Actions vs. Outcomes: Distinguishing between the two

Actions vs. Outcomes: Distinguishing between the two

It's really easy in startups to end up doing work ultimately doesn't matter – and it's really hard to tell in the moment which is which.

Many Founders fool themselves into thinking they're doing important, impactful work when in reality they're just stuck looking inwards at their organization.

I've got a framework I use to distinguish between actions we're taking as an organization, the outcomes they produce, and how to learn as much as possible from those outcomes. Here's the way we differentiate between actions & outcomes:

The taxonomy we use at Storytell:

  • 👍 "Good News" is an action we've taken with the hopes of achieving a positive outcome – aka a "win".
  • 🏆 "Win" is a positive outcome. We measure the impact of that win using 👕t-shirt sizing (XS through XL)
  • 👎 "Miss" is an outcome that wasn't positive – this is what happens most of the time, and we work to learn from our misses.
  • 🎓 "Learning" is the process of doing retrospectives, RCAs, and other evaluations of the outcomes produced by our actions so we can produce better outcomes in the future.

Below is an example of how we put this into action – this is from our recent All Hands, where we have columns + t-shirt sizing for each item:

We do collaborative all hands meetings at Storytell -- learn more.