress on his OKR. Although he comes incredibly close in
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
, he was unable to achieve his Objective. (This is the first time we’ve come across a villain in this series who posted 0% across the board.)
“I’ve exhausted every evil plan in my filing cabinet…from A to Y. (Karen: A to Y?) Yeah, A to Y. You know the alphabet. (Karen: What about Z?) Z? (Karen: Z. The letter after Y.) W, X, Y, Z. Plan Z! Here it is, just like you said. (Karen: Oh, boy.) Oh! Oh! Ohhh! It’s evil. It’s diabolical. It’s lemon-scented. This Plan Z can’t possibly fail!” — Plankton and Karen
Plankton could not, for whatever reason, see that his mission to make the Chum Bucket successful could have been achieved by producing a good quality product that customers would want. Instead, he focused his efforts on running Mr. Krabs out of business. It’s a shame. He could have put forth all that energy into building up his business instead of tearing his rival’s business down.
What you focus on matters and if something isn’t working, try something different. Plankton, almost aimlessly, pursues an Objective he consistently fails at without stopping to reevaluate his methodology. OKR check-ins work because you can catch missteps early.
Of note, Plankton did try to alter his offering. For example, once he used excess grease from the Krusty Krab in his restaurant’s food. His sales did skyrocket for a time until he was forced to stop by a health inspector.
Plankton has no employees. He runs the restaurant entirely alone except for the rare occasions when someone does dine in. When this happens, he uses artificially intelligent machines in place of regular employees. If you can do things on your own, do it. If that’s not the case, hire people.
We’d suggest Plankton write his OKR like this:
Chum bucket is successful
Hire staff: manager, cook, servers, and host
Develop a selection of tasty and profitable menu items
Increase daily customers from 0 to Y
Pass all safety inspections with flying colors
Determine unique selling point in relation to #1 competitor, The Krusty Krab
Gruber’s plan seemed like a stroke of genius. Dying at John McClane’s hands (Yippee-ki-yay Mother…[NSFW]) was not a potential outcome Hans accounted for. This objective needed to be a committed effort with an adaptive strategy and flawless execution. 60-70% achievement wouldn’t cut it.
What is relevance? Yuval Noah Harari’s latest book, 21 lessons for the 21st Century is a great quick read. Describing how new technologies are impacting labour markets, Harari identifies a new threat to workers everywhere: irrelevance. Whereas workers in the 20th century were at risk of exploitation, in the future, billions of workers will face the prospect
In this blog series, we will be looking at the potential return on investment from implementing Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). Across 5 articles we will look a how the different characteristics of OKRs drive return on investment (ROI). In this second article, we will review how measurement drives performance.