How to Create True Alignment with OKRS, From “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr

Forward-looking organizations are researching OKR (Objectives and Key Results) implementations to gain a competitive edge in strategy execution. OKRs have given us a new language for discussing goal management. We now speak of agility, cascading, collaboration, check-ins, feedback, and bi-directional communication. And, a key benefit not to be overlooked or forgotten, alignment.

CEOs consider alignment one of their most significant challenges, and greatest opportunities, if executed properly to improve employee morale and engagement. The following will address best practices in gaining alignment through the OKR protocol.

Cascading and Transparency Contribute to Alignment

In an OKR environment, goals are cascaded down through the organization, reminiscent of Peter Drucker’s MBOs. However, OKRs also feature input by the individual into their personal Objectives and Key Results, always in support of achieving the company’s overarching goals.

This bi-directional input has key benefits:

  1. Often input from the individual provides management with a new perspective or identifies roadblocks to the achievement of Objectives, or Key Results.
  2. The practice instills a sense of ownership of the individual’s OKRs, a greater sense of commitment, and improves employee engagement.

Another feature of the OKR protocol is transparency throughout the organization of each employee’s Objectives and Key Results. This shared 360° view of the company also has significant befits:

  1. It graphically illustrates how the individual’s role supports the company’s larger Objectives.
  2. It encourages collaboration with other teams and other team members.
  3. It identifies cross-dependencies and eliminates duplication of effort.

Alignment is all about explaining to the workforce precisely what you want them to do, and what they should be doing to move the enterprise forward. Your workforce is your greatest resource, and most likely your single largest expense line.

An aligned, fully engaged, and highly motivated organization is key to retention and generating greater profitability.

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!


Image Credit: Shane Rounce on Unsplash

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