How to Construct an OKR Goals Strategy to Achieve Amazing Results, From “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr

In “Measure What Matters” author John Doerr tells us that Google employs two types of OKR goals; Committed and Aspirational. Committed goals should be realized at 100% achievement, 100% of the time. Aspirational, or stretch goals, have very different expectations. Most organizations have a combination of initiatives, some more mundane, achieving the quarterly, and annual sales target, and some stretch, or aspirational.

How do you build your annual and quarterly OKRs Objectives with these different type goals? Read on for some key takeaways from Doerr’s book.

Incremental Versus Innovative Goal Setting

When setting your OKR goals, you need to be very clear as to what is a committed goal and what is a true stretch goal. This will be pertinent when tracking progress, and grading OKRs at the end of the period.

Committed goals, those that reflect more of an incremental improvement, should be tracking at approximately 10% achievement each week in the quarter to be considered on target and should be completed at 100%.

Aspirational goals, those of a more innovative nature, also known as stretch goals, audacious goals, or moonshots are treated differently. At Google, a rating of .7 – 1.0 on a true stretch goal is considered acceptable.

The above illustrates the importance of tracking and scoring, both of which are enabled by a dedicated OKR Software platform that is system-generated and entirely objective.

Quarterly Goal Setting Strategy

When setting quarterly Objectives, best practices dictate a combination of both committed and aspirational goals. Understand, committed goals are to be completed by quarter’s end, while aspirational goals may be rolled over from one quarter to another, in some instances (such as the Google Chrome story in Measure What Matters), from year to year, until accomplished.

The relative weighting of committed versus stretch goals will change from one organization to another, and possibly quarter by quarter for companies. Senior leadership must consider the needs and resources of the business. What is most important for the upcoming period, agility and first to market, or a more conservative approach, to consolidate and grow current market strengths?

True Stretch Goals Can Deliver Amazing Results

Aspirational goals tend to be big picture, have higher risk involved, and require the focus and commitment of the entire organization. Moonshots can energize and motivate the workforce. They can produce amazing results, even if they do not achieve a 1.0 rating.

As John Doerr states, “When shooting for the moon, even if you miss you may reach the stars.” Studies validate, the harder the goal, the higher the level of absolute 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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