Up and to the Right

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Of the five dysfunctions of a team three (lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results) are tightly connected with presence or absence of clearly defined goals. While established companies with defined market and product might be reasonably capable of defining realistic goals, start-ups are notoriously bad at it. Namely, start-ups are almost by definition trying to achieve something new and have very little relevant historic data upon which to base their predictions. Therefore, the Giant Teapot laughs even louder to the plans of start-ups than it does to the plans of other mortals. In order to have more commitment, accountability, and attention to results in our team, I've started to more vocally communicate the goals of the company to the team. While preparing the presentation to the team, I've run into a problem that not all ascpects of a company's plan for the next few months are fully worked out yet. But looking at the charts that I've prepared it become obvious that I actually don't need any specific plans. All I have to do is to present historic data of the key performance indicators on a chart and then the plan becomes obvious - all the charts should go up and to the right. While top brass my quarrel about the steepness of the lines, for the rank and file it is only about growth, while stagnation or decline are obvious signs of failure.

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