Dispelling OKR Myths: If You Attain 70% That’s Good

It is said that OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) is a simple methodology with a simple language. There are no hard and fast rules, and there is no GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). So, much of what has been written of OKRs, taught by consultants, and espoused by OKR Software providers, is open to interpretation. As a result, we have misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and outright “Myths” about the process.

This series of blogs will debunk many of the most prevalent misconceptions.

OKR Myth #1: OKRs should be “Aspirational” – if you get to 70% then that’s good.

This one is only partly myth. In John Doerr’s “Measure What Matters,” he relates the Google goal-setting methodology which uses two types of OKRs; Aspirational and Committed. Google employs Committed goals for things that may be a bit more incremental versus aspirational, such as sales budgets. These Committed goals are always expected to be achieved at 100%, 100% of the time. Anything less is unacceptable.

Google also employs Aspirational goals, moonshots, BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals), perhaps better than any other company. Google’s co-founder, Larry Paige, preaches the gospel of 10X, which are incredibly aggressive goals. For these Aspirational goals, a grade of .7 – 1.0 is considered acceptable.

We recommend you use both Aspirational, stretch goals, and Committed goals. One word of caution, we recommend divorcing compensation from Aspirational goals as they can serve to de-motivate the team or foster sandbagging in the goal setting-setting process.

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: Bruce Mars on Pexels

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