How Aspirational OKRs Help Organizations Stretch for Amazing From “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are adaptable. In “Measure What Matters” author John Doerr tells us that they work equally well for start-ups, companies scaling up, and large organizations. They also are adaptable to different types of Objectives. At Google they have two classifications of OKRs; Committed and Aspirational. Leadership fully expects Committed OKRs to be achieved at 100%, 100% of the time. However, Aspirational OKRs are different. If your organization needs to innovate, is stretching to reach new heights, read on and we’ll explore the aspirational.

The Harder the OKR Objective – The Higher the Level of Achievement

“Measure What Matters” is filled with examples of stretch goals either being realized or driving incredible performance in its pursuit.

Edwin Locke, a structured goal setting expert, conducted dozens of studies correlating goal difficulty and achievement. The results he contends were “unequivocal”, the harder the goal – the higher the level of achievement.

Aspirational goals tend to be big picture, have greater risk involved, and require the focus and commitment of the entire organization. Leadership must determine the current needs of the organization. Is it time to be more agile and quicker to market to capture share or innovate?

Larry Page at Google refers to these aspirational goals as the Gospel of 10X Objectives”. He relates the story of Gmail and developing storage capacity 500 times larger than the competition. He contends a 10% improvement means you are competing with everyone else, you are iterating, not innovating, and although you may not fail, you will not succeed wildly either.

OKRs create focus, alignment and connectivity, engagement, collaboration, and teamwork. Aspirational OKRs generate excitement and commitment.

Should you miss 100% of target on an aspirational OKR, the result can still be amazing.

Do you manage a company or teams (either as a CEO, a senior executive, a middle manager or even a front-line manager)? Do you set and track objectives? Does aligning employee performance to business goals matter, and are you responsible for driving results? If so, please check out a live demo of Atiim OKR & Goals Management Software and we’d love to hear what you think about it. Thank you!

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