How to Connect OKRs and Improve Corporate Alignment, From “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr

One of the most sought benefits of implementing an OKR strategy is corporate alignment. Getting the entire organization focused on the company’s most crucial Objectives is key to employee engagement and ultimately success in the market. But, what is the connective tissue that enables this alignment? Read on to learn how OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), provide the linkage and visibility to create true alignment in any organization.

Connecting Objectives – A Blend of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Planning

Setting successful OKRs requires a balance of cascading Objectives and Key Results down through the organization, and input from employees into their personal Objectives. (With the important caveat that personal Objectives must be in support of, connected to, the company’s top priorities). The Top-Down cascading connects everyone in the organization, creating alignment; and the Bottom-Up planning gives individuals a greater sense of ownership, creating engagement.

In “Measure What Matters”, Doerr quotes an exasperated CEO who states, “At any given time, some significant percentage of our people are working on the wrong thing. The challenge is knowing which ones!” In an OKR environment, everyone’s Objectives and Key Results are visible and openly shared, including the CEO’s. This transparency fosters collaboration, identifies inter-department dependencies, and eliminates redundancies, as each team and individual are aligned on the same ultimate objectives.

OKR software platforms are designed with connectivity in mind. Leadership develops corporate Objectives. Senior management’s Objectives become management’s Key Results. And management’s Objectives become the Key Results of teams and individuals. And individuals, knowing the corporate objectives provide input as to how their Objectives will support the company’s priorities. When implemented correctly OKRs enable the connectivity, which creates the alignment, which drives engagement, and results in superior performance.

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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