Why Results Aren’t the End Result

Point A: Teach someone how to do something. Point Z: Expect them to get results. Everything A-Z looks like failure because that’s the learning curve – that’s where growth happens.

That’s also where mistakes and failure occur.

This is why results aren’t the end result.

Instead, the growth and discovery process should be the end result in any organization.

Let me prove it with simple math.

EXAMPLE A: In this organization, results are the end result. They focus on results – and the quickest routes to results. However, their growth is additive.

  • 1 + 2 = 3 (early results)
  • 3 + 4 = 7 (early results)
  • 7 + 8 = 15
  • 15 + 16 = 31

“You do this, we get this result. We want the result. Let’s take the quickest route to the result.”

EXAMPLE B: In this organization, the growth process is the focus. We have a result to get to, but we focus on the discovery, learning, and the mistakes along the way. It’s a slower route to the result, but the results are multiplicative.

  • 1 x 2 = 2 (slow results)
  • 2 x 3 = 6 (slow results)
  • 6 x 7 = 42
  • 42 x 43 = 1806

It’s messier when you focus on the mistakes and growth. As a matter of fact, results come slower (at first) when you focus on the processes of growth and learning.

When results are the end result, we get there faster. In the EXAMPLE A, the second step got us to 7, whereas the second step in EXAMLE B only got us to 6.

But you can see in the third step, EXAMPLE A was only at 15, but EXAMPLE B was at 42.

It’s up to the leadership of an organization. What will you focus on?

Results?

Or the growth process?

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PS – Here’s a post on how to use AB Testing to measure growth, and here’s a must-read on using OKRs in schools.